How to Fix Lotus Notes “File Already Exists” Error?

Last updated on September 25th, 2021 at 04:18 pm

If you’re an IBM Lotus Notes administrator or user, you’ve probably encountered the file already exists error while launching Lotus Notes Client. But have you figured out what the root cause of this error message is and how to fix it?

In this article, I’ll go over the key reasons for the file already exists error in Lotus Notes, as well as how to repair it.

Expert Advice

Based on my experience and conversations with IBM Notes users, I’ve noticed that managing data is a challenge for Notes users. To continue their work, I will advise them to use Microsoft Outlook and migrate Lotus nsf to Outlook pst with eSoftTools NSF to PST Converter Software.


Causes of the ‘File Already Exists’ Error in Lotus Notes

The key source of the problem is a corrupt bookmark.nsf file or perweb.nsf file. It is the most important Lotus Notes configuration file that often starts running when users launch the Lotus Notes application. However, the user is unable to access the file because it has already been corrupted. As a result, Lotus Notes attempts to generate a new bookmark.nsf file to correct the error on its own. However, since the file has already been generated in Lotus Notes, it displays a file already exists error message.

Lotus Notes Troubleshooting Error: “The file already exists”

Here we’ll show you how to correct the “file already exists” error. We attempt to correct the problem by generating a new bookmark.nsf file. However, you must first specify if you’re a roaming or non-roaming user, then follow these instructions:-

1) Fixing the Bookmark.nsf file

To repair a corrupted bookmark.nsf file or new file creation, follow the steps below

For Non-roaming Users

To fix the error, follow the steps below to fix a corrupted bookmark.nsf file.

  • Close the IBM Lotus Notes email client.
  • In the Lotus Notes directory, locate the bookmark.nsf file.
  • Now rename Bookmark.nsf file to bookmark.old file.
  • Launch the Lotus Notes email application. It will recreate the bookmark.nsf file using the bookmark.ntf file (NTF – Notes Template File).

For Roaming Users

If you’re working as a Roaming user, follow the steps below to recreate bookmark.nsf.

  • First, the user must contact the Lotus Notes Service Desk to temporarily disable the account.
  • Wait a little while for roaming to be disabled from connected systems.
  • Now, go to the ‘Non-Roaming user’ section mentioned above and follow the instructions.
  • Re-contact the Lotus Notes Help Desk and request them to enable roaming.
  • Remember to turn on roaming for each system and rebuild the bookmark.nsf file.
  • Upload the file to the server and replicate it on other connected systems.

2) Recreate Perweb.nsf File

It’s a database file for the Personal Web Navigator. It is used for browsing the internet in the Lotus Notes email application. If you receive a Lotus Notes file already exists error message as a result of a corrupted perweb.nsf file, you must recreate it to resolve the issue. Using the preweb50.ntf template file, generate the preweb.nsf file as directed.

To fix the corrupted Perweb.nsf file, follow the steps below:-

  • Close the IBM Lotus Notes client.
  • The Perweb50.nsf template must be present in your directory.

Note: If the file isn’t available, Get it from another IBM Notes system.

  • Rename the current perweb.nsf file to perweb.old and after this run the Lotus Notes application.
  • Change the current position document in Lotus Notes by changing the preferences and opening the web page in Lotus Notes. The preweb.nsf file will be recreated.
  • Click Actions/Internet Options, then Presentation tab, and Change MIME to Rich Text & HTML in the Notes web browser.
  • Change the browser to Notes web browser with Internet Explorer and edit the current document path. Now open the file that was causing the error during the launch.


You can correct Lotus Notes errors by following the steps outlined above. But first, it’s a smart option to figure out which root cause is causing the error: bookmark.nsf corruption or perweb.nsf corruption. After that, you can take appropriate method to fix the issue. You may also fix this error or corruption in bookmark.nsf and Perweb.nsf with third-party tool like- eSoftTools NSF to PST Converter software. To know more about this software download its free trial version.


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