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Zotero: Install

Learn how to use the reference management software Zotero.

Versions of Zotero

Zotero works for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. 

  • You have two options for downloading Zotero : Zotero for Firefox, or Zotero Standalone. The version of Zotero that you choose will depend largely on the web browser you most frequently use. However, you could download both versions to your computer.
  • Zotero online account: it is also a good idea to register and create an account with Zotero. This allows you to back up your library to Zotero's cloud-based servers.  


Installing Zotero is easy and free. Just visit the Zotero website and select one of the following versions to download it.

Zotero for Firefox

With this version your Zotero library is embedded into your Firefox browser, which allows for easy navigation from the web page you are viewing to your Zotero library. If you always use Firefox as your browser, you might like to choose this option. 

Zotero Standalone

Zotero Standalone, has all of the same functionality of Zotero for Firefox except that with this version you can use with other web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Safari, in addition to Firefox. With the Standalone version your Zotero Library sits on your desktop as a separate application rather than being embedded into your browser. 

Download browser extension for Chrome or Safari

You will also need to download the relevant browser extension for Chrome or Safari, in order to get the full functionality of Zotero Standalone. Open Chrome/Safari, go to the Zotero Download page, in the Zotero Standalone box, click Chrome or Safari, then click Add to Chrome/Safari to complete the extension downloading.

Note: you cannot use the Internet Explorer web browser with Zotero. 

Import settings from Zotero for Firefox

If you have installed Zotero for Firefox and want to install the Standalone version to your computer as well, you will be asked whether you want to import your settings from Zotero for Firefox  to Zotero Standalone, at the end of the installation. Click Yes, as this will allow you to save items in both Zotero for Firefox and Zotero Standalone simultaneously. If you choose No, Standalone Zotero and Zotero for Firefox will not be connected and they will run as two libraries.

The word processor plug in allows you to use Zotero with a word processor to format reference lists and in-text citations. 

If you choose Zotero Standalone, you do not need to download the word processor plug-in.

If you choose the Zotero for Firefox version, you will also need to download the word processor plug-in. This will allow you to use Zotero to format your in-text citations and reference list within a word processor document.

There is a Zotero plug-in that can be used with Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

  • Select the right Word processor plugin, e.g. for Windows, or Mac, to install to your computer

Installation instructions are available on the Zotero Website

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