Sync error between computers and zotero online


I have attached PDFs for several papers on my PC but I cannot open them on my laptop. My laptop has empty circles and recognises there should be PDFs there but says it cannot locate the files.

I have reset file sync history and re-synced several times on both machines and it hasn't fixed the issue.

There are also some PDFs on my laptop that again are empty circles on my PC.

When viewing from zotero online all the PC PDFs are there with attachments but the laptop PDFs are associated but without files and cannot be viewed.
In addition my zotero online is showing some citations in collections that are empty on both my PC and laptop.

I would really appreciate it if someone could shed some light on this.

My debug ID is:


Many thanks in advance,

  • You likely just haven’t finished downloading the items on your laptop. In the sync preferences, change Download Files to “As Needed”. That should immediately download the file you are trying to open.
  • Thanks for the advice though that didn't work and zotero had finished syncing and had said it had gone over all files.

    I've just realised that on my laptop I'm syncing via WebDav with but on my PC I am syncing via zotero.

    Is this part of the reason there's a conflict? I had heard it is wise to create a backup using webdav via something like - is this not right?
  • You do need to set up file syncing to use WebDAV on both computers if you are going to use WebDAV. That would be the issue.
  • Oh ok. Is using a WebDAV an advisable method to have a backup? I don't want to complicate things or cause future conflicts.

  • Zotero’s WebDAV functionality for file syncing (don’t think of this as a “backup”, but rather as a tool for syncing files across computers) works fine. It’s only limitations are (1) you can’t access your files on the web library, (2) you can’t use WebDAV with Zotero Group libraries, and (3) it depends on your WebDAV provider’s server being up and functional.

    I use a lot of Zotero groups, so for me paying for Zotero file storage is necessary, and I like being able to access the PDFs through the web library if necessary. If those aren’t huge concerns for you, WebDAV file syncing will work fine.
  • Thanks so much for the advice!
Sign In or Register to comment.