Divided data files in Windows after moving data.

Hello, I'm new to Zotero and I've been searching for posts about the Data Directory, but I can't find an answer to my question. Which is:

I've moved the data profile directory for Zotero Standalone 4 to a USB stick, I then expected that I would be able to delete the Zotero folders at [or may be that they would have been moved or even deleted]:

C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Zotero
C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Zotero

and that Zotero would work without these folders. But when I tried deleting the "Local" folder, Zotero then started with a blank new window with none of my library in view.

I want to do this to free up space on the C drive and stop these folders growing and taking up more and more room on the C drive. They've already gone past 120Mb with only about 170 items in the library, and most of these are links to PDFs on other disks.

Thankyou for any help or ideas, my data directory has moved and is working correctly.

Regards, nbrefzot.
  • edited 10 days ago
    If you're using Zotero 5.0, which you should be, your Zotero data directory would be in "Zotero" at the root of the home directory by default.

    Your Zotero profile directory (in Roaming\Zotero) stores settings, including the location of your data directory. You can't delete it (at least without starting Zotero with a flag to point to a different profile and/or data directory), but it uses a fairly small amount of disk space (~25MB).

    Local\Zotero just contains cache data, including files for Zotero updates and cached webpages. The size of that is managed automatically, but deleting it shouldn't have much effect, so I suspect it was actually deleting the directory within Roaming that reset your data directory to the default.

    If you're still using 4.0 or for some reason your data directory wasn't migrated out of the profile directory in Roaming, it could still exist in a 'zotero' directory in your profile directory. In that case, you'd want to upgrade to 5.0 or move that out and change the data directory location in the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences.
  • (There's nothing unique about Zotero here, to be clear. If you delete folders within AppData, it's going to wipe out settings of programs you use. Programs need to know where to look for settings when they start, so unless an alternate path is specified on the command line they're going to look in the standard location, which is in AppData.)
  • Thank you for that, I think I understand what I can move and delete now, I'll back everything up before I start. I'm still using Standalone 4.
    My new data directory, which seems to be working is at F:\Zotero\Profiles\.default, might this location cause any problems in 4 or 5? That's the folder selected in Preferences > Advanced > Files and Folders.
    Am I right in thinking that v5 is completely stand alone?
    Is there a page you could point me to with details of any problems which I should avoid if I decide to upgrade to v5?
    Does v5 work with the bookmark link to download items as well as the connector?
    Thank you for the help.
  • F:\Zotero\Profiles\.default
    Well, but that suggests that you moved files from your profile directory, not your data directory. What's in .default? Does that actually directly contain just the data directory files (zotero.sqlite, 'storage', 'styles', 'translators'), or do you have profile-directory files in there (extensions.sqlite, places.sqlite, xulstore.json, etc.)?

    If you're already using Zotero Standalone, there's not really anything to know before upgrading to Zotero 5.
  • Yes, sorry, I put the wrong location up, it should have been:
    F:\Zotero\Profiles\automatic_name_string.default\zotero
    The zotero on the end of that is the data folder, isn't it? That's got the zotero.sqlite and zotero.sqlite.bak and the folders, storage, styles, etc. in it.
    I'll just make sure I back everything up before I install 5, that seems to be the advice I see most on the discussions, before you make any big changes.
    Thank you for your help.
  • Yes, that 'zotero' is the data directory. But unless you're specifying a profile directory location with a command-line flag when you run Zotero, the rest of the files above that aren't being used, and you should just move the files within 'zotero' (zotero.sqlite, etc.) to F:\Zotero, point Zotero there, and delete the rest of the files (F:\Zotero\Profiles).
  • How do you specify the profile directory with a command-line flag when you run Zotero? I could add that text to the Properties > Shortcut > "Target" field for the shortcut I start Zotero with could I? Thank you.
  • You can pass -profile "profile_path", the same as in Firefox. But that's not really a recommended configuration, and it'd be easy to accidentally launch Zotero without that (e.g., after reinstalling). Again, AppData is the standard location for settings and cache files on your computer. The data directory is separate.
  • That's good, thanks for the explanation, I'll try and upgrade to v5, and see how it goes with that.
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