Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017     Views: 33

If you use more than one computer for your research, Zotero’s sync feature can keep your library up-to-date on each computer. Zotero stores a copy of your library in the Zotero cloud and checks for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer. All of your computers must be running the same version of Zotero.

Start by creating a free Zotero account at Then sync it with Zotero Standalone:

  • Open Zotero Preferences (Edit > Preferences) and select the Sync tab
  • Enter your Zotero user name and password
  • Click "Set up Syncing"
  • Check both boxes under Data Syncing
  • Choose Zotero storage for My Library which syncs PDFs and citations
  • Click the green circular arrow button at the top right corner of the Zotero window
  • Zotero will upload your library to the server

Repeat these steps on each of your computers. Any updates you make on one of your computers will be reflected on the others. This even works to sync your library among Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Go to for more details and help troubleshooting sync problems.

NOTE: Free accounts have a limited amount of space for file attachments, so you may run into problems if you have a very large library. To sync a library larger than 300 MB, see for detailed instructions.



Part or all of this answer is adapted from Zotero wiki content distributed under various Creative Commons licenses found at Additional content may have been adapted from the Zotero LibGuide by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.