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Step 3: Create a Library

Best Practices per Clarivate (EndNote) recommends:

Create only one library

  • Endnote allows you to create many separate libraries, but EndNote strongly recommends that you work with only one library and create groups to organize your references

    • Number of references allowed in one library: Unlimited

    • Number of groups allowed within one library: 5,000
  • Word documents should only be linked to one library. If you use multiple libraries it is easy to open the wrong one and this can corrupt the document.

  • You can only sync one library with an EndNote Online account.

Keep EndNote library on your computer's local hard drive

  • Your Endnote library is made up of two parts, the .enl file and the data folder. These must be together in the same folder on your computer for EndNote to work correctly.

  • Storing and editing libraries on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues.

  • EndNote libraries should never be stored in cloud-syncing folders such as Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. Syncing folders corrupt EndNote libraries over time.


Creating your Library

When you open EndNote for the very first time you will be prompted with three options: ‘Learn about EndNote’, ‘Create a New Library’ and ‘Open an Existing Library’.:

  1. Choose "Create a New Library"
  2. Save it with a new, meaningful name to your hard drive (not in the cloud! Be very careful on a Mac, do not store in any location that is syncing to the iCloud!)


If you did not create a new library at the end of the installation process, follow these steps. Only create one library in EndNote!

  • Step 1: Open EndNote.  

    • Mac User: If you are opening EN20 for the first time, you may see a popup asking for EN 20 to access files in your Documents folder.  Please click OK.  

EN20 Access Files in your Documents Folder? Permission Screen


  • Step 2: From the File Menu, click on New

  • Step 3: Create a Name for your library

  • Step 4: Select the location to save the file

    • Make sure it saves on your local hard drive and not in cloud-based storage (more information)