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EndNote Guide: Backup EndNote

Backup tips

Backups are compressed into an .enlx zipped file, comprised of both .enl files and the users' .data files.

Compressed files are useful for backing up a library, sending it via email, or transferring it between computers (including between Windows PCs and Macs). Although EndNote also provides a Save a copy option, the compressed library option is recommended for backing up your work


Create a compressed library

EndNote includes a feature which allows you to put the library (or selected references) and associated folders into one single file, optionally with file attachments.

  1. Click File ► Compressed Library (.enlx)
  2. Choose if you want to include file attachments (e.g. attached PDFs), and whether you want to compress the entire file or a group of references.
  3. Click Next and choose a location to save. You should add a date to the filename to indicate when the compressed library was created.

In Basic Set-up, you were advised to personalize the default "MyEndNoteLibrary".  Similarly, when making a backup, "MyEndNoteLibrary" is the default folder name.  It is better to Save As a more specific folder name by appending BACKUP and the date to whatever you have named your Library. 

Two Examples of how a user might personalize the name of a Library and its Backup:

Personalized filename:  MyEndNoteLibrary-JSmith                         
Backup folder name:      MyEndNoteLibrary-JSmith-BACKUP-11.28.2018         

Personalized filename: EndNote_MyLibrary_JSmith
Backup folder name: EndNote_MyLibrary_JSmith_BACKUP-11.28.2018

When you open a compressed library (File ► Open), EndNote will automatically extract all the files to recreate the original library structure. 


Store your data safely

EndNote works most reliably if your store all your records in a single primary library. For security and peace of mind, your primary library (and indeed all your data and documents) should be regularly backed up.

Local backup systems can fail, and you can lose all your work. This includes external hard drives, USB sticks, discs, and other purely local methods. 

You should keep your backups on a college network drive, not your computer’s C: drive.


Unzip a compressed library

The zipped file can be stored anywhere; however the zipped file must be unzipped on the local computer to prevent file corruption. 


Synchronizing as backup

Keeping all content synchronized across devices is  quick and easy, but periodically creating a backup stored in more than one place provides extra security.  If synchronizing fails, the stored backup will save the day.