Lotus Notes & the Hidden Outbox

Big Blue’s mail standard is Lotus (now IBM) Notes. My work machine runs version 9.
My client engagement Associate Partner asked me to send him documents. I sent them via email as one does. Later he pinged me to the tune of “where are they?” and “I don’t have them”. He closed with a rousing chorus of “Get them to me now”.
Puzzled, I checked my mail replication. Sure enough my outbox showed a seemingly perpetual 86% complete. I found the message to the AP in my Sent folder. My error was obvious: the files in total size would choke a rhino. I failed to notice one file with a modest page count had several other files embedded.
I sent the AP the lot via a more conscientious method, then I turned my attention back to my clogged outbox where multiple other emails waited patiently for their turn behind my choked rhino.
I knew Notes has an outbox. I couldn’t find it because the interface hides it. After a multitude of DuckDuckGo searches I found the solution.


  1. In Notes, type [CTRL-O] to open the “Open Database” dialog.
  2. In the File field, type ’mail.box’ (no quotes).
  3. Change the File type to All Files. mail.box will be in the list.
  4. Select it and click Open.
  5. Find the file blocking the others, select it, and hit Delete.
  6. If the file doesn’t delete, try hitting [F5].
If you’re on a Mac and this doesn’t work for you, replace CTRL with CMD in step 1 above. Your outbox will clear on the next sync.


You can add a bookmark in your Notes client for the outbox to make it easy to find again.


Subject: Pending mails in outbox
Hi Ranjit, On your workspace – press ctrl+O – that would bring up the open DB window. Now in the file field, type ‘mail.box’ and click open. That would open up your local mail.box file. Delete the emails if they are not required.
Feedback response number WEBB86RE2W created by Nimda Onimod on 06/25/2010

Be nice with what you write.