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Zotero Support

Backing up Zotero


  1. To back up your Zotero library you will need to locate the Zotero data directory where your Zotero data is stored on your computer. To do this click on the actions button (gear icon) in the Zotero toolbar and select preferences:
    screenshot of Zotero library with Actions button open and Preferences highlighted

  2. Next, after the Zotero preferences window opens, select the Advanced tab in the preferences window:
    screenshot of Zotero preferences window open with Advanced tab highlighted

  3. Now select the button Show Data Directory:
    screenshot of Advanced tab in Zotero preferences window with Show Data Directory highlighted

  4. Your Zotero data directory will now be open:
    screenshot of Zotero data directory open in File Explorer

  5. Reduce, but do not close, the data directory window:
    screenshot of data directory window being reduced/minimized

  6. Now close Zotero and Firefox:
    screenshot of Firefox window with File menu open and Exit highlighted

  7. Go to the Zotero data directory that you reduced in step 5 and move to the next higher level in the file directory:

    screenshot of Zotero data directory window with Up icon highlighted

  8. On the next level of the directory find the folder Zotero_library and copy it:
    screenshot of Zotero_library folder being copied in File Explorer

  9. Now paste the Zotero_library folder to another data location such as a flash drive:
    screenshot of Zotero_library folder being copied to another location

  10. Once the data directory has copied to a new location you will have successfully backed up your Zotero library:
    screenshot of Zotero_library folder in a new location