NSF files are the database files of IBM Notes which store mailbox including contacts, emails, tasks, drafts, calendars, journals etc. Lotus notes is one of the most smart email client. This helps the users to save their file and it works with the collaboration of Lotus Domino Server.

Understanding Lotus Notes error

There is a situation when you perform basic functions like to open, manage, edit, modify etc but you can’t be execute it in your system and an error message is displayed on the screen. The message can be the following:-  “You are not authorized to access the Database lotus Notes”. It means that the administrator has not given the rights to access the data of that particular NSF file.

Authentication rights will be provided by admin according to the role of the person in an organization. If you still do not take permission from your owner and tries to access that NSF file, then a message will be shown on your display- “You are not authorized to access the database Lotus Notes”.

Access Control List

Now, you can resolve this issue with different methods. There is a feature in Lotus Notes file, that is Access Control List (ACL) which works as a security in this error. NSF Data files are present in local securities and encryption, & ACL manages and controls it. Everyone wants to keep their Lotus Notes NSF file data safely including different items. In this case ACL helps us to save our all data from unauthorized access, usage, and data piracy.

But if this issue still persists then it is an error and you need to fix as soon as possible. In this segment, we will discuss about the causes and solutions to resolve this error without any hassle.

Root cause for “You are not authorized to access the database Lotus Notes”

The above errors can occur while opening document, so we will capture various aspects in this segment which one needs to deal in order to fix the issue systematically.

  1. Chances are there that the user account which is trying to log in into the system does not exist in the domino server.
  2. This is also possible that specific user account is present in another Domino Server due to migration.
  3. The common reason of this authorization error is the fact that one does not have proper permission to admin account so as to open the mail file. One more reason that is quite probable is, if the admin account have taken the permission to open the mailbox but only for few NSF files due to some issue in permission settings.

You can only replace the security of this error in the presence of administrator or an authorized person but when it is urgent to access file users can use multiple methods to solve this problem. To open this NSF database file, certain permissions are applicable.

Resolution for Lotus notes error message-  “You are not authorized to access the database”

These kind of unexpected error messages can make anyone frustrated. Also the frequency of this is high. Even you can say most of this error occurs then one needs to open a NSF file in the absence of administrator. So, in that case some errors will be shown on your display like you are not authorized to perform that operation, Not authorized to access Lotus notes Database, You are not authorized to that database etc. To get rid of the problem and to overcome with that let us see the solutions to resolve this error.

Steps to troubleshoot

  1. There must be an account in the directory of domino server, to fix the problems
  2. If you see that the user have a domino server, but it does not exist same in the admin account. Then follow these steps to resolve it:
  •  Check out the location of the user account, then you have to generate/initiate a new admin account on the same Domino Server.
  •  You have to enable all the permissions explicitly (manually) from the new admin account, by providing manager access for the files in the mailbox.
  •  At last, with the help of new admin account of IBM Lotus notes, start migrating the mailbox items.
  1. You have to make sure that you have granted to the admin account with correct permissions.
  •  It should be confirmed that the admin account have potential and permission to open the mail file.
  •  If you directly open the mail file directory and after checking that, if the error still occurs on your screen in that case, grant the manager level access to mail file by admin account. For the quick access to NSF file, validate all the permissions to fix this Lotus notes error of authorization.


Following the entire process can be little tough for a person who is not aware of the technical process. Even changing the permission can make the entire database inaccessible, if any small mistake happens in the procedure.

Ultimate solution

You can use a diligent NSF file recovery Tool for fixing the error without putting much efforts. When you urgently need to open NSF database file and admin is not present due any reason. At that time you can try this third- party tool presented by eSoftTools. This can help to complete the task in the simplest way. It will not affect encryption and password protection which is applicable to the database.


So, the reason why all the business enterprises uses Lotus Notes for mailing and for other official work because it is the safe and secure way. But sometimes the messages indicating exceptions and errors can act like a hurdle to access information. One such error is “You are not authorized to access the database”. Anyone can resolve this issue in reliable way with manual methods. And you can save your precious time by using third- party tool to resolve your problem permanently. I hope this article will help you. 

Also read: How to resolve entry not in found in index Lotus Notes error



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