Why is Zotero library separate from main folder?

I just did a fresh re-install of Win10 x64. I have copied (back up) my the entire previous Zotero folder.

Re-installed Zotero and put it into my D: drive (HDD) as I do not want to database on my SSD. The program installed on D:\ZOTERO. Yet the libraries are in C:\User\Zotero for some bizarre reason o:O. It didn't even notified me where to place the library. And if for some strange reason they MUST BE separate (which weren't on my previous, also 5 version), then at least I'd like to have the program on C and database on D. Of course, preferably in one folder.


  • You're misremembering this (or had things dangerously misconfigured before). Program files and data files are totally different and have never been combined in Zotero, and they're not combined in any program on any OS.

    You should install Zotero with all the rest of your program files, almost always in the default location (C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero). You can change the data directory as you see fit from the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences and then move the directory there. It defaults to the root of your home folder (C:\Users\:username:\Zotero).
  • Aha, okay. Thank you, will mend it tomorrow and report back.
  • Worked! My library is back. However, my addons like Zutilo, Zotfile, and customisations are gone.
  • Can Zotero backup plugins?
  • Could you say more about what you're after? I don't understand -- what sort of plugins? Back-up for what?
  • Like Zotfile, Zutillo etc. I reinstalled Windows thus Zotero as well. I important libraries no problem. Can I import the plugins I had with their settings?
  • You can obviously re-install the various add-ons (assuming they are compatible with Zotero 5 -- but Zotfile, Zutilo, and most other popular add-ons are) but no, I'm afraid there's no (reasonably easy) way to import their settings, sorry.
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