Note suddenly emptied

edited March 31, 2022
I opened a note written a few months ago (with Zotero 5.x), and while opening it I could briefly see the preview text. Once I opened, however, the note was suddenly emptied and no Ctrl+Z could restore it. Is there a way to recover it?

(I am sure there were no images in it, I read elsewhere that it may sometime be a problem).
  • First, immediately go into your Zotero data directory and make a backup of all .sqlite and .bak files. You'll be able to restore the note from that if necessary.

    Then, assuming you're using syncing, go to the note on the web library. Is it empty there as well? What's the URL in the address bar while viewing it?
  • That note is empty, but it also hasn't changed online since September of last year, so whatever happened happened back then.

    Unless you hadn't synced this computer since then, it shouldn't really be possible for you to have seen any other text when clicking on the note, but you can check by temporarily disabling auto-sync from the Sync pane of the preferences, closing Zotero, moving zotero.sqlite from your data directory to a safe location, and copying in one of the backup copies you made as zotero.sqlite, using the file timestamp to find a backup from before you encountered this. If the text appears, copy it somewhere (e.g., Word).

    Then close Zotero and switch back to your original zotero.sqlite and re-enable auto-sync from the preferences.

    But unless you haven't been syncing — which it looks like you have been — I suspect you'll find that the note is empty in all the backup files as well.
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