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EndNote: Creating and Backing Up Libraries

All your EndNote questions answered

Creating a Library


To create a new library, choose File>New.

Create new library

Generally you will only need one EndNote Library, as it can hold a vast amount of references (999,999). You can then divide up your references for various tasks, or for various threads of your research, using Groups and Group Sets (see Using Groups for more information).

If you do want to have more than one EndNote Library we recommend that you not use more than one library with the same Word document, as this can become confusing and cause errors.

Backing Up Your Library


There are three main ways of backing up your EndNote library. Which method you decide to use depends on how you want to work with EndNote.

  • Create a Compressed Library (.enlx) as your backup, and store it on a different drive from your main EndNote library. You could:

    • Store the compressed library on a detachable drive such as a USB, and continue to use the original EndNote library (together with its .Data folder) on your computer.

    • Store the compressed library on your computer, and keep the original EndNote library (with its .Data folder) on a detachable drive. This would be a good system if you needed to be able to open your EndNote library on several different computers.

    • Compressed libraries can be created in EndNote using File > Compressed Library. A compressed library contains both the EndNote library (.enl) file and its .Data folder in the one file.

  • Set up a free EndNote Online account (see EndNote Online and Sharing Libraries for more information) to sync your EndNote library to an online backup version. You can then access your EndNote library on different computers or on EndNote's iPad app (the app is free) by syncing with EndNote online. This method has the advantage that you can sync as often as you like so the backup is always (almost) up to date; but has the disadvantage that you need to be connected to the internet to use it, and syncing can sometimes take a while.

  • Store your library (and its .Data folder) in OneDrive, DropBox or some other cloud storage facility. This is generally the least attractive option, because opening the stored library from these facilities can occasionally cause EndNote to crash.

Do with your EndNote library whatever you do with your other documents and files. How do you access the documents that you are working on between computers? Do the same with your EndNote library.