Mendeley Tip: Backup local database

I have recently installed and tested the Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview. Before I installed this version, there’s an instruction asking me to backup my local database, just in case I guess. I have always known there’s a function for backup and restore but I had never tried it before. I could say I believe so much in Mendeley to keep my article collections safe (forever!). However, as I have spent over a year to manage and organize my existing library, I really don’t wish to regret later for not having any backup.

So here are some simple guide on how to backup your local database to another safe location.

*Click on each image for larger view*

Go to Menu bar, Help and select Create Backup.

It will prompt you to select a location to save your backup in the .zip format file.

Select where you want to save your backup and I recommend you to save the file with a date indication so that you can have multiple backups with proper dates. After you click Save, it will prompt you again to notify you where the file is and it has been backup successfully. The process took less than a minute for me, maybe because my database is not that big yet. I have saved my database to Dropbox so I’m very sure I have more than one copy and it’s safe.

Having a backup but not knowing how to restore with it is quite useless. So here’s another simple guide on how to restore your database.

Similarly with Create Backup, just click Restore Backup. It actually shows you a few recent automatic backup states whenever you add new documents. If you want to restore the whole database, just click Other.

It will prompt you to select your database location, select the file and click Open. It will restore your database and you are ready to go.

I really love how simple and easy Mendeley Desktop helps its users in creating backup and restoring it. Fortunately, I believe Mendeley Desktop has grown to be very stable and a restore is really not necessary, though a backup is good to have.

Can’t wait for the Mendeley Desktop 1.7 to be finalized. It has some very cool interface and features. More about them later.


6 thoughts on “Mendeley Tip: Backup local database

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  1. Thanks for your post! Any thoughts on whether a back up is truly necessary? I use Mendeley 1.9.2*, have it synchronized on two laptops, and store all newly added references in a separate folder on DropBox. I won’t hold you to it – just curious for your updated opinion.

    *switch over from EndNote as of about 2 months ago

    1. Hi Ben,

      First of all, you are welcome! Secondly, I’m sorry for late reply and I thank you for your feedback. I personally don’t think this back up is necessary for me before my database is not that large anyway. Maybe to some who worry that they might lose anything if Mendeley’s own server/database has problem (which is rare), they might think this backup would come in handy. It’s just a function provided by Mendeley and I thought not many know about this, so I decided to share this.

      How is Mendeley working for you so far? If you have any other problem or you want to discuss any thing about it, just let me know. I’ll try my best to help.

      1. Hi,

        I would like to change the destination folder. Is it possible in mendeley? I don’t want it mendeley to store my papers on c://

      2. Hi Alice,

        Sorry for late reply. There’s a way to organise where Mendeley store your papers in local drive. It’s under Tools – Options – File Organizer. Hope this helps. Thanks.

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