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Zotero User's Guide: Back up Your Library

Why Back Up?

Backing up your library requires that you create an account with Zotero.  Accounts are stored and managed at George Mason University (more info).  Signing up is easy and allows you to keep a cloud version of your library that you can view at, add to from multiple computers, or use to restore your computer-based library if something goes wrong.

Instructions for Backing Up


  • To begin, go to and click on "Register."
  • Create a username and password.


  • Open your Zotero Library and click on "Preferences" (preferences may be under the "Zotero," "File," or "Edit" tabs depending on your version).
  • Under "Preferences," click on the "Sync" tab.
  • Enter the username and password you created.
  • Select "Sync Automatically" and "Sync Full Text Content"
  • Close "Preferences."


  • Click on the green circle-arrow icon at the top right of your library.  The arrow should spin without generating an error message.
  • Double check the back-up by going to to view the cloud-based version of your library.
  • Your library should now back up automatically every few minutes.

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