Online storage [urgent]

Dear community:

I have an urgent question about my online storage.

My subscription ends on May 31st but I don´t need the online storage anymore. How can I unlink the syncing between my computer storage and my online storage to avoid deleting my files?

Please, I need a quick reply. I´m very worried about that and Zotero´s managers don´t reply to my emails.

Many thanks!

  • Zotero doesn't delete files on your computer when your subscription ends. They're just getting removed on the servers, so there's nothing you need to do. (And this is where support happens; Zotero doesn't provide email support)
  • Dear Adam:

    Thanks for your quick reply! I´m not sure if the ending of my subscription means not removing the files from my computer. Here is the email that I received yesterday:


    Hello, Storage for Zotero Subscriber!

    Your Collaborative Storage for Zotero subscription will expire in 5 days. To renew your subscription, please visit your Zotero storage settings page (

    If your storage usage currently exceeds the free limit of 300 MB, and you do not renew your subscription within the next 5 days, your account will become locked. A locked account will not allow any syncing of new files. If you fail to renew within the first thirty days after locking, stored files in excess of the free limit will be deleted, in accordance with our terms of service (

    To avoid any interruption of service, please renew today!

    Best regards,
    Corporation for Digital Scholarship


    So, following that email, I understand that if I don´t renew every file above the 300MB in the web library will be removed. But the point is that my web library is linked and synced with my Zotero´s computer library. If I delete a file from the web library that is also deleted from my computer's library.

    So, what can I do? The end of my subscriptions means that the link between the web library and the computer library disappears and my files will be "saved"?

    Many thanks :)

  • I really am sure about this. Zotero will never delete local files unless you explicitly tell it to (which includes deleting the files online yourself). The deletion of the files when you run out of storage removes the copy of the _file_ from the server. It doesn't delete the attachment item, and thus doesn't touch your local data (if you search the forums you can find dozens of posts, including by several Zotero developers, confirming this).
  • Ok, Adam. Now everything is clear. I feel safe with my files.

    Thank you for your comments.


  • edited May 29, 2024
    Is that really the email Zotero sends? adamsmith is correct, of course, but the email may easily be interpreted as if Zotero deletes your files. And the linked terms of service is a dead link. Also, an account without a storage payment is still functional (except for cloud storage of attachment files), so "locked" does not sound like the right term. I would be confused just as much if I received that email.
  • I don't know if this is the standard email (what's with the 'collaborative storage'?) but I agree this isn't a good text and the broken link makes it worse.
  • Yesterday I received the reply from Zotero team ( and they said this:



    Yes, you can discontinue your storage subscription and your account will revert to the free level. We will never delete local files from your computer because of insufficient cloud storage. You may want to disable file syncing in the sync preferences to prevent constant sync errors.



    So, reading this I understand that Zotero doesn´t delete local files. But it´s not clear what happens if online and computer libraries are synced, as is my case. Now if I delete one file from my online library that same file is also deleted from my computer and vice-versa.

    For avoid that I have followed his advice and I have disabled the sync preferences. Now there is no syncing anymore so I understand there is no danger for loosing my files.
  • edited May 29, 2024
    Nothing will be deleted locally. You've now been told this many times — please believe us and stop asking about this.

    There is no reason to turn off data syncing if you find syncing valuable. You'd want to turn off file syncing just to avoid repeated quota errors, as Faolan said, but that has nothing to do with anything being deleted.
    Now if I delete one file from my online library that same file is also deleted from my computer and vice-versa.
    No, that happens if you delete attachment items. That's not the same as attachment files potentially being removed in the online library to get you under your online storage quota.

    In any case, we'll improve the text in the email and fix the link. Sorry for the confusion there.
  • Hi dstillman, and thank you for your comment.

    Sorry for the confusion, I was always referring to the attachment files, that is, the PDF, .doc documents, etc, that are attached to some items (to a book or to a paper, for example). When I delete an attachment file in the web library that file is also deleted from my computer. That was the reason for my worry, because a potential limitation of my online library, deleting a huge number of attachment files, would delete automatically my attachment files in my computer. That is why I turned off the data syncing.

    But with your comment, I understand that it can´t happen, and also I can restart the data syncing.
  • edited May 30, 2024
    No, that's still a misunderstanding. We know you're talking about PDFs and other files — please trust that we understand what you're saying. The point is that, when you talk about deleting things manually in the online library and those deletions being synced to your computer, what you're actually deleting are attachment items (with titles like "Full Text PDF"), not the associated files. What we're talking about here is the associated files being deleted — the actual files that are stored on our servers. This has nothing to do with changes you can make in your own online library.

    The whole concept here is no different from being at your storage quota already and adding an attachment locally. The attachment items still sync and appear in the online library — when you click on an item, you can see in the right-hand pane that there's an attachment — but since there's no space for the associated file, it's not uploaded and you therefore can't view it. This is entirely equivalent to that.
  • Hi again:

    Ok, I now understand the point. I was confusing attachment items and associated files. Probably it was a misunderstanding caused by my English.

    So that's it. I think that my doubt was solved.

    Thanks for your support! :)

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