I was hoping to quickly clear out my could Zotero and sync from my desktop after I cleaned up some files, etc. I deleted all my entries in my Zotero cloud account, then opened by Zotero desktop and selected Sync. Everything disappeared--any way I can get it back?

Which way is sync prioritized? Cloud to Desktop or Desktop to Cloud?
  • I was able to recover a backup copy to Zotero desktop, but now the linking to some of the PDFs and screenshots are missing. I can live with it, but is there a way I can get rid of the PDF icons all at once (the PDFs that no longer exist in the storage location)? Or is there something else I can do? this is the message

    The attached file could not be found at the following path:

    C:\xxxx\xxxx\Zotero\storage\U2U5PPDB\Chou et al. - 2015 - Exploring the determinants of knowledge adoption i.pdf

    It may have been moved or deleted outside of Zotero, or, if the file was added on another computer, it may not yet have been synced to
  • edited February 6, 2023
    Which way is sync prioritized? Cloud to Desktop or Desktop to Cloud?
    Neither. The whole point of syncing is that it syncs changes in all directions, so changes you make anywhere show up everywhere else. If you delete items in one location, those deletions are going to propagate to all your other devices.

    To delete multiple items at once, you can do a search that matches them — e.g., [Attachment File Type] [is] [PDF] in Advanced Search, click an item and press Ctrl/Cmd-A to select all items, and then press Enter/Return to select those items in the main window — and then delete them all together.

    Obviously if you have a backup of your entire Zotero data directory, you could also restore from that.

    Either way, if you sync again those items would be deleted again, so assuming you want to keep them you would want to use Replace Online Library in the Sync → Reset pane of the Zotero preferences.
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