Getting started

Download Zotero

To download and install Zotero, visit

  1. The standalone Zotero program (includes the word processor plug in). Zotero is available for Windows, Linux or macOS
  2. The Zotero connector on your browser for webscraping. Supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari which Zotero will detect.

For help installing Zotero after download, see the Zotero installation page.

Installing the Zotero Connector  for Chrome

If you are using a personal computer, you should be able to instantly download and install the Zotero connector.

If you are a student, using Chrome and logged into your Unimelb account,  you may get the following message:

"We are sorry, but you do not have access to Chrome Web Store. Please contact your Organization Administrator for access."

To download the Zotero connector, you will need to go through the following steps:

  • Log out of your student account
  • Download the connector

When the connector is downloaded, you should see an icon in your toolbar

zotero connector icon or  zotero website connector icon

If you can't see  it, first check  to make sure it has been successfully downloaded

  • Click on the three dots at the end of the Chrome toolbar  three dots in Chrome
  • Select More tools > Extensions

chrome more tools menu

  • Check to see if Zotero appears on the Extensions page

Zotero extension

  • If Zotero is there, go to the puzzle piece icon in the Chrome toolbar to open the Extensions overflow menu (if Zotero is not there, go back to the Zotero download page and download it again)

puzzle piece icon in Chrome

  • Click on the pin icon to 'pin' Zotero to your toolbar

pin extensions menu

You should now have the connector icon in your Chrome toolbar

  • Open Zotero and begin adding records.

Zotero Online

Register for an online account at

Register for Zotero

Online accounts are free. You don't need an account to use Zotero software, but it allows you to join groups and sync your library across multiple devices.

To link Zotero software to Zotero online and sync your data, open your Zotero Preferences > Sync > Settings. Then sign in with your account details.

Customise your display

Once installed, display options can be changed in the middle panel.

  • Right click on one of the headings (eg Title) in the middle panel
  • Select from the list of options

Click on title to get list of options

  • If the field  you need isn't in the list,  click on More Columns, and select from the list

click for more options

  • Reorder columns by dragging them. Click on the  column heading and hold while dragging it.
  • Columns can be resized by hovering over the border of the columns until the cursor changes to Column width icon, then clicking and dragging.

Backing up

Remember to regularly back up your Zotero library. Don't rely on online syncing. Save a back up file to a USB or external storage device. Do not save your back up to cloud storage.

To make a back up of your Zotero library, make a copy of your Zotero data directory.

This is located in Zotero Preferences > Advanced > Files and Folders > Show Data Directory.

To create a back up, close Zotero* and copy everything in this folder location. Then save to a storage device. Your PDFs (if you have any saved to your Zotero library) will be in the data directory in a folder labeled "Storage".

Zotero preferences

* Warning: Before you copy, delete, or move any of these files, be sure that Zotero is closed. Failure to do so before moving these files can damage your data.