Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Back up Links

The best resource for information regarding backing up your Zotero library is the Zotero Backup Page.

"Every time you close Firefox, and when your computer is idle, Zotero makes a backup copy within your data directory of your library if the last backup is more than 12 hours old. If you make a critical mistake while using Zotero—for example, if you accidentally delete a large set of items—you can revert to the last backup." For more information read on @ Zotero Backup Page

Zotero Sync (see the box below) theoretically does create an additional back up of your Zotero library, this feature is still in beta testing, so users may wish to create a manual back up as well. 

Performing a manual simple Backup: In Zotero open the Preferences menu (gear) and select Export Library. You can save this to your local hard drive, USB drive, or upload it remotely if you have an online storage account such as Dropbox.

Zotero Sync

Zotero's sync feature can keep your library up to date on all computers that you use and can also double as a backup.  Zotero can store a copy of your library on the server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer.  All your computers must be running the same version Zotero and be configured to sync to the server.

First, set up a (free, of course) user account.

Open Zotero preferences (via the gear menu) and select the Sync tab. 

Enter your Zotero user name and password. 

Check the "sync automatically" box.  Zotero will upload your library to the server. 

Repeat this configuration on each of your computers.  Any updates you make on one of your computers will be reflected on the others.  This even works to synchronize your library among Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

For more details and help troubleshooting sync problems, check the Zotero Sync site.

Zotero sync settings screenshot