Problems with adding references to documents

I am fairly new to Endnote and have been using version X5 for my PhD thesis. I have a recent problem with cite as you write, in that when I try to add the reference into the document it appears as if it is trying to load, but does not (the circular waiting sign in word just keeps going and won’t let me add anything to the document or even close and save it). The only way I can stop this is to shut down my PC and restart it. This is a recent problem; until a couple of weeks ago it worked fine. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  1. Did you happen to move the .enl library file and/or accompanying .DATA folder recently from your computer?

  2. Are you working from one or multiple computers?

  3. Did you try unformating the in-text citations and bibliograpy then updated the citations/bibliography? (Do this on a backup file copy and not the original file.)

  4. If you answer “no” to items #1 and 2  and “yes” to item #3 your library file might be corrupted. Did you try recovering your library as described in Article 82291 from the EndNote Knowledge Base (below). (Suggest backing up the original .enl and .DATA folder just as a precaution.)

EndNote: The proper process for recovering library files

Standard Recovery:

With the library closed, in EndNote go to “Tools > Recover Library”. Click OK to the notice that comes up, then select the library file you would like to recover (you may need to browse to the folder on your computer in which the library is located). After selecting your library, you will be prompted to save the new library that will be created. By default, EndNote will add “-Saved” to the end of the original name. After this, the recovery process will begin.

Once completed, EndNote will inform you of the number of references that were recovered into the Saved library. You can now use this Saved version of the library in place of the original, damaged library.

Advanced Recovery Options:

Instructions for rebuilding the library with just the .data folder. Creating a new .enl file.

There are some times where the normal library recovery won’t work or won’t be enough. Specifically if you are noticing that your EndNote library searches, Cite While You Write is not finding the right reference or sorting is not working properly. In these cases it may be necessary to recover the library with just the .data folder portion while creating a new .enl file.

Additional information about the .Data folder can be found at the following article:


  1. First, create a new folder on your desktop (Right click in empty space on the desktop and choose New/Folder).
  2. Locate the library in your machine through Windows Explorer.
  3. Copy the .data folder for your library into a new folder on your desktop by itself.
  4. In the folder you moved the .data folder into, create a new text file (Right click in empty space of the desktop and choose New/Text Document).
  5. Rename the text file, with the extension, to the name of the original .enl file.

In addition to possible problems with the library, –

Where is the manuscript saving to, and where is the library located?  Are one or both  on a network or dropbox or cloud location. 

Is it a Windows machine or a Mac?  Which operating system, which versions of Word (you said your version of Endnote is X5).

Does it happen with a new document or an existing document.   In addition to unformatting and reformating as CG suggests, you may have to clean up the field codes in an existing document, especially if this has been recovered from a crash.