How to move Zotero attachments split over two computers to a third computer?

I'm getting a new computer and am now wondering about the best way to transfer my Zotero files. I'm currently syncing my Zotero library between a two macs, but many attached files are available only on one of the computers (since I've hit the 300 MB storage limit). In the future, I will only use Zotero on the new computer.

What's the best way to get all my attached files from the two old computers to the new one? The information I could find in the forums did not pertain to this situation. All three computers are Macs, if that's relevant.
  • I am new, so I may not be right, but in your advanced options of sync, there should be TWO different "attachment" sharing options, one dealing with the storage online and the first one between two or more instances of Zotero.
    As long as all computers are up and connected, if you only check the "zotero" option you should be able to move them all. At least, this is what I did yesterday!
  • @liladude: File syncing isn't relevant here, since @jksch is at the online storage limit.

    @jksch, here's what you can do:

    1) Make a backup of your entire Zotero data directory on the target computer.

    2) Transfer the entire 'storage' folder within your Zotero data directory from the two computers to the target one (e.g., on an external hard drive), putting them in a temporary location (e.g., on your desktop).

    3) Follow the 'ditto' steps on here to merge the folder contents, with 'destinationfolder' being the target 'storage' directory within your Zotero data directory.

    (As far as I can tell the Merge option described further up the page no longer works in Catalina, despite still being documented on Apple's site.)

    The reason you can't just drag subfolders from the source 'storage' directories to the 'target' one, by the way, is that Zotero can create folders in some cases for various purposes (e.g., full-text content syncing) even when the attachment file itself doesn't exist on that computer, so a default drag would just offer to overwrite or skip the conflicting directories. The 'ditto' command will merge them.
  • @dstillman thank you for the clarification. I was under the impression that if I asked for Sync with only the Zotero option this would not upload the attachments to the online storage, but I checked and this is not the case, so I will need to be careful (I have lot of ancient scanned books and I wanted to have them in Zotero, but this is too much if shared)!
  • The Sync dialog has options for 1) data syncing and 2) file syncing, with the later giving options for 3) My Library file syncing and 4) group file syncing, with My Library file syncing offering a choice between 5) Zotero storage and 6) WebDAV storage.
  • @dstillman I had totally overlooked the "group" info!
  • @dstillman Many thanks! This worked like a charm.
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