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Firstly... - don’t worry!
You can think of your library as a Word document. Your document lives a parallel life to the Office program. You can install or uninstall Office, and nothing will happen with your documents. Basically, the same applies to your EndNote library. You can uninstall, install or upgrade EndNote and nothing happens to your library.
The EndNote library
Your EndNote library is a database that consists of two parts:
- A file (file extension "libraryname".enl)
- and a folder (named “libraryname”.DATA)
If you do not remove, or split up, the above parts, you are fine.
And remember that the library is saved where you once told EndNote to save it (EndNote always ask you where to save the library when you first create the library). If you don’t know where the library is saved, you can open the library in EndNote and go to Library>Library summary... (in versions below EndNote 20: Tools>Library summary…). At the top, you will see the location of the library.
Make a backup first
We recommend doing a backup, also regularly. You can learn how to do a backup in this article: Make a backup of your library.
Moving your library
If you need to transfer your libraries from one computer to another, you have basically two choices. But before you start, please make a backup: Make a backup of your library
- Sync the library via your EndNoteOnline account
- Copy the library between computers
1. Sync the library via your EndNoteOnline account
With your EndNote license comes the right to create an EndNoteOnline premium account. This account, in turn, makes it possible to sync your library between your computers (including any attachments). One benefit with syncing your library between computer is that the syncing process normally takes care of any Endnote version compatibility. The process also makes sure you transfer the whole library.
- If you synced your library before an upgrade all you have to do is open the library afterwards and sync it. Everything should work as normal.
- If you synced your library and want to move it to a new computer. On the new computer create a new empty library, with the name you want and in the location you want, and then sync the new empty library. This will download all references from your online account.
- If you synced your library and want to change the local storage location (or the name), the recommendation is to create a new empty library, with the name you want and in the location you want, and then sync the new empty library. This will download all references from your online account.
Below are some useful articles:
2. Copy the library between the computers
You can easily copy your library from one computer to another. We recommend doing a compressed file of your library and move this file to the new location. There are, however, some things to notice:
- Make sure you copy both parts of the library, the *.enl file and the *.DATA folder. See this article for details and how to make a compressed library: Make a backup of your library
- Only copy a non-active library: make sure EndNote is closed.
- Place your library in a safe place on the new computer, not synced by anything else. See this article for details: Storage location for Endnote libraries
- Important! Do not use iCloud, DropBox, OneDrive, SuiteSync, GoogleDrive, Box, etc.
Associating your documents with a specific library
You should only do this if you have formatted documents. When the library is synced to the new computer, the contents of the library will be the same, but the record numbers (internal ID numbers) will be different. All you have to do is open each of your documents and run the "Update Citations and Bibliography" command in Word. EndNote will update the document to associate the references with records in the library.
If you are using a word processor that does not support Cite While You Write and/or your documents only contain temporary citations, you should follow the steps described below to transfer your library.
Mac users specifically
If you have a Mac, it is important to control what Apple has decided to sync for you (iCloud). See this article for information on safe locations for your library and special things to think about for Mac users EndNote, iCloud, Sync and storage location.