Moving to Zotero after Using: EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley
Moving and Backing Up your Zotero Library
Backing Up Your Zotero Library
Moving From Zotero to Another Reference Management Application (a stub for now)
(You should do this periodically!)
See also the *step-by-step* instructions I wrote up (Firefox and Chrome only for now) in the box below.
9/1/14: A reminder from Inside Higher Ed about the importance of backing up...
Moving your Zotero Library to a New Computer (Windows to Windows) – Firefox and Zotero Standalone with Chrome (also includes steps for backing your Zotero Library – Steps 1 thru 6) – (2/18/2014; rev.)
1. Open Zotero in Firefox on your old computer. If you use Chrome, open up Zotero Standalone
2. If you use Zotero.org to synch your Zotero Library online and/or on other computers, make sure you have caught up on synching with that computer.
3. Click on the Action (gears) button and select Preferences from the drop-down menu, then -> Advanced -> Files and Folders and click on the link for the Data Directory. This will open the inside of your Zotero folder.
4. Move up one file folder level so that you see the file directory that includes the folder labeled zotero
5. Close the Zotero Preferences window and then close Firefox, leaving the file directory window open. If you are using Zotero Standalone and Chrome, close both of those and leave the file directory window open. If you leave a Zotero instance open while you are copying files, you can corrupt your files (like I did once...) so make sure to do this!
6. Copy the Zotero folder from your computer and paste it in an external drive (you can use a flash drive instead if it fits your Zotero Library (to find out how large your Zotero file is, right click on it and look under Properties – this is a good thing to do to do as a check to compare file sizes and numbers of files and folders after you move your files to your new computer).
7. Be sure to properly eject the external drive, then unplug it and plug it into your new computer.
8. If you have not already done so, download Zotero to your new computer from Zotero.org. If you are using Zotero Standalone and Chrome, download Zotero Standalone and download the Chrome Zotero connector from the Chrome Web Store (links are on the Zotero download page). You will need to close and reopen Chrome to engage the Zotero Connector. (You may also want to set it up to save items to your Zotero.org library when Zotero Standalone is not open; to do this, from the Chrome menu (three bars in the upper right corner) click on Extensions, and then click on the Options link for the Zotero Connector and authorize it with your Zotero account under Save via Server).
9. Open Firefox and then open Zotero. If you are using Chrome, open up Zotero Standalone.
10. Click on the Action (gears) button and select Preferences from the drop-down menu, then -> Advanced -> Files and Folders and click on the link for the Data Directory. This will open the inside of your Zotero folder.
11. Move up one file folder level so that you see the directory that includes the folder labeled zotero.
12. Close the Zotero Preferences window and close Firefox, leaving the file directory window open. If you are using Zotero Standalone and Chrome, close both and leave the file directory window open.
13. Right-click on the zotero folder you copied to your external drive and check the Properties to make sure you have the same number for file size, files, and folders that you did when you did this on your original computer.
14. Open the directory of your external drive and position it next to your computer’s directory window (you don’t have to do this, but it makes the process very visual).
15. Change the name of the Zotero folder in your new computer to zotero-Delete.
16. Delete the Zotero-Delete folder, then go to your Trash and empty it (yeah, you could just delete the Zotero folder in your computer’s directory, but I made a mistake once so I add this step to be sure I don’t delete the wrong file….)
17. Copy the zotero folder from your external drive and then paste it into the directory in your new computer where the zotero-Delete file was.
18. Right-click on the zotero folder you copied from your external drive to your new computer, and check the Properties to make sure you have the same number for file size, files, and folders that you did when you did this on your original computer.
19. Open Zotero and check to make sure everything transferred.
20. Be sure to properly eject the external drive, then turn it off and unplug it. You are done!* It’s a good idea to back up your Zotero Library to your external drive every so often (i.e. once a month or more often) just to be absolutely safe; using Zotero.org is not a totally reliable substitute for a physical backup.
*21. You’re not really done: Make sure you have your Zotero preferences properly set up on your new computer (See the “Setting Up Your Zotero preferences” tab on the WSU Zotero guide for a step-by-step guide to this: http://libguides.wsulibs.wsu.edu/zotero).