updating Endnotes file

I am trying to graduate from keeping my library on a flashdrive, which apparently creates all sorts of grief.  So, I tried to take Leanne’s advice to copy the library onto my computer at both ends of the trip.  But…

I COPIED my library to my flashdrive, then COPIED it to my laptop’s desktop.  Work, work, work…  Then copied the updated library (9 sources larger).  Now I’m back on campus, and I want to COPY my  library back to my computer on campus.  

When I COPY the file to it’s original name, I get no error message, but the program keeps opening up the OLD file, not the new one that I’d thought I’d replaced it with.

Where am I going wrong?



you are openning the .enlx file and not the enl library?


I’m both copying and opening from within the Endnotes program.  I thought that would avoid any problems with making sure all the supporting data files came along with the library.

I’m so glad you’re on line!


Try just opening the enlx file directly.  and check its date stamp.

Now I’m really confused.  I opened that file (from Explore) and it asked me whether I wanted to overwrite the file!  Does that make any sense?  And supposing I open it, where do I find a date stamp?

The enlx file is a compressed file. When endnote opens it, it will try to create the .enl file and .DATA folders whereever the enlx file is located, so if the old library was there, it will ask if it should overwrite it.  - probably good to open it elsewhere or change the name when you create the compressed file. I usually include the date I compressed it, in the name. 

The date stamp is the date associated with the file when you look at it in explore with details showing.  Another way to see it, is to look at the file’s properties. 

I have a patron with a similar problem. She has three computers that she works with. She updates the EnX2 file on her USB, then transfers the file to the laptops at home. When she tries to overwrite the old copies on the other computers, she only gets the smaller, non-updated file. The newer references are not present.

We tried deleting the data file and this temporarily fixed the problem but I suspect it will reoccur. She is working from her USB .enl copy, not an .enlx

I am able to replicate the problem using her file on other computers.It’s as if the file is locked, and yet it doesn’t have the Read-only attribute selected in properties in Explorer.

I’d welcome any advice.

The .DATA folder has all the information to recreate the .enl file.  I suspect that if you copy just the .enl file, it conflicts with the information in the .DATA folders and that this can cause errors, although I would expect it might just revert to the old .enl information - but I am not the developers, just a user.  I strongly encourage using the compressed library to make any transfers.  Because what I do know is that just moving the .enl file back and forth is not enough.

What problems have you experienced working with an EndNote library stored on a thumb drive?

I have never experienced any problems keeping my ‘working library’ on a thumb drive; keeping regular backups on a network drive. This is something that I often recommend to staff and postgraduate students, who may be working from multiple computers. It overcomes the perennial problem of users ending up with different versions of the ‘same’ EndNote library.

Greg Fry

Team leader, Faculty liaison

Charles Sturt University

I never experienced any problems directly.  I’ve kept my Endnotes library on a memory stick for several years.  No problems at all (outside of one incident when I lost memory stick after forgetting to back up…but I found it!  whew!).

A few weeks ago, however, my file was pronounced “corrupted.”  I’d suddenly lost the ability to sort within one of my groups.  While the library itself seemed to be fine, it took the Endnotes tech a day to get the sorting to work again.  When he  returned the file, he told me the problem had been caused by using the jump drive.  I never did figure out what the connection might be, but now I’ve been trying to figure out how to successfully move the library back and forth between two computers.  It can be done, but it sure takes me a lot of steps!


Thank you for the advice, Leanne. I’ll recommend she use the compressed backups from now on.

I’ve had a few problems with people having issues with flashdrives, but typically they are having trouble with Word files stating that they are corrupted or that the source drive is full. The Word files don’t have to be connected to Endnote libraries for this to happen. I’ve experienced this myself with my own work machine and our ITS says it’s a “known problem” but don’t tell me any details.