Setting up Zotero desktop

The Zotero desktop application is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS. You do not need administrator privileges for installation. If administrator username and password are asked for, bypass (cancel) them. It is not necessary to create an user account if you use the application on single computer only. Remember to backup your Zotero database (opens in new tab).

Set up your Zotero desktop application by following the instructions presented below.

Watch the video by Georgia State University Library (1:21):
How to install Zotero (opens in new tab).

If you want to use Zotero on several computers, install the desktop application to all those computers and create your user account. The Zotero databases on individual computers are synchronized via the account. Please do not use a networked drive or a cloud storage space as a substitute for the user account. This may cause problems. There is unlimited storage space for references in the account. You may see the references in your account also by logging in to Zotero website. The account also serves as a backup of your Zotero database. However we recommend also a separate backup to be taken periodically, if at all possible.

Watch the video by Georgia State University Library (3:14):
Setting up your account and synchronizing your library (opens in new tab).

Reference attachments such as publication pdf’s are not synchronized. You may synchronize the attachments via Zotero Storage functionality. It is free until 300 megabytes are used. You may buy additional storage space on the Zotero website.

Attachment file synchronization is enabled by default. It is a good idea to disable it, because free Zotero Storage space is quite small. In that case the files are saved only on one computer. You may also consider not to save any full texts at all. Zotero references can be easily linked to online publications. Please see instructions below.

Basic settings

How to increase font size in the desktop application

  • Click View in the Zotero menu bar and select Font Size.
  • Click Bigger.

How to disable attachment file synchronization

  • Click Edit in the Zotero menu bar and select Preferences.
  • Click Sync in the Zotero Preferences window.
  • Uncheck both items in File Syncing and click OK.

How to disable automatic saving of attachment files

  • Click Edit in the Zotero menu bar and select Preferences.
  • Click General in the Zotero Preferences window.
  • Uncheck Automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items.
  • Click OK.

How to link UEF Primo e-journal articles to your Zotero references

  • Click Edit in the Zotero menu bar and select Preferences.
  • Click Advanced in the Zotero Preferences window.
  • Click General tab.
  • Type to OpenURL Resolver: and click OK.

How to open e-journal articles

  • Click the title of the article you want to open in the Zotero desktop.
  • Click the straight green arrow at the top right corner of the reference list and select Library Lookup.
  • Enter your UEF username and password, if asked for.
  • Article opens in a little while, if e-version is available.

(8/2022 HL)