Sync between laptop and desktop with EndNote X2?

I’ve been trying to determine if (and how) I can sync my Endnote files between my laptop and my desktop. I often use my laptop at school and elsewhere. Is it possible to sync between both computers? If so, how?


Message Edited by jlamarca on 03-07-2009 05:18 PM

Message Edited by jlamarca on 03-07-2009 05:19 PM

Message Edited by jlamarca on 03-07-2009 05:23 PM

I don’t know that’s a question about Endnote’s function, but you need to synchronize both library file (.enl) and .data folder.

There are numerous methods and software to synchronize folders between two machines. Many backup software are equipped with synchronizing function, but my preference is dedicated synchronization software, like FolderMatch and CopyTo. Why don’t you google “synchronize folder”? You’ll find a lot.

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I’ve tried synchronizing using MS mesh (, so far, I haven’t been successful. Have you had better success with either FoldMatch or CopyTo? I have not had any experience with either of those.


These kinds of software are mostly shareware, and you need to pay $30-50 to get full functions. My favorite is CopyTo because of its simple interface, and compatibility with Win 98/NT/2000/XP/Vista, and I’ve used this for ~10years with some feedback to the program writer (Kish design). Although, Kish stopped revising around 2007, and I think that’s OK because it is already solid program and I don’t have any complain.

Foldermatch is the one I temporarily switched from CopyTo when I had font issues with CopyTo, but I don’t know the recent development. It was working fine.

These program set up “project file” with which you tell the program to compare which folder and which, and choose commands either copy, overwrite, synchronize, backup, update backup, etc etc.

I synchronize whole “My Document” between my external HD, home PC, laptop, lab/office PC, network drive all the time.

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Thanks, Myoshigi,

I’ve just been able to get mesh to work - but not entirely. I’ve found that I can only have one computer logged on to EndNote at a time but can’t get the groups to sync between the too.

I’ll have to check out Foldermatch and CopyTo. While I don’t want to sync my entire “My Documents” folder (it’s huge), there are certain files that I do want to sync (particularly, my EndNote files and my academic files).

Have you had any problems syncing networked files with either Foldermatch or CopyTo - I placed my “My Documents” folder on a networked drive (to ensure I have redundancy for backup purposes) and I also know that mesh does not work (yet) with networked drives.


As far as my favorite CopyTo goes, I’ve never had problems copying and synching with files in the server. Our institute map network folders using drive letters like X, W, and O depending on the access priviledge. Copying and synching between local drives, like C, D, and E with these network drives is very much smooth and fast with CopyTo.

I don’t know how Mesh work, but synchronization for me needs to be manual job. I don’t like automatic synching, like"dynamic" or “live” synch because I want to make sure the synch is doing right job. Sometimes endnote library file corrupts, and if it does, and synchronize the corrupted file for all of my PCs, I lose my precious fortune (it was close call few months ago!). For that reason, I like manual confirmation. CopyTo is basically “extended and programmable” copy & delete command, which is what I want. Also, I have several huge external HDs and use Acronis True Image to mirror my entire HD and data drives. That takes automatically once a week during midnight.

Anyway, the way CopyTo works is something like, mannually running “From Pocket HD My Document To Desktop My Document” synch project, or “From Desktop My Document To Pocket HD My Document” synch project. Each time I run the project, I have confirmation screen that display which files will be deleted, copied, or updated. Then, I say “OK” to synch two folders between two folders. I can exclude certain folders and files for synch.

It’s not as fancy as mesh…maybe. But it works for me.

I don’t know about “groups to synch between the two” because I don’t know how mesh control the synch. 

Message Edited by myoshigi on 03-08-2009 09:13 PM


By the way, my My Document is not huge, but reasonably big (100-120GB by average) with 3500-4000 files. CopyTo synchronize two My Document between two drives C and Seagate freeagent Go 500GB in 30 seconds, and show me the list of changes. Depending on the size of the file to be synched, it may take a couple of minutes to finish the synch, but that’s a good time to make a cup of coffee, or finish whatever small stuffs to do.

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Thanks Mysohigi,

I’ve tried FolderMatch and it works. I decided to use FolderMatch instead of CopyTo because CopyTo hasn’t been updated in two years - that’s never a good sign that an application will continue to receive updates. It’s really a shame that EndNote does not allow information to be exchanged easily without the use of third-party applications.

Again, thank you very much - you helped make my life a little bit easier.

Glad to hear that.

Just a couple of cautionary notes: #1, be careful about the direction of synchronization. So many times I did in the wrong way…replacing new folders by the old one. #2, make sure you synchronized before you get started with the PC in front of yours. So many times I developed two different versions for one thing.

It took for a while to get used to it, but now I can do these things as a spinal relex.

Thanks for the advise. I too am very concerned about syncing the wrong way (in fact, the thought terrifies me) - in order to prevent a disaster, is it possible to keep a backup up of the EndNote files so that they can be imported in case of a disaster?


I make a copy of the main library every month. My library doesn’t grow very fast recently, but I change the group a lot. To protect the work of these things done in a month, I make a duplicate like “Master library 2009 Mar”. If I ever experience corrumption of the library file, I can go back to the monthly back up duplicate. Frequency of this kind of back up is dependent on how often you change the file.

Thanks, myoshigi. I’ve just started to use EndNote and am expecting my library to grow very quickly (having recently returned to school). I used the reference “feature” of MS Word 2007 but found that it was not what I needed. The library at my university uses and recommends EndNote which is why I purchased the program. I was just looking at the “suggestions board” to see what the recommendations, if any, there were to make quick backups and/or maintain the database in several places. Based upon all of your great help, it appears as if I need to do all of these things manually (ugh). I’ll have to get into the habit of making manual backups. Again, thanks for your great help.

Sure, good luck with your career. Visit here with other questions. Endnote is a great tool for making bibliography, but it became a sort of platform to summarize what I’ve been doing, and the place I learn what’s new, which is basically same as learning what old, I mean reading papers.

best wishes,

Yes, you’d better try, which i think it is a good and easy way to sync files between laptop and desktop. You can sync, back up, access, and share files anywhere.

Yes, you’d better try Backup Cow, which i think it is a good and easy tool to sync files between laptop and desktop. You can sync, back up, access, and share files anywhere.