Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Zotero: Going Portable

Zotero is a free bibliographic manager that can help you organize your research as well as cite it.

Multiple Computers and Zotero

If you find yourself using multiple computers for research, it can be hard to use Zotero effectively.  The Zotero browser plug-ins prefer to work with the desktop version but can be set up to use the web site instead.  But for students this means:

  1. Installing the connector on every computer you use;
  2. Attaching it to your account on; and
  3. Remembering to disconnect it from your account when you are done using that computer.

Saving to the Portable Version

To save citations to the portable version:

  1. Make sure the Zotero connector is installed
  2. Open the portable apps platform
  3. Open Zotero

If the connector is installed, it will automatically recognize that Zotero is running without having to be configured.

Going Portable

Going portable allows you to take the "desktop" version of Zotero with you everywhere you go.  Here's how:

  1. Purchase a flash drive;
  2. Install the Portable apps platform on it from
  3. Get the Zotero Portable exe file from
    1. Place this file on the flash drive
    2. Run the .exe file and it will install into the Portable Apps Platform
  4. Run Portable Apps by clicking the Portable Apps Start Button
  5. Select Zotero from the menu

Zotero on Portable Apps Menu

  1. Now, follow the instructions for setting up the desktop version to connect to your online account.