Impossible to locate attached and stored files

(Report ID: 83552514)

Since more or less a month I am experiencing troubles with both attached and stored files that cannot be located. At first I thought it was because my storage was full, so today I changed my plan to have more GB. Then I syncronised my library, but nothing has changed yet.

Steps to reproduce:
1. open Zotero;
2. sync with;
3. attempt to open file;
4. report error: "File not found. The attached file could not be found at the following path (name of the path). It may have been moved or deleted outside of Zotero, or, if the file was added on another computer, it may not yet have been synced to"

I am sure the files have not been removed or added on other computers, and I have also checked that the directory is correct (it should be).
  • @a.perego: But to be clear, if you were hitting your quota, you would actually have to sync the computer where the files exist. Syncing a computer where the file doesn't exist doesn't help if the file wasn't previously uploaded due to the quota. The linked page explains the basics here — the point is you need to check the online library to know where the problem is.
  • Thanks for the very quick answer.

    I have just checked my online library and the files are not there either... But they are on my computer, which is the one that I have synced. Shouldn't it be possible to upload the files now that the quota has changed?
  • But they are on my computer, which is the one that I have synced.
    Not sure what you mean here. Isn't the point of this thread that the file doesn't exist on this computer?
  • The thread says that the file doesn't exist on the computer, but it's actually not true... All the files (both the attached and the stored ones) are on my computer, I haven't deleted nor moved anything (and I have also made sure that the directory is correct).
  • That's extremely unlikely, unless you're running some security software that's blocking Zotero from accessing its own files.

    Can you provide a Debug ID for trying to open the file?
  • Sure.

    This is the Debug ID for trying to open a stored file: D778636966

    And this is the Debug ID for trying to open an attached file: D1168218235
  • (It's stored vs. "linked", not "attached".)
    Attachment file 'C:\Users\[…]\Zotero\storage\L4QJDEEV\[…].pdf' not found
    Can you take a screenshot of this folder, showing the full filename, and email it to with a link to this thread?

  • Yes, I will.

  • No, we need to see a screenshot of the actual folder where you're saying the file exists. You just sent a screenshot of the error message.
  • Ok, sorry. Sending it along.
  • edited 13 days ago
    None of the screenshots you sent show files located at the paths shown in the error messages.
  • Ok, so what I am supposed to do now? Shall I relocate all of the files, or just linked them again every time I do not find a file? Or shall I chande the directory?

    Do you maybe have an idea of how I ended up in this situation if until a month ago everything was working properly and I did not move anything? (I am asking this in order to avoid future mistakes -- I have been using Zotero for years now and nothing like this has ever happened before).
  • Just to be clear, this wasn't anything that Zotero did. There is literally no code in Zotero that will delete or move a file outside of Zotero without your deleting the item in Zotero.

    For stored files — within your data directory — the problem is almost certainly that you added the file on another computer that hasn't yet synced since you increased your storage. The only other possibility would be that you moved a file out of the data directory yourself, outside of Zotero.

    For linked files, you either added them on a different computer where the files are at a different path or you moved them outside of Zotero on this computer.

    For stored files, if you didn't move files out of the data directory manually, you would just need to sync all your computers now that you've increased your quota. You can also relocate, which will just copy the file into the correct folder in the data directory, but that's not really the proper fix.

    For linked files, you just don't have Zotero pointing at the current locations. One of the paths you showed just has another folder in the middle of the path. Another screenshot shows a folder in an exported library from Zotero, with numbered folders under 'files', which is definitely not somewhere that you would want to be using as a permanent location for files.

    But this is all just stuff you did on your computer, so it's really just something you're going to have to clean up.

    The best way to avoid this in the future is just to always use stored files, which are managed by Zotero. As long as you have enough storage space and you're syncing, you'll have the same files on all computers and will never accidentally unlink them by moving them around your filesystem as you did here.
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