Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2017     Views: 5

There are three Zotero components that, in combination, give you the full functionality of the application. Each are freely available.

1. Zotero Standalone

Zotero Standalone is a required component of Zotero 5.0. Go to to download Zotero Standalone for your operating system. The program is installed locally on your computer (much like other citation management programs). When you go to the Zotero website to download the software, the site automagically offers the version compatible with your operating system.

2. Zotero Connector
Zotero Connector is important if you want to collect citations directly from your web browser. This component works as a browser extension/add-on and it is available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. If you’re searching through a database, for example, and find an article of interest, you can click on the Zotero Connector icon in your browser’s toolbar to add it to Zotero Standalone. You should have Zotero Standalone open while browsing -- if you don’t, you will be prompted to open it.

3. Zotero in the cloud

This component is important if you want to sync your Zotero citations across different computers. Start by creating a free Zotero account at and then sync it with Zotero Standalone by adding the username and password you’ve created to Edit > Preferences > Sync.