Delete a large number of dead links to .pdf files in Zotero parent items

Hi, I recently lost my laptop and have had to setup my work on a new one.

Fortunately, my library is synched with Zotero - at least the parent items. However, only a small subsets have .pdfs files accompanying them due to space constraints. These files with valid, synched .pdfs work fine, and show a full-color .pdf icon in the attachments column (little paper clip).

Unfortunately, most parent items don't have synched .pdfs with them. They show somewhat transparent .pdf icons in the attachments column, and trying to access them tells me "The attached file could not be found at the following path", etc.

I would like to delete all these dead links, and use Zotero's "Find Available PDF" feature to recover the pdfs from online databases. This works manually, but only for one at a time.

How can I do this in a few steps for thousands of files?

Thanks for any help and please point me to other Discussions if I've missed them.
  • Click the Attachments column to sort by it, wait for it to update the file state, select all items with a grayed-out PDF attachment, right-click → Add to Collection → "New Collection…". Switch to that collection and enter "PDF" into the search bar in All Fields & Tags mode. Then do a Select All (Ctrl/Cmd-A) to select just the search matches. You might need to fine-tune the selection a bit by deselecting a few items. You can then delete all the selected items at once.

    (It's also possible to chain a couple saved searches with more specific search conditions, but because these are child items in a collection that's a little more complicated given the say advanced search currently works.)
  • This was perfect. Thank you, you are a rockstar!

    Note: using the delete key didn't work, but right clicking and choosing "Move Item to Trash" was fine.
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