Quick tip: Extract contents from Nokia Backup Files (NBU)

Migrating stuff from Nokia phones to other Nokia or non-Nokia phones is rather trivial, thanks to the myriad of ways to either send or export content using Nokia’s PC Suite software available on Nokia’s website.

But PC Suite doesn’t allow you to transfer your notes, of which I had some 500 since I acquired the phone 3 years ago. Now if you have less than 10 notes you can simply right-click them and select Send then Bluetooth and you will receive them on your computer or second phone over Bluetooth. But if your other device does not have Bluetooth or you have more than 10 notes to send you’re at a loss. The Nokia PC Suite software simply doesn’t cut it.

If you’re in this situation fear not! Enter , "a Nokia NBU, NFB & NFC backup file parser, extractor and viewer". It’s released under the GNU GPL but it requires Microsoft .NET framework 2. This means that it may work nicely on Linux using Wine, but there’s no guarantee that it does.

Simply download a backup file of the phone using Nokia PC Suite, which will create a .nbu file on your computer. Run NbuExplorer and open the .nbu file from the File-Open dialog. Click the Memo option in the left menu and all your notes appear as sequentially named .txt files on the right. You can right click one, more or all to Export file as..

This means you can access your .nbu files later on, when you don’t have a Nokia phone any longer and don’t want or can install the resource-heavy Nokia PC Suite software. Thanks to for this great application!

3 thoughts on “Quick tip: Extract contents from Nokia Backup Files (NBU)

  1. Yes, but NbuExplorer is free and open source software. Noki is not, but I would consider it if you are willing to release the source code under a free software license. In the meantime, I’ll use NbuExplorer:)

  2. To import exported calendar .cvs files into your Google calendar, rename the files to .ics, open each in notepad (or EditPad Lite) and remove the two lines that start with


    For instance

    RRULE:YM1 2 #0

    that Google Calendar does not understand for some reason. Repeated events must be edited to repeat annually after import.

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