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Zotero Support: Restoring Zotero libraries

Restoring a Zotero library

  1. First open Zotero. In the example below there is an empty Zotero library. To recover the lost data for you Zotero library go to the Zotero data directory by clicking on the actions button (gear icon) in the Zotero toolbar and selecting preferences:
    screenshot of Zotero library with Actions button menu 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 with Advanced tab selected

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

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

  5. In your Zotero data directory copy the storage folder and the zotero.sqlite file:
    screenshot of storage folder and zotero sqlite folder in Zotero Data Directory being copied

  6. Paste the storage folder and the zotero.sqlite file into a temporary folder on your desktop:
    screenshot of storage folder and zotero sqlite folder being pasted into a temporary folder

  7. Now go to your backed up Zotero directory which you have stored somewhere else on your computer or on a remote storage device:
    screenshot of backup copy of data directory elsewhere on a computer

  8. Open your backup Zotero data directory and select the storage folder and the zotero.sqlite file and copy them:
    screenshot of storage folder and zotero sqlite file in backup Zotero directory

  9. Paste the storage folder and zotero_sqlite file that you just copied from your backup data directory into the current Zotero data directory. Click the Yes to all button when asked if you want to replace the current files:
    screenshot of storage folder and zotero_sqlite file being pasted into Zotero library folder; Yes to All in pop-up window is highlighted

  10. Now reopen Firefox and open Zotero. Your Zotero library should be restored to the backed up version:
    screenshot of restored library in Zotero library