If I delete the articles on my computer, will zotero still work ?

edited November 15, 2021
If I delete the articles that take up too much space on my computer, will zotero still work with those articles?

Almost all of the articles on his computer are in zotero. Articles or books that are not in Zotero stand separately. If I delete the articles (about 12 GB) that I have uploaded to Zotero, can I work with my articles in Zotero? So if I click on the pdf file via zotero will the pdf file open?
  • It's important that you only delete those files from outside of Zotero, not inside Zotero.

    To get this setup going, do the following:
    1. In Zotero preferences, on the Sync pane, set the settings to download files "As Needed".
    2. Make sure that all of your items are fully in-sync, so that all files are uploaded to Zotero servers
    3. Go to the 'storage' folder in your Zotero data directory (https://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data).
    4. Search inside that folder for *.pdf to find all of the PDF files.
    5. Select and delete them. Remember, only do this from your computer folder system, not from inside Zotero.

    This will remove the files from your local computer, but keep them on Zotero's servers. If you try to open on of the files from within Zotero, Zotero will re-download the file as needed.

    A future version of Zotero will contain settings to automatically limit the local storage space used.
  • Thank you, but I think you misunderstood my question. Let the pdfs in the Zotero storage remain on the computer, but can I delete the pdfs in the downloads section?

    But if I transfer my pdfs to a field like google then I will do what you say.
    Again, thank you very much for your quick reply.
  • In your OS's downloads folder? If that's what you mean, that wasn't at all clear from your question.

    If you download a file to disk and then add it to Zotero as a stored file, Zotero will make a copy of it in the 'storage' folder, and you can delete the original elsewhere on your disk.

    (Note that adding files manually from disk isn't the standard or recommended way of adding things to Zotero, except where you get a PDF via an email or something like that.)
  • Thank you, got it. I did this "just in case something happens". I trust zotero now. I also have spares, of course.
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