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How to Extract Attachments from Lotus Notes Database in Different Ways

Akshay Vats ~ Modified: 27-Dec-2021 ~ Outlook, Tech ~ 5 Minutes Reading

IBM Notes or Lotus Notes is a widely used desktop-based email application in a corporate world. It is the most secure email application that a user can use for exchange of information. For storing all data files on a local machine, Lotus Notes uses NSF (Notes Storage File) file format. As it is an email application so, it is clear that emails have attachments also along with them. However, there are some situations, in which there is a requirement to extract attachments from Lotus Notes database, for example:

When a user tries to store all the attachments to some storage device or on the local machine, there is a need to extract attachments.
If a user wants to switch from Lotus Notes to Outlook or some other email application, then also it becomes necessary to extract attachments from IBM Notes. Hence, in this article, how one can extract attachments from Lotus Notes database using manual and the automated method i.e. Export Notes.


Two Different Approaches to Extract Attachments from IBM Notes Database

In order to save all attachments from Lotus Notes Database to some other location, one can use any of the two methods i.e. Manual and Alternate method and they are discussed below:

Extract Attachments from Lotus Notes

If a user wants to extract attachments from Lotus Notes database manually, then he needs to use the python module. Now, to do the same follow the steps with scripts mentioned below:

1. First, extract data from the Domino server to RTF with the help of the following code:

Extract Attachments from Lotus Notes

2. After that, you need to define the session and build a connection with the database on Domino using the code below:


3. Now, create a view and try to analyze the first document in that view


4. Use a python module to built a rich text format


5. After that, you need to archive the document and try to build it


6. After executing the code below, search for the attachment that you want to extract from the listed attachments in RTF


7. Now, it’s time to run the main code that determines the values from Lotus Notes and passes it to pyRTF for generation


8. In order to extract attachments from the same folder from Lotus Notes Database, run the command written below:


9. In last, to collect attachment data, type the following program code:


Why Manual Approach is not a Reliable Method

Lotus script extracts file attachment but has some limitations. However, a non-technical user faces many problems while performing the manual method to extract attachments from Lotus Notes database. All such limitations are described below:

As a user can see the program code is too long that it will take user’s lots of time while extracting attachments. However, such a lengthy procedure can also create a big confusion in executing the code also.
It is not at all a well-suited method for a non-technical user because most the end-users do not have much knowledge about the program code.

Alternative Approach to Extract Attachments From IBM Notes

To overcome all the limitations of the manual approach for extracting attachments from IBM Notes is with the help of SysTools NSF to PST Converter tool. There is no direct tool available to extract attachments from Lotus Notes. Therefore, one can use Export Notes to transfer NSF file of Lotus Notes to PST and then Outlook Attachment Extractor to extract all attachments from PST files.

Step 1: Export Lotus Notes to Outlook

First, a user needs to convert Lotus Notes NSF file to PST file format with the help of Export Notes. To do the same follow the steps mentioned below:

1. First of all, Run the Export Notes utility on your local machine
2. Now, click on Browse button to select the NSF file that you want to export


3. After that, click on Next to continue and then on the Export button



4. In last, progress is displayed on the screen, showing the current status of NSF file to PST migration.


Step 2: Extract Attachments Using Outlook Attachment Extractor

After converting NSF file to MS Outlook PST format, a user can use this amazing & result-oriented Outlook Attachment Extractor to extract the attachments in a more reliable and efficient way. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download & open Outlook Attachment Extractor software on your system
  2. Add Outlook data file i.e., PST/OST/BAK file using Add File (s) or Add Folder option extract attachments
  3. Select All Folders or Selective Folders radio button as per the requirement to extract the PST attachments folders and provide the destination location to save the extracted files
  4. The software offers various advanced features such as selective data items extraction, date filter, size filter & much advanced filter options
  5. After the settings are applied, click Extract to start extracting attachments attachment extraction


After understanding the requirement of users, we have discussed two different approaches to extract attachment from Lotus Notes database. As the manual procedure is having some many limitations so, instead of going for the manual procedure, it is better to use an alternative approach discussed above. The alternative approach is an easy-to-use application for the end-users, who do not have much knowledge about program code, about any programming language, etc. Therefore, to overcome issues in the manual approach, the best way is to make use of Export Notes and Outlook Attachment Extractor. It will extract attachments from IBM Notes database in a very simple and easy way.