Unable to synchronize Zotero

This discussion was created from comments split from: Can't open my library.
  • Unable to synchronize Zotero in my MacAir (Catalina). It suggests me to move my storage to a different directory, which I have done n several occasion. However, nothing happens. I'm terrified about losing my data.
  • Please start new threads for new issues — the thread you posted this to isn't related (nor was the 8-year-old thread you posted additional comments to). I've moved this to a new thread.

    What's the exact problem that you're experiencing, and what exactly are you doing?

    Note that, starting in 5.0.86, which came out today, Zotero will warn you if you have the Zotero data directory in Google Drive or OneDrive, but that has nothing to do with Zotero syncing.
  • Upon downloading Zotero instead of opening, a message is shown:
    The Zotero database cannot be opened.

    Make sure you have read and write permissions for all files in the Zotero data directory and that Zotero is not prevented by security software from accessing that directory.

    You can fix this problem by moving the data directory to a new default location in your home directory. Zotero will automatically detect the new location.

    (What I did unsuccessfully)
  • The message means what it says — Zotero can't read or write to the Zotero database in the Zotero data directory.
  • Great, but, as you can imagine, if Zotero refuses to open, I'm completely unable to access the preference window.
  • You don't need the preferences window to fix this. This is a problem in your filesystem, not in Zotero.
  • I'll try.... Tomorrow I'll let you know. Thanks by now.
  • Stuck!
    I've placed the application Zotero.app in the the folder: /Users//Zotero, as suggested in https://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data#where_did_my_items_go.
    Likewise, I moved the folder Data Directory Contents [Zotero (including zotero.sqlite.bak)] to the same location.
    (The link that invite me to check if Zotero is looking in the right place is not working: Zotero is looking in the right place for your data).
    It would be so much easy for me to uninstall Zotero and sync on line with my library, but as you said: "Zotero can't read or write to the Zotero database in the Zotero data directory."
    I need your help!

  • I've placed the application Zotero.app in the the folder: /Users/<username>/Zotero, as suggested in https://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data#where_did_my_items_go.
    No — that's absolutely incorrect, and in no way does it say to do that. (What made you think you were supposed to do that?) Move Zotero.app back to your Applications folder.

    I don't know what you're doing here, but start by telling us where your Zotero data is currently, and what files you see.
  • edited 21 days ago
    I hace no idea what I'm doing here... The only thing I want is my Zotero Library back in my computer. Yo send me to the link Support where it cleary says: "macOS
    /Users/<username>/Zotero".

    Right now my Zotero.app is in .../applications/utilities.

    Inside my Zotero folder I see:
    locate
    pdfinfo-MacIntel
    pdfinfo-MacIntel.version
    pdfinfo.sh
    pdftotext-MacIntel
    pdftotext-MacIntel.version
    pipes
    storage
    styles
    translators
    zotero.sqlite.bak
  • edited 21 days ago
    Yo send me to the link Support where it cleary says: "macOS
    /Users/<username>/Zotero".

    Right now my Zotero.app is in .../applications/utilities.
    Right, /Users/:username:/Zotero is the default data directory, but that's totally separate from Zotero.app in Applications. The instructions don't say anything about touching the Zotero application.

    And Zotero.app should be in /Applications, with all other third-party programs you've installed, not in /Applications/Utilities, which is for bundled Apple utilities. Move Zotero.app back to /Applications.
    Inside my Zotero folder I see
    Which Zotero folder, exactly? /Users/:username:/Zotero?

    Are you saying there's no zotero.sqlite file in there? Are there subfolders in 'storage' corresponding with your previous usage of Zotero? What's the size and date of the zotero.sqlite.bak file?

    Were you previously using a custom data directory? Did you transfer the data directory from another computer? Another macOS account? An external drive?

    Just to be clear, this isn't a problem in Zotero. This is due to something you did on your system outside of Zotero that caused Zotero to no longer be able to read or write its own files. That can only happen outside of Zotero. We'll try to help you with it, but we don't know what you've done on your own system, so you'll need to be a bit patient.
  • More than myself, you need to be very patient with me!!!

    Finally I was able to return the Zotero.app and the Zotero folder to UTILITIES (from Applications). However, the problem remains as describe. I guess that the problem was dut to one of those programs that allow to increase your space in your computer.

    Here I go with my answers to your questions:
    Which Zotero folder, exactly? /Users/:username:/Zotero?
    Right now, there is no file or folder named Zotero in /Users/:username:/

    Are you saying there's no zotero.sqlite file in there? ç
    The zotero.sqlite file (42.1 MB) is inside the Zotero Folder in APPLICATIONS.

