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Office of Information Technology

Installing the Lotus Notes 8.5 Client for Windows

The Lotus Notes 8.5 Client for Windows allows you to take advantage of all the features included in your American University e-mail account. Follow the steps below to download, install, and configure the software.

Downloading the Lotus Notes Client

The Lotus Notes Client is very large (450MB); so we recommend that you download it while on campus, and then burn it to a CD if you need to install it on a computer that does not have a high speed connection to the Internet.

  1. Log into the Web portal. 
  2. Click the TECHNOLOGY link. Then, select DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE from the list of personalized technology links on the right. 
  3. Click the LOTUS NOTES CLIENT 8.5.X FOR WINDOWS link. 
  4. Click the SAVE button.
  5. Double click the install file in the download window.
  6. Then, click OK
  7. Click the NEXT button.


Gathering the Required Configuration Information

Before you install Lotus Notes, you will need to know the name of your AU e-mail server, as well as the location and password for your ID file.

  1. Log into the Web portal. 
  2. Click the TECHNOLOGY link and select the MY CONTEXT AND INCOMING MAIL SERVER link. 
  3. Please write down your incoming mail server, since it will be one of AU's seven mail servers.
    • Please note: the Lotus Notes client needs to have your mail server name formatted as AUMAIL1/AMERICANU, rather than, which was displayed on the portal.
  4. You will also need a copy of your ID file, which stores your Lotus Notes client password. This password is separate from the password that you use to access your e-mail from the Web or from an IMAP client. It does not get automatically updated when you change your password. You can either:
    • Contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550,, or AskAmericanUHelp to request a copy of your ID file and your default password. 
    • If you already use the Lotus Notes client on another computer, you can copy the ID file from that computer. The file is (your username) and is usually located in C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Lotus\Notes\Data.
  5. If you have already configured the Lotus Notes client on another computer, you may want to copy the following files from that computer to a removable flash drive to be loaded onto the computer you are now configuring. These files are usually located under the C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Lotus\Notes\Data folder.
    • bookmark.nsf - your Lotus Notes bookmarked databases 
    • desktop8.ndk - your Notes desktop 
    • journal.nsf - your Notes journal, if it exists
    • notebook.nsf - your Notes journal, if it exists
    • names.nsf - your Personal Address Book 
    • user.dic - your custom dictionary 
    • - your Notes password file (for example: 
    • \archive\a_username.nsf - your e-mail archive, if you have used it in the past
  6. During the Lotus Notes installation, make note of the path to the data folder. Copy the above listed files into that data folder BEFORE you launch Lotus Notes for the first time.


Installing the Lotus Notes Client

  1. Click NEXT on the Welcome Screen to continue. 
  2. Click I ACCEPT THE TERMS IN THE LICENSE AGREEMENT, radio button and then click NEXT
  3. Enter your full name in the USER NAME field on the Customer Information screen. 
  5. To accept the default installation paths of C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\lotus\notes\ for Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\lotus\notes\data for Data Files, click NEXT
  6. Click NEXT again to accept the default selection on the Custom Setup screen. 
  7. Click the INSTALL button. The installation wizard will display the progress and alert you when installation has completed. 
  8. Click FINISH, when complete.


Completing Configuration When You Run Lotus Notes for the First Time

  1. Double-click the LOTUS NOTES 8.5 icon on your Windows desktop. 
  2. The Welcome screen will appear with a list of the steps you will complete during setup. Click NEXT to continue. 
  3. On the User Information screen, type your full name in the YOUR NAME box. Be sure the box is checked to indicate I WANT TO CONNECT TO A DOMINO SERVER. Then, type your mail server name that you wrote down earlier. (For example: AUMail2/AmericanU) Click NEXT
  4. The Domino Server Network Information screen may appear, if you are connecting from an outside Internet Service Provider. Your Domino Server Name should already be entered. If not, enter the server name again in the format of AUMail2/AmericanU. Then, use the drop-down menu to select TCP/IP as the network type. Enter your Server Address as a host name, such as (for AUMail2/AmericanU). Then, click NEXT
  5. When prompted, browse to the location where you saved your Notes ID file and open it. Click NEXT. Then, click YES, if asked if you want to copy your ID file to the data directory. 
  6. Enter your NOTES ID PASSWORD, when prompted. Then, press ENTER
  7. When the screen prompting you to select additional services appears, leave all boxes unchecked and click NEXT
  8. Click OK, when you see the box that says "Notes Setup Is Complete!" 
  9. Notes will start automatically display a Getting Started tab wtih new features in Notes 8, plus a Home tab with the option to use the default settings or customize it to show you items like your latest e-mail, calendar, and task list.

To log into Sametime Instant Messaging: 

  1. Click on the Sametime icon on the right.
  2. Ensure the Host Server is entered as SAMETIME.AMERICAN.EDU and enter your Sametime username and password.
  3. Optional: To log into Sametime automatically after starting Lotus Notes, check the REMEMBER PASSWORD and AUTOMATICALLY LOG IN boxes.
  4. Click Log In.


Additional Notes for Off-Campus Installations

When you use an outside Internet Service Provider, you need to have a connection document to translate the Notes Domain Server Name (such as, AUMail1/AmericanU) to the Internet Name of

  1. Open Lotus Notes.
  2. Select TOOLS and CLIENT RECONFIGURATION WIZARD from the menu bar.
  3. Check the DOMINO SERVER box.
  4. Then, enter your MAIL SERVER in the space provided (For example: AUMail1/AmericanU). Click NEXT.
  5. On the next screen, choose TCP/IP from the drop down menu.
  6. Enter your SERVER ADDRESS (For example: Click NEXT.
  7. Repeat the steps above for Sametime/AmericanU with server address if you with to use instant messaging remotely.
  8. Restart Lotus Notes. You should now be able to access your mail.