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In an earlier article, I explained how an individual email messages are encrypted Notes email encryption explained The encryption of entire databases also takes advantage of the fact that Notes users login to Notes with an ID file. The ID file contains a public and a private key and it is encrypted with the password.

On a recent email migration, we had a user in Europe who had a large number of email archives. We knew that migrating the archives across the WAN would take a long time. So we asked for hard drive with the archives to be sent to the data centre. When we tried to unzip the files, they said that we needed six terabytes of space to unzip the files. There was something that was not quite right.

The default behaviour when creating a copy/replica of a Notes database is to encrypt the file with the public key of the user ID that is currently in use. When a database is located on a Domino server, the server looks after all of the access to the database. However when a Notes database is located on a local drive the Notes client accesses it directly. This works out okay until the computer is lost. The finder would have access to all of the information in a Notes database. When a local copy/replica is created by default Notes encrypts the database with the public key. Now the person who found the laptop will need to know the password to access the private key that is needed to decrypt the database.

Creating the Replica
In this example, I have created a replica with Medium Encryption.

Now when I examine the Application/Database Properties File - Application - Properties

Removing DB Encryption.

Notice that files with "medium encryption cannot be compressed by disk compression utilities"

The zip files that we received were currently encrypted and zipped and we cannot use them. In order to migrate the archive mail files we need copies of the mail files that have encryption removed.

There two ways to get a local Notes database without encryption.

Delete DB and Create New Replica
NB - if the database is has to be copied across a slow link this could be time consuming.

Delete the database and create a new replica without encryption

Make sure that the "Encrypt the replica using is deselected

Remove the Encryption from the Existing Database
NB - you need enough free drive space to hold two copies of the database. When the decryption is complete the encrypted copy will be deleted. If something occurs during the compacting/decrypting process then we revert to the encrypted copy.

With the database highlighted or even open
Examine the Application/Database Properties File - Application - Properties

From the Info Tab of the Database Properties - Click the Encryption Settings button.

Click the "Do not locally encrypt this database" radio button and then Click OK

to this

The following message in the Status Bar is normal.

You might see the progress bar indicating the progress of the removal of the encryption.

If you don't see the progress bar - then you can initiate the compaction.
From the Application Properties

Watch the Status Bar

TIP - click on the Status Bar to display a history of items displayed.

Viola - you have a Notes database with the encryption removed. You are good to go.

Author's Background
I am a Notes/Consultant with twenty-seven years of experience (almost exclusively with Lotus Notes / Domino). My experience with Notes began when I worked as a Senior Computer Consultant for Price Waterhouse. In 1993, I went to work for Lotus Development Corporation as a Senior Notes / Domino Instructor. I started teaching Application Development and System Administration with Version 3. Helped to develop the course materials for Version 4.x and Release 5.x When LotusScript, Javascript and Java were added to Notes/Domino I started teaching these programming languages.

In 1995, IBM acquired Lotus. For several years we were left alone and the culture did not change. It was a lot of fun to work for Lotus. In 1999 the handwriting was on the wall and I decided it was time for me to leave. So I established V&M to do Lotus Notes/Domino Application Development, System Administration and Training. I've been at it ever since. The life of the consultant is constantly changing. It has given me the chance to travel across Canada and the United States, Scotland, England, Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados and Hawaii. No travel to the Far East yet. Anyone?

For the last seven years I have been helping companies move their data from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft platform.

Some thoughts on Notes to Exchange Migrations
Migrating from Lotus Notes to Microsoft - Very easy and very hard
Pre- Migration Report that I use
Encrypted Mail Choices
Export a Notes View to CSV
Mail Migrations Using the Cloud
Mail Migrations - Some Lessons Learned
Speeding Some Migrations
Redirecting Mail Migration Traffic
One post migration story
One Approach to Mail Rules
Remove Encryption Button
Microsoft's "Secret" Mail Migration Tool
NME Migrations from a secondary Domino Directory
How to remove encryption from a Notes database
NME and Secondary Address Book
Multi File Selector for Binary Tree CMTe
Problem Mail Files for NME (Notes Migrator for Exchange)
Using a Staging Server for Notes to Exchange migrations
SmartCloud to Office 365
Notes2SharePoint Part 1
Migrating Private Folders
Different roles in an email migrations
What to do with Profile Docs during a Migration

If you would like to see my resume
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Copyright 1999-2019, John Vanderhoff. All rights reserved. This document is NOT in the public domain and remains the property of John Vanderhoff. Distribution or modification of this document without the knowledge, review and express permission of John Vanderhoff is strictly prohibited.