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Zotero at Temple

Setting up Zotero

Below are five installation and set-up steps to get started.  If you have problems, get more information at Zotero Documentation or Ask a Librarian.

You can also view videos listed below.

Step 1. Download and install Zotero and browser connectors

Zotero can also be downloaded as an iOS app for iPhone and iPad.

The Zotero Connector is a browser extension that works with Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Safari to import content from the Web.

  • Make sure Microsoft Word is closed.
  • Install Zotero to your computer.  This will create your local Zotero library.
  • Install Zotero Connector to all browsers that you use. Important: Use the browser to download the connector for that browser.
    • For Safari, even though it is automatically installed with the program, you need to activate the extension in Safari.
    • The Zotero connector works best with Chrome, Firefox or Edge.
  • Check your installation.  You should see the Zotero icon (a red Z) on your computer and a Zotero icon in the browser toolbar. 
    • The browser icon may look like a page, newspaper, or folder depending on the webpage you are on.

zotero connector in chrome

Zotero connector in Firefox browser

Step 2. Create a Zotero account

Register for a free online account
Registration allows you to:

  • Create an online web library
  • Sync your Zotero library on your local device to the Zotero cloud server (website) and sync citations across multiple computers.
  • Create and share group libraries and join groups

You can use any email and password.  You can also add a backup email.

Step 3. Set up word processor plugin and preferences

Zotero works with Google Docs, Microsoft Word (Word) and LibreOffice to insert in-text citations and create bibliographies. The plugin should install with the Zotero software and browser extension.  To check this and set preferences, open Zotero on your computer and follow these steps:

  1. Open Preferences
  • For Windows, Preferences is the last item under the Edit tab.

Windows Preferences selected

  • For MacOS, Preferences or Settings is under the Zotero tab.

MAC zotero with Preferenes selected

  1. Go to the Cite tab.  Select the World Processors tab.  Select Resinstall Microsoft Word Add-in to make sure it was reinstalled. 

Zotero Preferences ribbon with General, Sync, Search, Export, Cite and Advanced tabs.

  1. Check Use Classic Add Citation Dialog. (this opens the full view rather than a quick view).
  2. Click OK.
  3. Select the Styles tab.
  • Select American Psychological Association 7th edition (or any other) as your default style. This can be changed later.
  • Check the box "Include URLs of paper articles in references".
  1. Click OK.

 More information on Word Processor Plugins.

Step 4.  Sync your library online and across devices (optional)

About Syncing

By default, Zotero stores all data locally on your computer, so storage is unlimited or up to your device capacity. 

Setting up Zotero syncing allows you to store what is on your device to cloud storage. This allows you to access the same content among all your devices, share your Zotero files in group libraries, and access files from your online library on

Zotero syncing has two parts: Data syncing and file syncing. 

  1. Data syncing stores bibliographic data about the source, such as title, author, year.  Cloud storage for this metadata is free and unlimited.
  2. File syncing stores everything else, including PDF, notes, and web snap shots. Files cloud storage with Zotero is free up to 300 MB.  If you need more cloud storage, you can:
  • set not to download PDF
  • pay for more space.
  • store the files with another cloud service, such as OneDrive and Google Drive.

Steps for syncing

  1. Open Preferences
  • For Windows, Preferences is the last item under the Edit tab.
  • For MacOS, Preferences is under the Zotero tab. Depending on your MacOS, you might have "Settings".
  1. Go to Sync tab. (It is next to the General tab)
  2. Under the heading Data Syncing there are two boxes  enter the username and password that you used to create the Zotero account
  • Enter your username in the first box
  • Enter your password in the second box
  1. Click Set up Syncing.  The Settings tab will appear with your user name shown under Data Syncing.
  2. If you are starting out, we recommend you leave the default settings with all boxes checked.  These can be changed later.
  • Under Data Syncing: Sync automatically and Sync full-text content are checked.
  • Under File Syncing:
    • Sync attachment files in group libraries with Zotero storage selected is checked.
    • Download files is set to at sync time
    • Sync attachment files in group libraries with Zotero storage selected is checked.
    • Download files is set to at sync time

Settings tab configured

  • Option: If you have limited hard drive or cloud storage, you could set the two dropdowns under File Syncing to "download files as needed."

More information on Sync your Zotero Account.

Step 5:  Link Zotero to Temple Libraries (recommended)

Set Up OpenURL for Linking

You can select the Temple University OpenURL or another library that you have access to. This allows you to access and download available full-text.

Additional Plugins and Styles

Find More Zotero Plugins
Browse a long list of third party plugins. We recommend these two popular plugins:

  • Zotfile to automatically rename, move, and attach PDFs (or other files) to Zotero items.
  • Zutilo to manage tags and add more editing functions and keyboard shortcuts

Install Additional Styles
Zotero comes with several popular citation styles. You can install over 8,100 additional styles from the Zotero Style Repository.

Get help

Access and set your Zotero Connector preferences

  • Firefox: Right-click on the Zotero save button (or icon, that when you hover over it, it will show "Save to Zotero") and choose Preferences
  • Chrome: Right-click on the Zotero save button and choose Options
  • Safari: Right-click on the page background and choose “Zotero Preferences”
  • Edge: Right-click on the Zotero save button and choose "Extension Options"

More information on Zotero Connector preferences

Step-by-Step Zotero Installation Video

Troubleshooting for Chrome

If you can't see the Zotero icon in Chrome, do this:

  1. Click on the jigsaw puzzle piece icon  in your Chrome toolbar. 
  2. Click on the pushpin icon next to "Zotero Connector" to pin the Zotero icon to the toolbar.

chrome zotero connector

When you do not see or have the Zotero Connector extension

If you don't see the Zotero Connector extension listed when clicking on the jigsaw icon,  check if you have installed the Zotero Connector

  1. Click on the jigsaw icon again, select "Manage Extensions."
  2. Look for the Zotero Connector or use search to find it.
    • Toggle the extension slider to the on position; it should turn blue. You may now have to repeat the steps with the jigsaw icon listed above. 
    • If you frequently use incognito mode in Chrome, also click on the "Details" for the extension and toggle "Allow in Incognito" to on on the next screen. 

If you don't see the Zotero Connector in your list of extensions at all, you will need to reinstall it: 

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Install Chrome Connector" on the right. This will direct you to the Zotero Connector page on the Chrome Web Store. 
  3. Click "Add to Chrome." 
  4. Confirm any popups. 
  5. Follow the instructions for pinning the Zotero icon to the Chrome toolbar above. 

If none of this works, Ask a Librarian for troubleshooting assistance. 

Activate Extension in Safari

The Zotero Connector for Safari is bundled with the Zotero application, so you do not need to install the Zotero Connector extension separately. 

It is NOT automatically activated in Safari. Activate with these steps: 

  1. Open Safari. 
  2. From the Safari menu, go to Preferences. 
  3. Select the Extensions tab. 
  4. In the list on the left, check the checkbox next to the Zotero Connector. 
  5. The Zotero icon should now display next to the URL box (usually to the left of it). 

File handling and automatic PDF download settings

Under General settings, file handling by default is set to automatically download PDF and other files. You can uncheck this and other settings.


Zotero general settings window

Copying quick and one-time citations