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Learn to use the bibliographic management software Zotero.

Choosing the right Zotero for you

Before installing Zotero, you need to select which version of the software you would like to use. Two are available:

  • Zotero for Firefox, which works with the internet browser Mozilla Firefox.
  • Zotero Standalone, which is independent from your browser.

Both have the same basic functionalities and are completely free. Not sure which one to choose? Check the table below.

Zotero for your web browser of choice

Zotero Standalone

Accessible directly from your browser.

Needs to be opened and run separately from your browser.

Some functions may be easier to use.

Some functions may be more complicated to use.

Only one installation is needed if you already have the Firefox browser.

An extension for your internet browser needs to be installed to fully use Zotero Standalone.

Works with Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari.

Works with Safari or Chrome if the corresponding browser extension is installed.

Note that it is possible to install and use both versions on a single computer.

Browser extensions for Zotero Standalone

Zotero’s best feature is capturing references directly while you surf the web.

To do this with Zotero Standalone, you need to install the browser extension corresponding to your browser of choice. The options currently available are Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Edge.

Follow the steps below to install a browser extension for Zotero Standalone.


  1. Access the Download page on the Zotero website.
  2. On the right of the page, under the “Download Zotero for Windows” button, you can see three buttons. Click the one corresponding to the browser you are using (it should be highlighted automatically).
  3. If you selected Chrome, you will be taken to the Chrome Web Store. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button on the upper right corner of the window. If you selected Safari, you will be taken to the Safari Extensions Gallery. Click on the "Install Now" button next to the Zotero extension.

Installing Zotero for your web browser

Watch our video or follow the steps below to install Zotero for Firefox.

Tip: Don't have Mozilla Firefox yet and need help to install it? Check this walkthrough.


  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Use it to access the Download page on the Zotero website.
  3. Click the button on the left (Install Zotero for Firefox).
  4. A notification will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. Click “Allow”.
  5. A window will open in the center of the screen. Click “Install now”.
  6. Another notification in the upper left corner of the screen will prompt you to restart Firefox. Click “Restart now”. Firefox will close and reopen after a few seconds.
  7. Zotero for Firefox has now been installed. Open Zotero by clicking the “Z” that now appears among the icons to the right of the address bar.
Tip: When you click on the "Z" icon in Firefox, Zotero will open as a work area in the bottom of the screen. You can click on this icon ( zotero tab icon ) at the upper right of the work area to toggle tab mode, which opens Zotero as a browser tab instead.

Installing Zotero Standalone

Follow the steps below to install Zotero Standalone.


Tip: This tutorial was made using the Google Chrome browser. If you use another browser, what you see might be slightly different.

  1. Access the Download page on the Zotero website.
  2. Click on the “Download Zotero for Windows” button on the right.
  3. Click “Save” on the dialog box that opens to start downloading the file. Depending on your browser’s settings, the download may also begin automatically.
  4. When your download is complete, click on the rectangle at the bottom left of the screen to start installing Zotero.


Tip: If the rectangle does not appear or is accidentally closed, access the file’s destination folder and double click on it. The default destination folder in most computers can be found in Documents under Downloads.


  1. A dialog box will open. Click “Run”, and click “Next” whenever prompted.
  2. Click “Finish” to complete the installation. Zotero Standalone is now ready to open, and its icon should be on your desktop.