300MB storage limit

Good afternoon,

I got the following message:
"You have reached your Zotero File Storage quota. Some files were not uploaded. Other Zotero data will continue to sync to the server."

I looked into settings and I have reached the 300MB. Is this limit only happening for the online sync? Is there a way in which I can avoid paying another plan (for more GB or unlimited) and getting more space (e.g. cancelling sync?).

I will be grateful if you can let me know which options I have.

Thank you in advance.
  • You can disable file sync in the sync tab of the Zotero preferences, yes. The message only concerns your ability to sync files with the Zotero server. You can store an unlimited amount of files locally and keep syncing any metadata to the Zotero servers on the free plan.
  • Thank you!

    But, if I disable file sync, how will it affect the sync between my two laptops and with word?

    I don't understand the following: if it affects to sync files with the server, how can I keep syncing metadata to the zotero server?
  • File and metadata are separate things -- the attachments vs. the citation information. You can disable file sync without disabling metadata sync (just by unchecking "Sync attachment Files in My Library..."). That will work for citing in Word from any synced computer.

    But if you want your attached files available on both your laptops, obviously, you do need file sync. There are options to work e.g. with WebDAV to use a different provider that may have a larger free tier, but otherwise you'd have to pay for more file storage place.
  • Thank you very much.

    Therefore, I will only use one laptop. I will disable file sync only.

    I will still be able to add more documents to my library, right?
  • You'll always be able to add more documents, yes. It's really just the ability to sync them to the server (and thus with other computers or groups) that incurs costs.
  • edited September 11, 2023
    Look under Edit\Preferences\Sync\Settings. (Meta) data syncing and (attachment) file syncing are different. The first is always free. The second - file syncing - is subject to your online quota, with only 300mb being free. So you can always sync data across devices for free (which is all you need for citing in Word); but not attachment files totalling > 300 mb. There are other ways to sync files for free, but they are advanced options (and subject to their own limitations).
  • Hi,

    Thank you for both answers.

    I am confused now with the fact that I can "always sync data across devices for free".
    Therefore, even if I disable the file sync, I can still see all the documents and data from the other laptop, or what is the data I will see across devices?
  • You can't see/read/annotate PDFs across devices if you turn off file syncing (and are not using any advanced option). The "Data" that is synced for free when data sync is ON is only what you see for each item in the right pane: title, author, etc etc.
  • Great, thank you very much for your answer!!
  • Good morning,

    I changed the settings in both laptops in the app, but I still get a notification in my zotero app, saying :
    "You have reached your Zotero File Storage quota. Some files were not uploaded. Other Zotero data will continue to sync to the server.
    See your zotero.org account settings for additional storage options."

    If I go to my account settings > storage on the website, it keeps saying I reached my 100% and I can change my plan.

    How can I solve this?

    Thank you again.
  • Firstly, for certainty, which settings did you change ?

    I am not clear why Zotero would still be showing a file sync quota error when you've supposedly turned file syncing OFF.

    But maybe Zotero does continue to show that error regardless ? Because after all you are still at your online file quota - you haven't done anything to reduce the files that you attempted to sync online previously ... that brought you up to that limit.
  • I switched off both of the file syncing part: synch attachment files in My Library using zotero, and sync attachment files in group libraries using zotero storage. is it like this? I left on both for the data syncing.

    On the other hand, I will be always on online file quota, right? therefore, what should I do?
  • edited September 16, 2023
    If you've got PDFs in your Bin, you could first try (right click) emptying it. And then do a file sync again. Also, the figure showing under Current Usage in your storage settings may not respond instantaneously to any changes.

    The devs here can best advise on any idiosyncrasies of operating "around" that 300mb limit, and the best course to remove the file sync limit message if other actions don't get rid of it.

  • Thank you! I believe it worked now!
  • (This would’ve just been from not actually syncing again after changing the settings. There’s no way to get this error with file syncing turned off.)
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