Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2024     Views: 1092

As with all important data, it is a good idea to backup your Zotero data frequently!

To backup your Zotero library:

  1. Locate your library
    1. Open Zotero Standalone
    2. Go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Files and Folders
    3. Click on "Show Data Directory"

Screenshot of Zotero Preferences highlighting Advanced, Files and Folders, and Data Directory Location.


  1. This will open a window on your computer locally revealing the location of your Zotero library:

Screenshot of Zotero data directory on a local computer showing menu structure.


  1. Once you have located your library, close Zotero Standalone
  2. Copy your Zotero data directory to a backup location
    1. Copy the entire Zotero folder including all of the subfolders within it.
    2. The best place to backup your library is to an external storage device that you keep in a location separate from your primary computer.

Go to Zotero's documentation on data directories for detailed instructions.

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

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