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EndNote: Troubleshooting

All your EndNote questions answered



This page is devoted to answering some of the most frequently asked questions we get about EndNote. If the answer to your question isn't here, try the Clarivate website or ask us a question.

Problems Downloading EndNote and EndNote Styles 


When I try and install EndNote I get asked for a product key

If you're asked for a product key when installing EndNote from the UTS ITD page, you probably haven't unzipped or extracted the EndNote folder that downloaded to your computer. Go back to the location where EndNote downloaded to, right click on the folder and choose Extract (the name of the extraction option may vary but on PCs it is often labelled 'Extract All').

A new unzipped folder with the same name will be created. Open this new unzipped folder and run the EndNote install wizard.

I've downloaded a new reference style but I can't see it in the Style Manager in EndNote

When you download an EndNote referencing style from the internet, it sometimes won't save to the right location. Style files need to live in a folder called EndNote>Styles, which is usually found in your computer's Documents folder.

If you don't see the style that you've saved in this folder, find it (EndNote styles have the suffix .ens so you can search your computer for .ens to find them) and copy the style. Then, find the EndNote folder in Documents, open it and look for a subfolder called Styles. Open the styles folder and paste in the copied style. Finally, return to the Style Manager in EndNote and see if the style is now available.

Problems with EndNote Libraries


My EndNote library is corrupted and won't open

To repair a damaged EndNote 20 library (this text has been taken verbatim from the Clarivate website)

  • With the library closed, in EndNote go to "Library > Recover Library".
  • Click OK to the notice that comes up, then select the library file you would like to recover (you may need to browse to the folder on your computer in which the library is located).
  • After selecting your library, you will be prompted to save the new library that will be created. By default, EndNote will add "-Saved" to the end of the original name. After this, the recovery process will begin.
  • Once completed, EndNote will inform you of the number of references that were recovered into the Saved library. You can now use this Saved version of the library in place of the original, damaged library.

Please note: These instructions refer to Clarivate's preferred method for repairing a damaged EndNote 20 Library. For information on how to repair libraries on older versions of EndNote, and other related help, please consult the Clarivate help page linked below

Problems with Microsoft Word


The makers of EndNote, Clarivate, have a great FAQ page (linked below) with up to date posts on issues with EndNote and Word, so we recommend you look there for help if your problem isn't covered in the answers below.

When I start Word up on my Mac I get an error message saying "Word was unable to load an add-in. Your add-in isn't compatible with this version of Word. Please contact the add-in provider for an update".

If you are getting this message when opening Word, and you have a new or newish Mac, then this problem is likely caused by the new non-Intel chips in your Mac not being able to work with the Write and Cite Add In. There is a workaround for this though, just follow these steps

1. Go to the Finder in your Mac

2. Go to Applications and find Word

3. Right click on the Word icon in your applications folder and choose Get Info

Word>Get Info 

4. Look for an item in the list that says Open Using Rosetta

5. This should fix the problem.


When I insert a citation into Word, things go wrong
The things going wrong might include:
- getting two sets of reference lists
- finding that the in-text citations in your library are moving around, or becoming hard to insert or remove.

These problems are usually caused by stray code becoming trapped in Word, often as a result of text containing EndNote coding being partially deleted or moved. To fix this problem:

  • First, make a backup copy of the Word document that is giving you trouble by saving it under a different name.
  • Then, undo the EndNote formatting on the document by going to the Write and Cite Toolbar in Word and selecting Convert Citations and Bibliography > Convert to Unformatted Citations
    Convert to unformatted citations
  • Select all of the unformatted text with Ctrl-A (Command-A on a Mac)
  • Then, clear any stray field codes by selecting Ctrl+Shift+F9 (Command-6 on a Mac)
  • Now, turn the EndNote formatting on the document on again by going to the Write N Cite Toolbar and selecting Update Citations and Bibliography
    Update Citations and Bibliography
  • Hopefully this will remedy the problem. If not please contact the Library.

When I try to use the EndNote Write and Cite Toolbar for Word I get an error message saying "A com exception has occurred"

This problem is often caused by a toolbar for a different referencing program (such as Mendeley or Zotero) being active on your computer. When this error occurs, you must deactivate the other referencing toolbar before EndNote Write and Cite will work. If you do this, you will not delete the toolbar from the other referencing software from Word, instead you will just turn it off temporarily. If you want to come back and use Zotero or Mendeley later on, you should be able to by turning the toolbar back on again.

To fix this problem, go to File > Options in Word (Tools > Templates and Add-ins on a Mac)


Then Choose Add-ins from the left hand menu (you should be able to skip this step on a Mac)

Add ins

Then choose COM Add-ins from the drop down menu on the right of screen and press Go (you should be able to skip this step on a Mac)

COM Add-ins

Finally, untick any referencing program plugins while leaving EndNote CWYW ticked. Finish by pressing OK.

EndNote CWYW

  • If this doesn't work, go back into the File>Options>Add ins path and then choose Word Add-ins, rather than COM Add-ins. De-select the other software applications you don't need and then press OK.


When I try to insert a reference in Word I get a message saying - "Cite while you write could not connect to the EndNote Server"

This error is usually caused when the Write and Cite Toolbar in Word has been set to EndNote Online. To change this back to EndNote desktop, first go to preferences in the EndNote Toolbar in Word

EndNote > Preferences

Then choose the Application tab and use the Application drop down to select EndNote


My document is filled with strange text like {ADDIN EN.CITE {ADDIN EN.CITE DATA}}

This is caused by the document showing all your EndNote field codes. It can be switched back to normal by using ALT+F9 (Windows) or Option+F9 (Mac) key combination on your keyboard.

If this does not work, you can edit your Word options: Word Options > Advanced, and then in the Show document content section make sure the box labelled Show field codes instead of their values is unticked.


When I try to insert a citation in Word I get an error saying "The requested operation requires elevation"

To solve this problem, you need to run Word as an administrator

  • Close down Word
  • Click start
  • Find Word in your programs list
  • Right click on the Word program icon and choose Run as Administrator
  • Open word
  • If the problem persists, copy the text of the document to a new blank document, save it, close it, then re-open it and try again.