Managing attachment storage

We have a large database so the attachments are stored on a local server. As I copy entries to a group library a new folder is created for the attachments on the server and the attachment copied into it. But I am having a lot of trouble with copying the entries to the group library so I often have to delete entries from the group library and try again. But each time an entry or attachment is deleted, the attachment itself and its folder remain in the storage folder.

Is there any way to get Zotero to check the storage folder and purge any folders and files that are no longer needed?
  • That simply shouldn't happen. I'm worried there's a problem with your database related to where it's stored, so I'd suggest checking on that, first.

    You are emptying the group trash after deleting items?
  • Yes, after reading in another thread that items remaining in the trash can cause problems I empty the trash each time I delete. This prevents a problem with the linked attachments not working but does not seem to speed up the process.

    The database is on a network drive. You say I should check relating to the storage location, but what am I to check? Using the database directly from the network drive it works fine, the problem seems to only be with moving items to the group library (another thread) and the persistence of the folders containing the attachments.

    The complications of our network configuration and security coupled with my ignorance of how Zotero works is making this whole process very difficult. For other open source programs (for example we use R) we have found consultants who, for a fee, will come to help us. Are then any consultants who could help me with Zotero and if so how do I find them?

  • I'm not quite sure what your question is in this thread at this point.

    Did you solve the problem of 'storage' folders not disappearing by emptying the trash? (Because that's expected. 'storage' folders are deleted when the item is permanently removed from the trash.)
  • The question was about finding someone to help with our set-up.

    Regarding storage folders, I don't know. There are so many folders (currently 44 000) I cannot work out if there are any redundant ones still. When I first reported this I did not realise they they only went when the trash was emptied, so now I have emptied the trash they may be all gone. Is there any quick way for me to check?
  • I guess the question is what parts of your set up. I could certainly consult for you on Zotero, troubleshooting, and best practices, but e.g. if you're just hitting issues with managing very large libraries, there's not much I could do.
  • I have finally made good progress with your help but I have one remaining problem that I would like to ask for your assistance once again.

    We have a "master" account (IPCL) to administer the Zotero database. The database is located on a network drive that we call X:\ with the standard Zotero folder structure (X:\Zotero). Using this account I have set up a private group library (any member can read, only admin can edit) and given my own Zotero account "member" status. For my account I have set up Zotero on my C:\ drive with standard file structure but in the non-standard location C:\Zotero. From my account I can see the group library with all the collections but the links to the attachments (stored copies of files) do not work.

    I thought that in Edit>Preferences>Advanced>Files and Folders I should set the Linked Attachment Base Directory to X:\Zotero so that Zotero could find the stored copies, but this does not work. But if I copy all the folders from X:\Zotero\storage to C:\Zotero\storage, Zotero finds the stored attachments, regardless of the Linked Attachment Base Directory setting (X:\Zotero, C:\Zotero or default absolute path).

    I presume I have the setting wrong somewhere but I cannot work out the correct ones. Can you please assist?

    Thank you!
  • None of the link settings apply to groups. You can't use links in groups. Stored copy of file is attachments, so those should sync via the Zotero server. See for troubleshooting that.
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