    Are there subfolders in 'storage' corresponding with your previous usage of Zotero?
    YES. They are inside the Zotero Folder in APPLICATIONS.

    What's the size and date of the zotero.sqlite.bak file?
    42.1 MB, May 1, 2020

    Were you previously using a custom data directory? Did you transfer the data directory from another computer? Another macOS account? An external drive?
    NO to all of these questions.

    What I do have in the Applications folder is:
    Zotero.app 128,6 MB
    Folder Zotero includes:
    - Folder Locate
    file pdinfo-MacIntel 1,6 MB
    file pdinfo-M...tel.version 4 bytes
    file pdfinfo.sh 135 bytes
    file pdftotext-MacIntel 1,7 MB
    file pdftotext-...tel.version 4 bytes
    Folder pipes
    Folder storage (includes a large number of folders (my references) AND a zotero.sqlite 967 KB
    Folder styles
    Folder translators
    file zotero.sqlite.bak 42,1 MB

    There is also a Zotero folder in Library/Application Support/Zotero HERE it shows:
    Folder Profiles
    profile.ini
    Zotero Alias
    Folder zotero-go---ntegration

    Hopefully, this information would allow you to help me (with all your patience)
  • edited 20 days ago
    Finally I was able to return the Zotero.app and the Zotero folder to UTILITIES (from Applications).
    No. Again, the Zotero application and the Zotero folder have nothing to do with one another, and I don't know where you got the idea that they're related or that this has anything to do with Zotero.app.

    The Zotero application belongs in /Applications with all your other programs (not /Applications/Utilities — I said to move it out of there and into /Applications, though maybe you did that and just wrote the opposite of what you meant).

    The Zotero folder belongs in your home directory: /Users/:username:/Zotero. Zotero will look for its database at /Users/:username:/Zotero/zotero.sqlite, and it will look for attached files within subfolders of /Users/:username:/Zotero/storage. That's all.

    But the zotero.sqlite file you have in your Zotero folder is an empty database (967 KB). Delete that, make a copy of the 42 MB zotero.sqlite.bak, and rename the copy zotero.sqlite within that directory, so that it exists at /Users/:username:/Zotero/zotero.sqlite. (Also copy that 42 MB file to your desktop so you have a backup while you're working on this.)

    Then start Zotero and let me know what happens.
    There is also a Zotero folder in Library/Application Support/Zotero
    Ignore that. (That's your Zotero profile directory.)
  • It didn´t work.
    I have nothing in /Applications/Utilities

    This is what I have now:
    /Applications/Zotero.app 138,6 MB

    In /Users/jskewes/Zotero
    In /Users/jskewes/Zotero/zotero.sqlite.bak (42.1 MB)
    In /Users/jskewes/Zotero/storage/zotero.sqlite (42.1 MB)
  • Let me add that when I open Zotero it says:
    Ubicación actual: /Applications/Utilities
    Ubicación recomendada: /Users/jskewes/Zotero
    But as I said, I have nothing in /Applications/Utilities
  • edited 20 days ago
    In /Users/:username:/Zotero/storage/zotero.sqlite (42.1 MB)
    No, that's wrong. As I said, it goes in /Users/:username:/Zotero, in place of the 967 KB file that was there before.
    Let me add that when I open Zotero it says:
    Ubicación actual: /Applications/Utilities
    So that means you previously told Zotero to use /Applications/Utilities for its data directory for some reason. That's completely wrong. You want to use the default location, /Users/:username:/Zotero.
  • Now I have:

    In /Users/jskewes/Zotero/zotero.sqlite (42.1 MB)

    I have no zotero.sqlite in /Users/jskewes/Zotero/storage

    However, there is no way in which I could tell Zotero to go to a given ubication. The application gives me no alternative for editing. Thus, I cannot instruct it to use the default location. This is not an option in my Zotero version. (So I have no idea about how could I made that change)
  • edited 20 days ago
    You put your Zotero installation into a very strange state by previously setting the data directory to /Applications/Utilities, which is a system directory that requires administrative privileges to modify. I'm not actually even totally sure what you did here — it's possible you changed the data directory setting in the old Zotero for Firefox previously and Zotero 5 is trying to migrate the data directory to the current default location. (Did you just recently install Zotero 5?)

    The easiest thing to do is just to close Zotero, open your Zotero profile directory, and delete prefs.js. That should clear the old data directory setting and cause it to use the data directory in the default location.
  • Great. I deleted prefs.js. and it worked. Wonderful. The only thing that I'm missing now is the ZOTERO TOOLBAR in my Microsoft Word.
  • Great... Everything is OK now. I appreciate your patience.
Sign In or Register to comment.