IBM Lotus Notes is a collaborative email application of Clients and Server thus, it comes under the category of preeminent email clients utilized for several purposes such as emailing, contact management, calendar, tasks saving and so forth. It saves its entire database in .nsf format and this NSF file is divided into further parts such as Archvie.nsf, Names.nsf. Thus, in this article, we are going to discuss about IBM Notes names.nsf file. So, let us get started with a brief introduction of names.nsf file.
Introduction to IBM Notes names.nsf File
IBM Lotus Notes stores all its contact entries in a contact file that is often known as names.nsf file. The names.nsf file is generated automatically in Notes Directory. When the user composes a new email and enters some address, Lotus Notes goes to the contact file (names.nsf) to search the person’s email address. It is also utilized as a part of Domino Server directory. This is a solitary database file that stores all the contacts in a user mailbox. Whenever a new contact becomes created, Lotus Notes directly adds it to names.nsf file. The contact list is maintained in the front end.
Regardless of utilizing this default contact file, one can also create a new or additional contact file to use. After that, Lotus Notes will investigate all contact files for an email address. If it did not find that email address then, Lotus Notes will search it in the Domino directory of the home server.

Where does Names.nsf File Resides in Lotus Notes?
The default location of names.nsf file is following:
C: >> Program Files >> IBM >> Notes >> Data >> names.nsf

How to Create a new Names.nsf File in Lotus Notes?
A new names.nsf can be created simply like any other Notes application by utilizing the personal address book template like clientnames.nsf. You can use some variations while naming the freshly created contact files such as names2.nsf. It is so because all the contact files in the information directory will stay together after this. Or, we can say that doing this will keep different contacts files in the same directory.
How to Delete names.nsf in Lotus Notes?
Users are allowed to delete names.nsf file. One can delete this file just like any other file, however, before doing this, make sure that there must remain at least one contacts file. Otherwise, Lotus Notes will not run. In case, if there is only one names.nsf file is in your database then, never erase it.
How to Change Names.nsf in Lotus Notes?
Contacts files of Lotus notes can be changed to search email addresses, here are the guidelines for the same:
  • Launch Lotus Notes and click on File menu then select Preferences
  • Now, click on Mail >> Sending and Receiving
  • Go to Local Contacts section, pick an action to perform: 
  • To replace the original: Delete the existing names.nsf and browse the new contact file
  • To add new names.nsf: Add new contact file and repeat same steps if there are many files
Note: If one is using both Lotus Domino Web Access Mail Client as well as Lotus Notes Client then, contacts synchronizing is an easy way to get both contacts lists same.
  • Eventually, hit OK button and restart Lotus Notes application
How to Synchronize Contacts in Lotus Notes?
Lotus Notes creates two replicas to store contacts: one is for Domino Server and other is on the local machine. Users can perform a simple sync operation to match the names.nsf information between both. The contact synchronization is important:
  • For mailbox migration or upgrade
  • To save contacts or send as an attachment
Here are the steps to sync contacts in Lotus Notes:
  • Launch IBM Notes >> File >> Preferences >> Contacts
  • Choose Enable Synchronize contacts on Replication option
  • To end the process, hit the OK button
If you are required to synchronize contacts in the replication page then, here are the steps:
  • Click on Open >> Replication
  • Make sure that the Synchronize contacts are enabled
  • Hit Start button
Summing Up
IBM Lotus Notes is a Client-server cross-platform that uses names.nsf file to store its contacts information. However, users who do not have the proper knowledge about IBM Notes names.nsf, they search for various queries related to the same.
Thus, we have compiled some basic details about names.nsf file in this article. As we know that Lotus Notes is somehow complex application to operate and there are many users who get annoyed via its complicated nature. After that, users wish to migrate into any easily operable platform such as MS Outlook. Some tool offers safest ways to copy Lotus Notes database to local computer. Well, to execute this migration successfully and without any data loss, we recommend users to use NSF to PST Converter tool.
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