How to Restore Zotero Files

Written by ricky gee
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Zotero is an extension for Mozilla's Firefox web browser that allows you to compile a library of research sources, such as .pdf files, entire websites and images. It is possible to back up your Zotero library by copying the Zotero data directory to a storage disk. If you ever lose the contents of your hard drive and need to restore your Zotero library files, you are able to do so in the Preferences menu.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Zotero backup files
  • Zotero software application

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  1. 1

    Reinstall the Zotero software on your computer if it is not currently installed. Visit the Zotero website (see Resources) to download the software. Click the "Download" button on the left side of the website and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure you are using the Firefox browser.

  2. 2

    Restart your Firefox browser if you were not prompted to by the installer.

  3. 3

    Launch the Zotero extension and click on the "Advanced" section of Zotero preferences.

  4. 4

    Click "Show data directory" to show a folder containing the "zotero.sqlite" file and possibly a "storage" folder.

  5. 5

    Close Firefox and move the "zotero.sqlite" and "storage" files to a temporary location. Copy the "zotero.sqlite" and "storage" files from your backup folder to the data directory folder. Delete the old files and reopen Firefox. Confirm that your Zotero library has been restored.

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