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EndNote referencing software

How to use EndNote 21, 20 and X9 Desktop for Windows and Mac, EndNote Online (Web) and EndNote for iPad and iPhone, thesis and publications writing, advanced tools, output (referencing) styles, syncing, sharing and collaboration, common issues and trouble

Cloud storage

Important Do not save your library (file) to cloud storage. Examples: UQRDM, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud

  • Libraries should be saved to a local drive only.
  • Issues e.g. corrupted libraries or documents can occur.
  • Cloud storage can be used for back up copies or to access a large EndNote library from a different locations.
  • If you need to use it, do not open and work on your library. First download or copy it to your local device. When finished, add the saved version back to your cloud storage.

Back up your library (file)

EndNote calls a file of references a library.

Best practice

  • Save 3 copies in 3 locations eg. university servers, second device, external drive on different devices
  • Do not use a backup as your working library.

Important Mac users - do not use Save as packet option. Compress Library is the recommended option.

Compress Library

  • Compress Library is an option in EndNote.
  • It is recommended for creating backups.
  • When a library is created, two files are produced. One has an .enl file extension e.g. My Thesis Library.enl and the other is a folder with the same name but ending in .DATA e.g. My Thesis Library.DATA. These files must remain together for your library to fully function. 

Create a compressed library

  1. In EndNote, open your library and click on File > Compress Library.
  2. A Compress Library window will open. Click on OK.
  3. Give your compressed library a name. For a backup, it is recommend to add “Backup” and the date e.g. BACKUP-My-Thesis-12112022. Click on Save
  4. Add to your backup locations.
  5. To open the file, double click on it on any computer with EndNote installed.

Save a copy

  1. Click on File > Save A Copy.
  2. We recommend adding “Backup” and the date e.g. BACKUP-My-Thesis-12112022. Click on Save.
  3. Remember to always move both the enl file and DATA folder together to same location.

Automatic cloud backup

Windows and MacOS automatically backs up your files to cloud storage.

To avoid issues that can occur with libraries or installing EndNote on the cloud:


  • Avoid saving your library to the Desktop or Document folders.
  • Create a folder in a separate area e.g C drive and save your library in it.


  • Avoid saving your library to Desktop or Documents.
  • Create a folder in a safe space e.g. Hard Drive option (in Finder) and save your library in it.