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Use on multiple devices

Sync your EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online libraries to allow access across multiple devices.

Step 1: Back up your EndNote library

  1. Create a folder on your computer to store your backed up files
  2. Save your complete library (.enl and .Data) to a compressed .enlx
  3. Open the library in EndNote
  4. From the File menu, select Compressed Library (.enlx)
  5. Select Create
  6. Save to an EndNote Compressed Library: filename.enlx

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Step 2: Set up your EndNote Online account

If you have an account with Web of Science or InCites (databases) login details will be the same for EndNote as these products are owned by the same company. Register via this link:

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Step 3: Sync EndNote and EndNote Online

On your primary device, in EndNote:  

  1. Go to Edit menu (EndNote menu on macOS)
  2. Select Preferences > Sync Preferences
  3. Click the Enable Sync button to go to EndNote Online Login

Don’t have an EndNote Online account? Click the Sign-Up button to begin the registration and activation process.

Do have an EndNote Online account? Enter your email address and password, then click OK.

NOTE: Initial sync might take some time, depending on amount of references, or amount of PDFs attached to references. After initial sync subsequent syncs will be quicker as they’re saving less information.

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Step 4: Sync on another device

On your secondary device, in EndNote:

1. Create a new EndNote library, File > New (this will be populated with references from your EndNote Online account)

NOTE: If you have an existing EndNote library on another device and you are happy to merge the libraries, simply sync the two without creating a new library.

2. Select Library > Sync  

  • If the pop-up window appears, enter your EndNote account login, your existing EndNote library references will be synced to the secondary computer
  • Although Group Sets don’t appear in the EndNote Online library, they will sync from the EndNote library on your first computer to the second computer

NOTE: Tick the Sync Automatically option, Edit > Preferences > Sync > Sync Automatically, this ensures changes in one library will be reflected in the other.

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Unsync for systematic or scoping reviews

For reporting purposes, in systematic or scoping reviews, you will need to create a new blank EndNote library. You cannot sync that library, as it will merge with all the same libraries under the same email account. Make sure you disable the sync feature before creating a new EndNote library for your reviews. 

  1. In EndNote: Edit > Preferences > Sync
  2. Untick Sync Automatically

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See Screen tab > EndNote page. Access below:

Merge EndNote libraries

Before merging libraries, back up the library into which you are transferring references, then Import one library into another, this allows filtering of duplicates.

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Back up & recover

To prevent missing and corrupt libraries, have your library synced to an EndNote Online account, this will ensure your library is backed up.

Corruption can occur when:

  • your .enl file and your .Data folder are not in the same location
  • your library is saved on a cloud drive

Every EndNote library is made up of an .enl file and an associated .data folder. To back up or move your library you need to keep both of these together.

Back up from EndNote Online

NOTE: This method will only work if you created an EndNote Online account and synced the library prior to the library becoming corrupted

  • If your library is corrupt, you most likely will not see it when you open EndNote, so open EndNote and create a new library File > New
  • Sync your new library with your EndNote Online account by selecting Tools > Sync

Compress library


Use the compressed library feature inside the EndNote program. This will allow you to save a single file under a new name which can be saved on to an external hard drive or cloud drive. The compressed package appears as an .enlx file.

NOTE: It is highly recommended to store compressed library (back up) in a different location than your primary device in case of device failure.  

  • File > Compress Library (.enlx). Save in a location of your choice and that can be in the cloud
  • Do not open your compressed library from the cloud drives. If you do need to retrieve it and open it, drag it to a location not backed up to the cloud, and open it from there
  • You will only need to open a compressed library if your library is corrupt or is unable to be opened


Mac OS allows you to package both the .enl file and .data folder together so that it looks like a single file.

  • Save a copy by selecting the Save as Package option, the compressed package appears as an .enlx file

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Recover EndNote library

  1. Open EndNote library without any libraries open (if required, select File > Close library)
  2. Select Library > Recover library and open the .enl file of your damaged library

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