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EndNote Basics

Bibliographic management software makes it easy to collect and organize references to any type of information, from journal articles to multimedia files. The software also allows students and researchers to insert their citations into papers and format them for publication painlessly. 

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Installation tips

Before installing or upgrading

  1. Check EndNote's Compatibility & Requirements page to make sure your operating system and word processor are compatible with the new versions. 
  2. It is best practice to uninstall older versions of EndNote before you install a new one. Be sure to back up your libraries, custom styles, filters, or connection files before upgrading.
  3. The easiest way to backup your library is to go to File > Compressed Library > Accept default settings. This will create a compressed version of your Library, including all file attachments. The file will have a .enlx extension.
  4. Be sure to exit all Microsoft Office applications before installing EndNote. After installation, open Microsoft Word to make sure the EndNote toolbar is installed and activated.
  5. EndNote X20 uses a new database structure. Learn more about converting your library.


  1. After downloading the EndNote installer .EXE file, double click to begin the installation process
  2. Accept the default settings and agree to the license terms.
  3. When you open EndNote for the first time, follow the prompts to install program updates.


  1. After downloading the EndNote installer .dmg file, double click to begin the installation process.
  2. The installer should open on your desktop.
  3. Accept the default settings and agree to the license terms.
  4. EndNote will walk you through the setup process.

If you have a new Mac with the Apple M1 or M2 chip, please follow these steps outlined in EndNote's Knowledgebase.

If you have technical questions, please contact EndNote Technical Support at 855-258-5858.

What you need to know about EndNote 20's new database structure!

EndNote 20 uses a new database structure. If you are upgrading from EndNote X9.2 or earlier, you will be prompted to convert your existing library to the new format.

EndNote warning to convert your library to new format

  • EndNote will append the word "converted" to your converted library.  For example, if your original library was named "My EndNote Library.enl," your newly-converted library will be named "My EndNote Library-Converted.enl."


  • If you are on EndNote X9.2 or earlier and are using EndNote's Sync function, you can safely convert your  library with EndNote 20. When you Sync your newly-converted library, your previously-synced library content should not become duplicated. This workflow is the best practice for users upgrading their library structure with EndNote 20. A synced library contains internal identifiers indicating its syncing status.

If you have questions about this, please contact EndNote Technical Support at 855-258-5858.