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Zotero Citation Software: Synchronize
your library

guide to using the free Zotero citation and research management program

Zotero Sync

You need to create a Zotero user account to make full use of Zotero.

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. (Preferences is under Zotero on Macs, under Tools on PCs, and under the gear icon in Zotero for Firefox.)
  • Select the Sync menu. 
  • Enter your Zotero user name and password. 
  • 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.
  • Click the green circular arrow button at the top right corner of the Zotero window.
  • 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.

Zotero preferences screen under Sync menu. Shows where to type in username and password.