privacy - how to make files local machine only, no Zotero-cloud, but still use browser connection?

probably lighting myself on fire posting this... but how can I make my settings such that my Zotero datbase will [only] locally store my uploaded and selected files, and not store them to the Zotero cloud? In my instance, my "local" files would then sync in my own personal/work cloud between computers... but I don't need the Zotero cloud/login to do that. This said, I like the browser connection [Zotero Connector] to still work. Advice please.

note: I did re-map(?) the preferences->Advanced->Data Directory Location->Custom to my Documents (personal cloud) folder to syncing across machines; So I guess maybe I need to understand how to keep these filies from storing onto Zotero's cloud, yet keeping the system working?
  • Zotero doesn't sync unless you set up syncing, and the Zotero Connector will only save to the local Zotero program unless you try to save with Zotero closed and allow it to save directly to your online library when it asks. So those don't have anything to do with one another.

    But if you want to use Zotero on multiple machines, you need to either use Zotero syncing or transfer your data directory via an external drive (or some manual network-based equivalent). If you put it in an automatic cloud folder, you'll corrupt your database. You should move your data directory out of there immediately and check your database integrity from the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences. If it's not corrupted yet, it absolutely would be at some point. Don't do it.
  • > If it's not corrupted yet, it absolutely would be at some point. Don't do it.

    Why? (If I'm the only one who is working with it.)
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