Deleting Attachments in online My Library, Keeping Attachments in local My Library & Group Libraries

I initially set up Zotero to not sync file attachments to My Library online (to save space for many records). However, in trying to sync all other information for entries I have recently added locally, I accidentally had the "Sync attachment files in My Library" checked in the preferences section of the local Zotero program. When I manually clicked the sync button in the local Zotero, this resulted in a number of attachments being added to the online version of My Library before I noticed it was taking a while and pressed the "stop" button next to the sync button.

I do not wish to store the article file attachments in My Library Online. I do wish to keep them on my local Zotero where I have plenty of room. So I would like to get rid of only the attached files in the online My Library.

I am also trying to add to and manage a Group Library and I do need to save attachment files to the records in both the local and online versions of these libraries.

Could you please provide guidance on what I can do in order to:
1. Keep the local version of My Library as it is (preserving all of my attachments)
2. Delete the file attachments that were erroneously synced to the the online version of My Library (I would like the online My Library to keep all information other than the file attachments)
3. Maintain the Group Libraries I have both locally and online, complete with all attachments. (I am not sure if using the Purge function from the online storage management will affect these).

Thank you very much for your help

  • Just click "Purge Storage in My Library" from your storage settings. Your groups won't be affected, and nothing will be deleted from your local library.
  • Thank you for clearing that part up.

    Then, to reestablish all information (except the attachment files) in the online My Library what would be the next step(s)?
  • You don’t have to do anything else.
  • And from here on, as I add more sources to my local My Library, to continue adding the new source information (without attachments) to the online My Library should I do the following in preferences on local Zotero?
    -in choose libraries: select/check My Library & Feeds
    -deselect/uncheck the box for "Sync attachment files in My Library using"

    Then, in local Zotero click the sync button?

  • Yes. You can just use Zotero normally with file syncing disabled for My Library. (And you're still syncing attachment items — you're just not syncing attachment files.)
  • Great. Thank you for all of your help! I appreciate it.
  • I will explain this to our group, in hopes we can avoid uploading too many attached files to our shared group library. Just in case, is there a way to purge the storage in group libraries also?

    Thank you
  • edited April 2, 2020
    Only by disabling file editing for the group.
  • I also had this issue, and the explanation took care of it. Thanks.
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