Removing an incorrect/failing saved search (aka smart folder)?


I managed to create a saved search that results in the main windows showing "Error loading items list". (I'm building it based on other saved searches and may have selected the wrong one, creating a "recursive" definition that obv won't work...)

However, this error also disables the possibility to interact with the saved search, i.e., I can no longer edit or remove it... (I can still click on & edit other smart lists)

Is there some javascript/other magic that can be used to delete the erroneous list?

(Zotero 6.04 on macos)


  • Looking at the error console, I think the problem may actually be in the repeated use of smart folders to build other smart folders... I see a huge SQL query that ends with parser stack overflow... I'll work around this using tags for the intermediate results...

    Sidenote: the "copy" feature of the error console does not seem to copy anything on a mac.

  • Could you provide a Zotero Report ID for trying to delete the saved search? Does a context menu show when you right-click on it in the collections list?

    We'll fix the Copy issue - thanks.
  • And to remove the offending saved search, select it in the collections list, open Tools -> Developer -> Run JavaScript, and run:

    if (ZoteroPane.getCollectionTreeRow().isSearch()) {
    await ZoteroPane.collectionsView.deleteSelection();

    Please get a Report ID first, though.
  • Sorry, I did not make an error report at the time (wasn't aware, should have checked better). The problem was indeed that a context menu would not show when I right-clicked on the offending saved search.

    I have worked around the issue using tags to capture the results of the nested searches (i.e., instead of checking if something is or isn't in a collection created by an earlier search, I'll manually tag all results of that search and check for the tag in my new search).

    I'll try to replicate the earlier search and make a report/post here if I succeed. Is there a way to make a complete copy of a shared group library with all saved searches etc? I'd rather not disturb my co-authors with those experiments. (We use Zotero storage if that helps.)
  • edited April 16, 2022
    I've replicated the bug: report 58294082

    Observable behavior: main window shows "Error loading items list" and no context menu appears when right-clicking on the saved search.
  • Report ID: 1034197558

    When I use multiple Saved Searches, a second Saved Search named "Untitled" has no context menu shows when I right-click on it and the center pane shows "Error loading items list".

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