Zotero Sync with exceptionally large library

I have been considering options to move my zotero library to cloud storage. After a lot of research, I found that Dropbox was the most popular choice, but I was warned that it might lead to corruption. Therefore, I am now considering Zotero's online storage.

The potential problem is that my library is very large in size (around 80 GBs). Does anyone have experience with operating such large libraries with Zotero Sync? How efficient is it?

Thanks in advance!
  • Are you referring to the size of the zotero.sqlite database or the files in 'storage'? I assume you mean the latter?

    For syncing, the main question is just how many items are in your Zotero library. And the main issue would just be using Zotero with satisfactory performance with a very large library, not syncing it, which happens incrementally. If you can do the former, you can probably do the latter.

    The cumulative size of attached files doesn't really matter, beyond needing a Zotero storage plan.
  • @dstillman Thanks a lot for you response!
    I currently have 30647 items in my library. The size of zotero.sqlite is around 230 MBs and the size of storage folder exceeds 60 GBs. Are you saying the size of the storage folder (which I think contains all the attached files) does not impact the performance of Zotero?

    I am using Zotero on a remote server provided by my company via Citrix, which runs Intel Xeon (two 2.30 GHz processors) and 20 GB RAM. The Zotero application (v5.0.43) is currently taking up around 650 MBs of memory (is this normal?) and it does not run very smoothly: It takes a lot of time to start up and load collections. It also hangs quite often when creating new items or adding tags.

    I am planning to install the latest version (v5.0.67) on my MacbookPro and transfer my library from the remote server to my MacBook via Zotero Sync. Is there anything I should be careful about in the process? Are there any tips or tricks to better the performance of Zotero?

    Thank you very much!
  • edited July 19, 2019
    You'll likely get much better results running this locally, so that's certainly the first thing to try.

    You can do the transfer via Zotero sync, but with a huge data directory like that I'd actually recommend just transferring the Zotero data directory directly, assuming you have file access to the remote server. That's Option A here:

  • (before buying Zotero storage, I'd recommend just trying to work with Zotero locally. I'd expect this to go well, but as dstillman says, if there's going to be a problem, it's going to be Zotero being laggy on your computer. If you're happy with that, you can then add file sync).
  • Thank you all for the responses!

    I am also considering dividing up my library so I do not have to load all the data in one application. Would this be possible?
    I read the multiple profiles option, but would that allow me to sync everything on the same account?
  • No, multiple profiles are for the opposite of that.
  • So is there a way to have my data divided in different data directory locations, but synced with the same account?
Sign In or Register to comment.