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Zotero Citation Software

A Guide to Getting Started and Using Zotero

Step 01: Download & Install Zotero

This section will give you the basic instructions on installing Zotero.

  1. To begin using the full version of Zotero, head to to download the software.
  2. You do not need an account to download and use the desktop version of Zotero. If you would like to sync and use the web library, you will need an account. There is a section on this below.
  3. Click the red Download button and you will be taken to the download page. 
  4. On the downloads page, click the blue download button for the software for your computer's operating system (Mac, Windows, etc.).
  5. Take note that it also offers you the ability to download the browser connector for the current browser you are using (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Etc.) Don't leave this page before proceeding to the next section on installing the browser connector.


Step 02: Install Zotero Connector

Now that you have installed Zotero on your desktop, you will want to install the connector for your preferred browser. Follow the directions below to do so.

  1. If you have not left the downloads page, click the blue download button to install the browser connector for your current browser.
  2. If you are coming back to do this, go to and there you will see the blue download button for your current browser.
  3. Follow the directions provided to install your connector. It should look something like the screenshot below once it is installed.

Step 03: Register with Zotero

This section will cover the Zotero account process.

Why should you get a Zotero account if you can use the software without one? It is entirely up to you, but these are the things a Zotero account will let you do that you cannot without one.

  1. Sync your citations to the web library to access on other devices.
  2. Sync files like PDFs to the web library to access on other devices.
  3. To ask questions in the Zotero Forums when you have problems.
  4. To use the web library in your web browser.

If you decide to sign up for an account, do the following:

  1. Go to and click the Login button in the top right corner of the screen.

  2. Click "Register for a free account" link right above the Login form.
  3. Fill out the registration form. 
  4. Check your email for an email verification.
  5. Log back in to Zotero and make sure you have access.