Fixing problems with IBM Notes on macOS Mojave

Sunday, October 7, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

I am using Mojave for some months now. I never used the Notes client on macOS but since there is a special interim fix for Mojave I thought I give it a try. The installation process is usually simple:

  • install the client package
  • install the fix right afterwards (without trying to start the client for the first time)

Please also read this blog post from Gab Davis on which installer to use.

Notes on a Mac is completely different from what we are used in Windows. The Notes data folder is located in

/Users/<accountname>/Library/Application Support/IBM Notes Data/

and the „notes.ini“ is a file called „Notes Preferences“ located in


The contents of this file however is the same as in any other notes.ini file. This saved my ass.

For some reason I wasn’t able to install the client on my Macbook Pro as there were files left from a previous installation - I can’t recall to have Notes installed, but hey, I use this system for more than one year without wiping it.

So the first task was wiping the old installation which can be a hassle if you do not have the uninstaller. There is a manual way to do so described in an IBM technote:

My second attempt ended up in these messages when trying to start Notes for the „first time“:

There was a second error message that named the path to the local Notes data folder, too.

I checked the path and - obviously - no names.nsf there. Of course not, I wiped previous installs with AppCleaner. One thing the „uninstall“ process I made forgot to remove the notes.ini (aka Notes Preferences).

To fix this just find the file, open it with a text editor and remove everything from it except the first 4 lines (containing the install type/kit features) - just as you are used to do in Windows versions. This will bring up the general configuration dialogs that allow you to setup your ID, server, etc.

Problem 1 solved.

Another problem was that the whole operating system gets freezed when starting Notes. This is because of the security setting that allows Notes control the accessibility features. Just disable Notes in that list:

Problem 2 solved.

Now you should be able to start Notes without any problems. Thanks to Manfred Dillmann for the hint!

Another caveat in Mojave

I experienced a serious problem (aka crash) switching to the „Operating System Theme“ in the Notes „Windows and Theme“ preferences. DO NOT SWITCH to this theme on Mojave! I am not sure if this is because of the dark mode I use since I also had crashes right about the start with the light mode, too. At least I was able to switch back to the „Social Theme“ when activating the light mode. After I switched the theme I also switched back to dark mode - and it works again.

Latest comments to this post

Ernst Mayer wrote on 09.10.2018, 08:49

Hi there,

it's always good to hear, that other persons have similar problems using notes on Mac. :)

In my case I use a Macbook Pro (late 2012) and notes running without any special problems (until high sierra). After installing Mojave and starting notes  it hangs. And after installing IF16 (SHF993) (without any problems) notes runs without hanging after startup.

I didn't have to change any further settings. So maybe there are other constellations that makes your macbook instable. 

Best wishes

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