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Backing up your EndNote library

  • ​Backing up your EndNote library is very important - we recommend keeping several copies in different places (eg. at least one in a different location to where your library is on your hard drive, and one on an external hard drive).
  • Using the Compressed Library option in EndNote is recommended for creating backups. Mac users: do not use "save as a packet".
  • Note: EndNote libraries larger than 4 gigabytes or 65,535 files cannot be compressed with EndNote’s Compressed Library command.
Dropbox and EndNote (in)Compatibility
  • Dropbox (and other cloud drives like OneDrive, SharePoint, Google Drive and iCloud) are cloud based file sharing services. EndNote was not designed for compatibility with cloud based storage. While you can use these services to keep a backup copy or share a compressed copy of your database file(s), we do not recommend opening and/or using the database from that location.
  • If you have your EndNote files or working Word Documents saved to Dropbox or any cloud storage, you must copy/move the files to another location on your hard drive or remote drive before you open them.
  • You may consider using EndNote Sync, EndNote's library functionality instead. See Sync & access from multiple machines.

Compressed Library

You can save an EndNote library, including the .enl file, the associated .DATA folder, and all of its contents, to a single compressed file. The compressed file may also be included as an attachment if you wish to send to a copy to someone. 

  1. Open the library in EndNote.
  2. From the File menu, select Compressed Library (.enlx) to display a Compressed Library dialog.
  3. Use the radio buttons to determine options
  4. Click Next to display a file dialog. Save to an EndNote Compressed Library (filename.enlx). Select a location that is different to where your library is stored. This compressed file contains both the library and the data folder. 

To restore a compressed library file, firstly ensure the compressed file is downloaded to the computer. For example, if the compressed file is attached to an email or located in OneDrive or Google Drive, download the file to a location where you would like the restored library to be saved. In EndNote, go to File > Open Library to open the filename.enlx file, which will extract the .ENL file and the .DATA folder to the same folder where the. enlx file is located.

Compressing, Saving, & Restoring Libraries

Review best practices for backing up

EndNote (Clarivate): Moving, backing up, or transferring libraries to another computer

Top Tips when backing up an EndNote library

  • Make regular backup copies of your Library (and documents). Use the File | Compressed Library command, or File | Save a copy command. We recommend giving the backup a different name so it is obvious and you don't accidentally think it is your primary Library, e.g. Endnote.Backup.ddmmyy.
  • Ensure that the Endnote Library .ENL file & associated .DATA folder always stay together – never ‘move’ them separately. Don’t move or modify files inside the DATA folder – EndNote looks after it.
  • We recommend deleting previous backups stored in the same spot once you have made a new backup.

Moving, backing up, or transferring libraries to another computer

You can use the Sync feature to move your library to another computer with EndNote installed. Follow the instructions in the Clarivate knowledge article.