Upgrading an ancient database, Zotero 2 to 5

Hi team,

Please advise how to best upgrade from Zotero 2 to 5.

Background: In 2009, I used Zotero for a large book project. Looking at the release log, it must have been Zotero 1.5 or slightly later. This was on a Windows install, with a then recent Libreoffice. After that, I kept using Zotero for a year or two, and migrated to Linux. If I'm not mistaken I used Zotero 2.x at some point. I used it both locally and synced. Then, I backed up all my old data and never looked at it again. That book is going to see a second edition and I'm trying to recreate my setup to work in some changes. Could be on Windows or Macos. Libreoffice is version 6 now and seems to open the files from 2009 fine, at first glance. The citations are missing, of course. As far as I know, I have one big folder somewhere with my Zotero user data. It might also be online, but I'm not sure.

What's the best course of action? Install old versions off all software, including Zotero? Upgrade Zotero version by version?

  • Simplest answer might be to check online (you're logged in now to be able to post here on the forum, assuming it's the same account) and see if your library is there. If so, you can do a fresh install of current Zotero and sync that way.

    (I'm not positive that will work, although I would guess it will if you have your library online. Best to wait for someone who can confirm. You're asking the right questions. But for now you can check to see if your library is online at least!)
  • edited October 9, 2019
    Do you have your old backup of your Zotero database? If so, start by trying to open it with Zotero 5 following these instructions

    If that doesn’t work, you should be able to upgrade your database by first going through Zotero 3 and/or 4. I can help walk you through that if needed.
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