Skip to Main Content
Chat With Us



How to Set Up Cloud Storage

Easy step-by-step Zotero guides from download to format citations for STM students.

Why do I need this OPTIONAL feature?

  • This is the guide for those who want to save PDF files in your cloud storage location.  (We are using Google Drive as the cloud service, but you are free to use others.)
  • This will enable you to access those pdf files from multiple devices (i.e. personal laptop or desktop, mobile devices, or publically used computer).
  • It also helps you to save storage space on your computer.

Download "Google Drive for Desktop"

  1. Download Google Drive for Desktop from on your computer.
  2. Create a new folder on your Google Drive desktop folder, where your PDF files will be stored.
  3. You may name it, like “Zotero_Downloads” or “Zotero_Library” that would be appropriate.

Install "ZotFile" to Zotero Add-Ons

  1. Download ZotFile (.xpi file) from 
  2. Open Zotero Application 
  3. Go to “Tools” 
  4. Click “Add-ons”
  5. Click the gear icon Gear icon.
  6. Click “Install add-on from file.”
  7. Find the downloaded .xpi file for ZotFile and Select it.
  8. Restart Zotero Application.
  9. Then ZotFile should be installed.

Set up the Zotero download cloud folder

  1. Go to “Tools”.
  2. Click “ZotFile Preferences”.
  3. Go to the “General Settings” tab
  4. Set Source Folder for Attaching New Files. For example, "C:\Users\(your user name)\Downloads".
  5. Go to “Location of Files”
  6. Set the Custom Location to your Google Drive for Desktop Zotero folder that you created. For example, "G:\My Drive\Zotero_Downloads".

Tips to save your mark-ups

If you marked up comments or tags or notes on the pdf file from Zotero Application, the pdf file in your Google Drive folder will not be updated automatically. But the mark-ups are preserved when you open the Zotero PDF reader.

To save the mark-ups on your pdf file in the Google Drive folder, you need to take a few extra steps: 

  1. With the Zotero PDF reader open on the marked-up document, go to “File” in the menu of the Zotero application
  2. Click “Save As”
  3. Replace the file in the Google Drive folder.

Then the PDF file in your Google Drive Zotero Downloads folder will be replaced with the one with those comments, tags, and notes.