Endnote and Dropbox: time for marriage counseling?

Hi everyone! I have Endnote X7 installed on three Macs (MacBook air, iMac27, and MacMini) but I can only open the library I’m working on (enl file), stored in my Dropbox folder, on two out of three of those Macs. When I try to open the library on my iMac27 I am just told that the library “cannot be opened”. I have also tried recovering the library, but the .enl file appears grayed-out in the recovery file selection box. Could you please help? I have an overdue manuscript submission!

1 Like

According to the knowledgebase article http://endnote.com/kb/115635 Endnote is not compatible with Dropbox. Suggest you contact tech support as they may be able to reconstruct your library file.

Technical support

For help using EndNote Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern (GMT -5) +1-800-336-4474, press 4

Submit a technical support request

International support contacts

1 Like

I am an original user of Dropbox and a very long time user of EndNote.  Both are at the top of my list of most important apps in my professional life as an MD.  

When using/sharing EndNote libraries with yourself i.e.  other devices, or with colleagues, there are some caveats that must be followed for this to work easily and seamlessly.  Some of these you and others know for sure; some probably not. 

  1. Save the EndNote library e.g. name.enl as a compressed file e.g. name.enlx

  2. Send the enlx to a Dropbox folder you could simply name as ENDNOTE libraries. 

  3. Never open the enlx file within Dropbox.  In other words,  move that enlx shared file from the Dropbox folder to your desktop and open it there.  

  4. You should have no problems with the handshaking between Dropbox and EndNote.  

Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP 

1 Like

Those are some good suggestions. You do not want to open the library directly from Dropbox as this can corrupt the library, but saving as a compressed library is fine. If one has EndNote X7, you can consider using the synchronization and library sharing features:



1 Like

If you have a corrupt library after opening it from Dropbox, it may be possible to restore the library partly or completely to “pre-opening i Dropxbox status” from Dropbox’s back up function. I was able to do this when helping a patron with a corrupt library after running it from Dropbox.

Best wishes

Jan Ove


First,  i am a long time EN user and think it is beyond terrific …  could go on for a long time RE how it helps my acedemic persuits.   Also, you have amazing support … 


your sharing/syncing  features are terrible.  this is why people are trying to use Dropbox …  I really wish this worked as i am tired of using  GoodSync to sync EN on my MacPro with the network at work,  then sync the Net with my MacBook …  BUT this works great … with no corruption … just a pain  to do twice a day … when i get to the office and when i get home.

This approach has the added advantave of creating two TimeMachine backups of my EN library 

Your Sync does not work for large EN files (i have 20,000 refs) and will NOT sync my PDFS,  which is one of the main great features of EN

Thanks for a great product … none of us is perfect …


1 Like

This is insane.  I have been an Endnote user for years, and I’ve used it from Dropbox with no problems for most of that time.  A few months ago I started receiving the messages to which you referred (library cannot be opened).  It quickly became apparent that Dropbox created a product that corrupts its library through what I consider to be normal use.

This level of inconvenience is unacceptable.  Cloud storage is a reality of modern life.  Endnote designers need to get with the program.

1 Like

I agree!

It is 2016. If Endnote keep incompatible with cloud storage, I will for sure switch to other ref mag software.

I agree!

It is insane that any software keeps incompatible with cloud storage.

If the things keep happen, I will for sure switch to other refmag software.

Hi, I just wanted to confirm that this issue persists in Endnote X8

1 Like

Yes, for me too and whilst there are ways of working around it - I just recover my library every time when using it anew - this is not quite satisfactory and it’s quite laborious. Any solutions in sight? 

Yes, EndNote is not compatible with Dropbox or other cloud storage solutions. If you simply wish to be able to access your EndNote library from multiple locations, we would very much recommend using our Synchronization features:


More information on EndNote Sync can be found here:


But your sync funktion has problem with record number so that each reference has different numbering in different local libraries. Did you fix this?

Hi, Everyone i am new joinee.

How to abaot what i dont know understand