Endnote X3 recurrent crashes under OS X 10.5.8

I recently purchased an upgrade download from X to X3, but have been surprised by fairly frequent crashes (MBpro 2.4 GHz intel ,4Gb RAM) not encountered with many previous versions of Endnote (starting before 1998). Primary library has ca 22000 entries (no attached pdfs or other documents) . Fortunately the crashes don’t lead to overt library corruption.

A more troubling issue is that in trying the Find duplicates routine, the computer has hung in two separate trials (with no other programs running) after an hour or so  removing ca 100 duplicates. Several Gb of free memory remained, but one core rises to 70-100% utilization and it is no longer possible activate any Endnote commands. The Mac ‘beachball’ spins then halts, but nothing useful can be done with the program. Again fortunately, killing the program and then restarting it displays the expected number of entries in the trash and they can be discarded. Computer hygiene routines (Diskwarrior, Applejack, etc.) indicate no issues. Any advice appreciated. 


Since you are asking “any” advice, I’m just writing my thoughts, but please disregard if you disagree.

It could be the number of the library, 22000, is the main reason you experience this frequent crash. To me, 22000 entries are too much to handle by Endnote, even the developer says it’s possible. How about making a new library with several hundred entries, and puposely make some duplicates, and test if your problem reproduce or not? If the problem doesn’t reproduce with the small library, then what you need to do is to “downsize” your main library by deleting significant portion of entries. It could be painful task.

I used to import many entries from online database (Pubmed), even I thought some of them are remotely relevant, but I was trapped in an obsessive feeling that I had to import all of them. Soon, my library became more than 10,000 entries, but it was so difficult to find out what’s valuable and what’s not in my own library. I realized I was just copying Pubmed data into my Endnote library. So, I spent significant time to downsize it, and now my main library is a little less than 6000 entries. They are still a lot, but somewhat manageable by Group function. Since then, I have been very careful about importing online data into my library. Unless I have definitive reasons to have them in my own library (plan to cite them in my writing, or plan to read the full text), I don’t import the search hits into my main library. The growth rate of my main library is probably 10-15 entries / month, recently.

This is just the way I use Endnote, and you could be different. Just a thought.

Best regards,

Message Edited by myoshigi on 02-21-2010 11:49 AM

I am having a similar problem but my library only has 346 entires. I have 346 records in it but it says it is showing 342 of 342! And it won’t add those records to word. It just spins an hangs. Also tried disk warrior etc and not problems present. Please share any suggestions you get. I am desperate. Thanks

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Having worked with multipurpose relational databases which don’t either slow down or crash with several times 22K entries of similar or greater complexity,  I hope your inference about what Endnote can handle is not correct. Since I was not encountering these issues with a similar size database under Endnote X, I’m inclined to see the issues mentioned as coding flaws in the upgrade for at least this operating system (or OS plus hardware configuration).

I could conduct a trial with a small data base as suggested and perhaps work after partitioning  the library into segments with  5K entries. However, the other option commonly used in this sort of situation is to conclude the upgrade is not ‘ready for prime time’ and revert to the previous version, awaiting version 3.0.1, etc.,  for OS X. 

The number of entries is large relative to your recommendation, but has been collected over more than a decade with this program and I prefer to have it available in sometimes extended intervals without internet access. 

Thanks again,

Bill R. 

We regularly test EndNote X3 libraries with hundreds of thousands of records with no issues.

The most common cause of crashes on the Macintosh are corrupted plist files.

Please see the FAQ listed in this thread as one option to help with your issue:


Jason Rollins, the EndNote team

Thanks for the help. I had run several general preference check routines without any flags,but don’t imagine they check 3rd preference files in detail. Have run through the procedures in the FAQ, found some older files, and will see what happens. Is there any interest in seeing OS X crash dumps should they continue?


I turned off track changes and it stopped crashing. It worked for me. I hope it works for you.

Yes. Please send me some sample crash logs with as much detail about your computer set-up as you can.


If anyone has a small Word document and EndNote library that seems to be crashing with Track Changes on in Word, feel free to send this to me as well.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team