Help! Nightmare! - It's all gone


my library has gone.  I’m using Endnote X8 on a Macbook Air, with the file lodged on OneDrive.  The Endnote crashed and now I’ve got nothing.  No Enl, no Data file.  Searched evrywhere.  And now I find that my Endnote sync has been syncing the wrong library.

Months of work, gone.  Can anyone help?

Nightmare! - I’m in the middle of my dissertation.

Thanks in anticipation…


Ok.  Now, I’ve found a data file that MIGHT be the correct data file (based upon the number of PDFs in the data file) but the attached enl file doesn’t appear to be showing it’s contents.  It’s showing the contents of some other library.

How do I get the enl file to look at this data file?

Anyone, or am I just yelling into the wind with no hope?

This works for me.  In the folder that the .DATA folder is in, create a text only file with nothing in it that is the same name as the .DATA folder .enl  (I use notepad in windows).  

so if you have a library.DATA create a library.enl file in the same folder (not in the .DATA folder!)  

Now double click on the library.enl file and it SHOULD open the .DATA folder if it hasn’t been corrupted. 

Sorry, not to be a pain but I’m not very tech savvy.

Do you mean a .txt file?  Is that the text file you mean

Also, there is already an enl in the same name as the data file but it’s not picking up the data file (MyEndnoteLibrary.enl)

Am I okay to delete that?

Ok, it’s worse than I thought.  I’ve opened the pdf’s in the data file and it’s not the correct data file.  NIGHTMARE.  That means ive lost the data file for my library when the endnote crashed.  Help!

I don’t know – you should make a copy of the .DATA folder before trying to open anything.  

What date does the .DATA folder and contents show, at it may have already been overwritten? Copy the existing .enl file somewhere else, but it is only a pointer.  A completely empty no contents, textfile with the libaryname.enl is really a pointer and doesn’t have to have anything in it to point to the right place in the existing .DATA file.   – It may already be too late, if you openned it and closed it once?  – I guess you haven’t backed it up?

Did you try “recover library” from the endnote tools menu?  

What you have probably realized is that one should never save an SQL collection of files (the underlying database structure of Endnote) which is multiple files that have to opened and saved in a specific order and cloud based storage doesn’t ensure that, on a cloud drive.  

Recover Library didn’t work.

Ok, now I think I have a plain text version of most of my references on a word document.  Is there any way I could simply import them all into Endnote?

not easily - did you use most of them in an endnote formated paper?  you can export the “travelling library” embedded in papers.  

Yes. It was a bibliography from Endnote that I converted to plain text in Endnote in Word.

How is that done?

No – you want the bibliography in the formatted word document not the one converted to plain text.  


I think I’ve found a document with some of my references in it that are not in plain text.

How do I put them back into a library?

See the attached - endnote ribbon, export >export traveling library 


You are an absolute star!  That worked!  I’ve recovered about 3/4 of my references.  A massive bunch of flowers and choccies for you.

Thanks so much,


:heart: !  Flowers and Chocolate!  What more could I ask for :-)