Making sure I'm doing this right - syncing to another laptop

Hi, apologies because this is probably already answered somewhere, but I'm having trouble finding it. I just want to make sure I don't accidentally delete my data! I need to work on two laptops temporarily. I paid for the storage upgrade so that all of my files would be synced, then I force synced on my original laptop. Then I downloaded Zotero on the loaner (new) laptop and set it up to sync - I checked everything available in the "Preferences>Sync" menu. But now what? How to I "import" the data from my old laptop (or rather, I suppose, Zotero Sync cloud storage) to the new laptop? It isn't showing any of my files yet in the application on the new laptop. And I'm afraid to hit the force sync button (green circle arrow on the right) in the application on the new laptop without getting your confirmation first because I don't want it to overwrite my library with the empty library on the new computer. Could you please just confirm this and/or tell me how else I should import/trigger the download of the data?

Also, I need to work on my Word document on the new computer as well. If I just download the file from Google Drive onto the new computer, then, as long as I have the Word plugin installed on the new laptop, my in-text citations will still be linked on the new laptop, right? (At least once I get the library imported?) Apologies in advance - these feel like super basic questions, but I'm just not easily finding the answers that would make me comfortable with completing this process. Thanks.
  • edited May 26, 2022
    There's no "force sync" button. It's just the sync button. You can just click it. Or you can make any change locally, such as adding an item, and auto-sync will start. Either way, it will pull down your data from the online library. (Zotero only deletes items via sync that have been explicitly deleted elsewhere. We wouldn't design it so that setting up syncing on a new computer would wipe out your online library.)
    If I just download the file from Google Drive onto the new computer, then, as long as I have the Word plugin installed on the new laptop, my in-text citations will still be linked on the new laptop, right?
  • Okay thanks! I figured as much but just wanted to be certain, given how dire the consequences would be if I did it incorrectly.
  • Sorry, I do have one more follow-up question that I can't find an answer to in the forums or documentation. I'm seeing a huge difference between the size of the "storage" folder on my original laptop (1.2 GB) and the storage size currently being used by Zotero file sync (463 MB). I do have the settings on my main computer set to download files "as needed" (although I'm not sure why any of them wouldn't already have local files downloaded, given that it's my original laptop. It seems like this setting would only be relevant for the second computer I'm borrowing and trying to download my existing library onto.) But I'm wondering if this setting is the cause for the discrepancy in size. If so, then I'm nervous about checking the "download on sync" option on my main laptop because I'm paying for 2 GB storage, and if the files ARE actually 1.2 GB total and then get duplicated on the second computer when I sync it, then it will presumably take up 2.4 GB (i.e., max out my quota). So I guess my questions are:

    1) Per the last scenario, does syncing to a second computer actually double the storage space taken up by file syncing, even though they should theoretically be identical libraries once synced?
    2) Do you know why there is such a big difference between the storage size I'm seeing taken up locally and what Zotero is showing for my storage quota? Does this mean my library is still not fully synced, and, if so, how do I fix it?

    Thanks in advance for the continued help!
  • 1) No. You only pay for a file once -- the copy on the server; it doesn't matter to how many computers you sync those, so 1.2 GB is the upper limit of what you need because:
    2) Files, especially webpage snapshots, are compressed on the server and can take up significantly less space there than on your local disk.
  • Perfect. Thank you for clarifying!
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