Ask the Expert

Which Notes files should I copy when user changes PC?

If I want to copy a user's address book and folders from their old PC to a new one, I install Notes on the new PC and copy names.nsf to the new PC. I was also told to copy the bookmark.nsf, desktop.dsk, cache.nsf and cache.dsk. Is this correct? What do those files do?

View member feedback to this Ask the Expert Q&A.

When moving systems, my procedure has always been to bring over the notes.ini, the ID file, names.nsf, bookmark.nsf, desktop5.dsk/desktop6.ndk and headline.nsf. All others are not necessary. The notes.ini saves you from having to go through setup again. As long as you install it to the same drive path (or simply modify the notes.ini settings to point to whatever the new path is), you will be fine.

As for the files, bookmark.nsf contains your lefthand bar bookmarks. The desktop file contains all icons you have on your workspace. The cache files are simply that, cache. If Notes is shut down properly, you don't need to move that file at all.


For users who use the user.dic personal dictionary, it could, and should, also be copied.

—Steven M.


Assuming that the user uses Lotus Notes for what Lotus Notes is good for (i.e., replication), you should definitely copy any local replicas that are in the user's DATA directory or subfolders. This will ensure any unreplicated data is not lost. Plus, it can save you a lot of grief trying to recreate their replication formulas. Lastly, this could save hours of replicating if any of the NSFs are large or if they work via dialup.

—Doug J.


Mike shouldn't copy over desktop5.nsf. This file was left over from when he first upgraded from R5 to R6. This other respondent is right about also copying over user.dic. This file contains all of the words you told Lotus Notes to learn during spell checks.

—Guy F.


If the user has a local archive database -- DataArchive; you should also copy it.

—Pilar G.

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This was first published in July 2005

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