Recommendation to quit Zotero regularly?

This discussion was created from comments split from: Lost all notes on unlinked Zotero program on mac.
  • @dstillman A bit off topic but I don't know where better to post this. I recommend a more prominent statement of the value of quitting Zotero when finished with current work.

    I know that Zotero does an automated backup when a user quits the program. However, I know people who didn't realize this and essentially keep Zotero open until the next time they update the program --an interval of weeks or even months. My friends were grateful when I told them about this, as quitting the program now-and-then will reduce the work lost if they do something unfortunate and suffer a loss of recent records. (Neither I nor they have ever lost any Zotero records--a testament to Zotero's user friendly and protective design.)
  • No, we don't recommend closing Zotero regularly — in fact, we recommend the opposite, since a lot of data is cached at startup so that it's fast later. I'd encourage you to stop telling people to go out of their way to do that.

    Zotero backs up the database automatically when the computer is idle, so quitting isn't necessary. More importantly, the automatic backups are meant to provide last-chance recovery when you don't have a proper backup of your data directory, which you should have regardless, since the automatic backups don’t include attachment files.

    The only proper recommendation here should be to use a backup tool such as Time Machine or a cloud backup that makes regular, automatic backups of all important data.
  • (And while I don’t know what happened in the other thread, the main thing by far that we recommend the automatic backups for is accidental collection deletion, and for that we just need a better solution that doesn’t require a backup.)
  • I apologize. Thank you for correcting my misconception. It was based on this information that was (and still is) in the documentation page about the Zotero directory. I will pass along your information. I (see below) never suggested that a Zotero backup file could substitute for a good system of system-wide automatic backups. Actually, with my computer files I'm a belt and suspenders guy.

    Your 'zotero' directory will likely contain several other files. These can include zotero.sqlite.bak (an automatic backup of zotero.sqlite, which is updated when you quit Zotero and the existing zotero.sqlite.bak file hasn't been updated in the last 12 hours) and zotero.sqlite.[number].bak files (automatic backups of zotero.sqlite that are created during certain Zotero updates).

    I most certainly agree that everyone must use a tool that makes regular automatic backups to (my preference) an external hard drive or to the cloud. These backups have saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

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