Why is Zotero continually using CPU and talking with remote IP address?

Hi all.

I am debating a switch from Mendeley to Zotero, now that Mendeley has discontinued their Desktop software. I have a question. I have downloaded, installed, and setup Zotero; I also imported my library from Mendeley. All went well.

However, I noticed some seemingly odd behavior by Zotero and wanted to see what is going on. I have noticed that, when I have Zotero running but it is sitting idle (I am not doing anything in Zotero, it is just running), Zotero regularly uses (a minor amount of) CPU and maintains and uses network connections (to an IP address that appears to be AWS). This makes me wonder what is going on. Anyone have any ideas? I have sync disabled, so there is zero reason for Zotero to be continually talking with AWS. The CPU use is also somewhat baffling, since Zotero is idle.

  • There's a persistent connection to allow for 1) push-based syncing and 2) immediate site-compatibility updates if a site changes. Explained in the privacy policy:
    If automatic syncing or automatic translator/style updates are enabled, Zotero will maintain a persistent connection to Zotero servers when it is open in order to provide immediate updates. You can disable this connection by disabling both of those options or by setting extensions.zotero.streaming.enabled to false in the Config Editor.
    The alternative would be frequent polling, which would result in more load for the client and server.

    This connection shouldn't result in any load, so it's unlikely this is related to what you're seeing.

    What kind of load are you seeing, and what OS/hardware is this? Zotero should use approximately 0% CPU when idle. (The one exception is on Apple Silicon Macs, where Zotero currently uses slightly more at idle due to Rosetta. We're currently working on a major update that will run natively on Apple Silicon.)
  • Thank you, this is helpful. I will give this a shot.

    Re cpu usage: the load is not bad at all (< 1% occasional CPU usage, 10th gen i7 on Windows). It was just odd, I would not have expected any CPU usage when Zotero is idle.
  • I will give this a shot.
    Not sure what you mean by this, but to be clear, we don't recommend disabling the streaming connection. If you're absolutely sure you're never going to use syncing and really don't care about immediate translator updates, you could turn it off, but it doesn't cause load, and if you do set up syncing later you would really want the push-based updates.
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