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Hope Library Guides

Zotero: Exporting Your Zotero Library

Exporting Your Library

Photo by Your Zotero library is stored on your computer's hard drive. You can easily export your library; which is good practice if you are using multiple, shared computers and as a secure backup.

To export your library, click the Zotero File menu, choose Export Library, and save the file to a USB drive. When you are ready to install on a new computer,  click the File menu, choose Import, and find your Zotero file to import it.

Don't have a USB drive handy?  Try Dropbox- a free service that lets you store your files online (for files up to 2 GB).

Another, perhaps easier, way to copy your library is with the Zotero sync feature. Follow the instructions on this page to set up Zotero sync on your computer.

Zotero Sync

If you're regularly using more than one computer in your research, Zotero's sync feature can keep your library up to date on all of them.  Zotero can store a copy of your library on the Zotero.org server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer.  All your computers must be running the same version of Zotero.

First, set up a (free, of course) Zotero.org user account. Then:

  • Open Zotero preferences (via the gear menu) and select the Sync tab. 
  • Click on "Link Account"
  • Check the "sync automatically" box.
  • Check both boxes under File Syncing and choose Zotero storage for My Library. This will sync your PDF attachments as well as citations (more info).
  • 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 site.