Syncing standalone to online version

I have used the standalone version on a computer that I no longer use. It appears to have synced with the online version. However, I got a new computer and have added a lot to the standalone version (items with PDFs and PDFs alone). Since using the new computer, none of the items are on the online version.

If I click the sync button on the standalone, will everything be backed up to the online version? (I don't use firefox.) Will the standalone stay the same, or will it remove all the files to look the same as the online version?

  • Sync merges what you have online and what you have locally. It doesn't delete anything you haven't explicitly deleted yourself, so go ahead.
  • File locations in folders have changed on my standalone version, in comparison to the online version. Will the syncing change the folder structure or anything else in the standalone?

    After syncing, will only the online version change? Or both standalone and online versions?
  • Both Standalone and online version change, that's what I mean by merge.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "File locations in folders" -- you mean the collections you have in Zotero? The merged library will have both the ones you have online and the ones you have locally.
  • Yes, the files in the collections and subcollections have changed. I would like to keep the collections in the standalone exactly as they are. I would also like for the online version collections to look the same as the standalone (so that the online version in a backup of the standalone). Is that possible?
  • If that's not possible, what's the best way to backup the standalone version of collections?
  • So there's nothing in the online version that's not in Standalone and that you want to keep?
  • No, there isn't. Thanks so much for your quick responses!
  • Then use, from the Zotero preferences,
    Sync --> Reset --> Restore to Server
    (make sure you use the right one).

    You only have to do this once. After that, regular sync is all you need.
  • So I will click on "Restore to Zotero Server: Erase all server data and overwrite with local Zotero data".

    Will there be any changes at all to standalone settings, etc?

    Will there be any other unforeseen implications that I should be aware of, for either the standalone or online version?

  • Hi all. I am working with Standalone. I have been putting a lot in. And I would like to sync it to my online account. The online account has a *lot, but I do not want any of it. I hope to sync *to the server. But when I open Sync in the Standalone, and click on Reset, I do not see a choice to Restore *to the Zotero Sever. I see choices for merging. One is Reset Data Sync history, and one is Reset File Sync history. I would like to *not have the references etc in the online account merged with the content that I have on/in the Standalone. I would like the Standalone content to *overwrite the sever content that I have. I am probably missing something. My apologies in advance....
  • Yeah, that option is gone from the last iteration of Standalone -- some version of it will come back, I believe, but I honestly don't know right now what the best solution for your case is right now. Dan or bwiernik may have better advice.
  • edited September 24, 2017
    @PGFehrmann: How did you create this local database? Just by deleting the other items, or from scratch? Because if you just deleted the items that exist online and then added new items, this just works — those deletions will sync up to along with your new items.

    If you created this as a new database without syncing anything first, and you want to replace what you currently have in this account, this should work:

    1) Temporarily turn off auto-sync and file syncing in the Zotero Sync preferences and close Zotero.

    2) Open your Zotero data directory and move zotero.sqlite out of the way to a safe location.

    3) Start Zotero, which should create a new empty database.

    4) Sync to pull down all the items from your online library, delete them all, and then sync again to upload those deletions. You should then have an empty online library.

    5) Close Zotero and move your good zotero.sqlite file back into place in the data directory.

    When you start Zotero and sync, the deletions from your online library will be synced down, but that shouldn't have any effect, since this is a new database, and the new items you've added should sync back up. You can then re-enable auto-sync and file syncing.
  • I would like to know if my following plan is flawed:
    (1) Synchronize standalone and online DB.
    (2) Uninstall standalone.
    (3) Clean install of standalone.
    (4) Synchronize standalone and online DB.
  • Depends on what you are trying to do. You won't lose your DB, but I also don't see what good this would achieve
  • Thanks for your reply.

    I didn't want to bore readers with the reason, but since you ask: I mistakenly installed the beta version of Zotero. Now I can't run the current version. I want to uninstall both and then do a clean reinstall of the current version.

    All of this began because I was trying to install the Zotero Connector for Safari 15 in OSX Monterey.
  • edited 10 days ago
    Is there a reason you don't want to run the beta version? The beta version will soon become Zotero 6, so if there's a problem with it, you should report it instead. If you're already running the beta, I would recommend just switching back when Zotero 6 is released, which won't require any special steps.
  • Thanks, again.

    Based on your advice I am now using the beta version. Bonus: the Zotero Connector for Safari is now working!
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