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EndNote: EndNote X20: Important Tips for Opening, Using, and Converting Libraries

An online guide for obtaining and using EndNote.

Important Notes about using EndNote

Below are some important safety tips for using EndNote X20:

  • The first time you open EndNote X20 you may be promoted to do the following:

    • Create an EndNote Click account. At this time, click 'Ignore'; the LRC is still evaluating the usefulness of this tool.

    • Create an EndNote Online account. You do not need to create an EndNote Online account in order to use the desktop version. EndNote Online and the Sync feature can be useful tools but we recommended you contact the LRC for assistance and training.

    • Update with 20.0.01. Please click 'Install' to complete the latest update. For those of you on a USU-managed computer, you will need 'Administrator' approval.

  • EndNote libraries are made up of two parts: the .enl file and the .Data folder. These two parts must be kept together (in the same directory and on your desktop); both are needed for the library to work correctly.

  • Keep EndNote libraries on your computer's local hard drive, regardless of the version you are using. 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 Google Drive, Google File Stream, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync, etc. The files and folders corrupt EndNote libraries over time.

  • Once you have successfully installed EndNote X20 and are able to convert and open your EndNote libraries in X20, consider uninstalling your previous version of EndNote.

Converting Your EndNote X9 Library to EndNote X20

  • If your EndNote libraries are residing on your computer's hard drive (laptop), you should have no problem opening and converting your EndNote library.
  • Google File Stream users: If you have been using Google File Stream to store your EndNote libraries (both the .enl file and .Data folder), EndNote will not allow you to convert your library. To resolve this issue please follow the steps below:
    1. Download the .enl and corresponding .Data folder to the Documents folder on your hard drive. Note: Both the .enl and .Data folder MUST reside in the same folder.
    2. Next, open EndNote X20 and click on 'File'  and then 'Open Library.'
    3. In the next box, double-click on the library (.enl file) you wish to use.
  • If you are still experiencing problems, please contact the LRC at 301-295-3350 or via email at
James A. Zimble Learning Resource Center • 4301 Jones Bridge Rd. Bethesda, MD 20814 • Main Number: 301-295-3189 • AMI Helpdesk: 301-295-3358

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