NEWBIE - Using Zotero on Multiple Machines - Asynchronously

Hi Folks - I have Zotero setup on 3 different machines. All the instance look at the SAME datafile in a onedrive cloud - and all 3 loads are exactly the same load of zotero with the exact same preference settings (achieved by copying the first setup program files to the other 2 machines.
My question is this: CAN I leave Zotero opened on all machines - whilst working on 1 - or MUST I close zotero before opening on another machine?
I have set up synching with an account etc.

Thanks for your guidance!
  • Don't put your Zotero data folder into OneDrive or any other sync tool. You'll corrupt your database. Having the computers on will ensure database corruption happens faster and more reliably ...
  • So adam - that's a bit distressing. How then do I work on my Zotero database from multiple machines?
  • Just to be clear - my Zotero program file is on the C drive of each machine - I am using Zotfile to store my pdf attachments on one drive.
  • Oh, you didn't say that. As long as you're using Zotero sync for the database, it doesn't matter if you have Zotero open or closed on multiple computers. But when you said above that the instances "look at the SAME datafile in a onedrive cloud", what is the "datafile" referring to?
  • OK thank you ...
    I am learning the language - my husband set up zotfile - and my intention in saying 'datafile' was about the pdf attachments - NOT the database of citations stored in zotero - which is being synched. As I said "NEWBIE" getting my head around what is happening - appreciate you answering my question.
    SO just to be clear - it is ok for me to have multiple instances of zotero running on different machines - given that I have set up zotero synch - and they all are logged into my account?
    My pdf attachments are then stored in a ONE DRIVE location that ALL the zotero sessions are pointed towards.

    Thanks for your patience Adam

  • SO just to be clear - it is ok for me to have multiple instances of zotero running on different machines
    Yes, that's the point of syncing.
  • Thanks 'd' - I guess I'm just discovering how the program is intended to be used - and whether I'm likely to run into any issues if I had zotero open on all 3 machines at once...
  • I have also been keeping my Zotero database in OneDrive, but now want to use Zotero sync instead. Do I simply move my folder containing all my PDFs and the Zotero database from OneDrive and put that folder into my C drive and then chose Zotero sync to make it available to my other computers?
  • If I understand correctly and you had the data directory set to a custom location (i.e. in OneDrive) in the Zotero preferences, you'd also need to change that. Note that you should copy the data folder while Zotero is not running.
  • Yes, I had set the data directory to the custom location. Yes, I will change it to the default on my Macbook while it is offline. If everything works, I will turn on WiFi and start the Zotero zync. Next, I will set the data directory to the standard location on my iMac after I create a Zotero folder in my home folder. Will the Zotero sync feature then automatically upload all the files from the Zotero folder on my Macbook?
  • It will automatically sync the item data. It will automatically sync the files provided you have sufficient storage capacity on Zotero file storage (i.e. either have less than 300MB of attachments or pay for one the the file storage tiers).
  • My collection of PDFs is about 1.3 GB. I could buy Zotero storage, but I would like to store them in OneDrive and link to it. Not sure how to do this however.
  • I was able to move the Zotero folder to the recommend location. Zotero is syncing properly between my Macbook and iMac when it comes to me deleting a file. However, I am no longer able to add a reference using Chrome on either computer despite the proper extension being present. This worked fine on both computers before I moved the Zotero folder. Thoughts on how I can fix this?
  • You'd have to say more. What exactly happens (or doesn't) when you try?
  • I select the reference from PubMed, the Zotero extension icon in Chrome flashes and says loading to Zotero, but no new reference gets loaded. Since I sent this email, I tried another recent reference and it worked fine. Maybe there is an issue with this particular reference. I will test it more tomorrow when I receive my weekly PubMed literature search.
  • @jkd: The PubMed metadata service is sometimes unreliable. If you have further trouble saving, start a new thread with the exact URL you're trying.
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