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EndNote for Mac

Guide to using EndNote on Mac computers

Contact a trainer or get support

  • To get support from Clarivate, the publisher of EndNote, call 1-800-336-4474, and listen for "EndNote Technical Support" in the phone menu. Hours: 9AM to 8PM EDT (GMT - 5:00) Monday thru Friday
  • To get support from UGA librarians who are EndNote trainers, fill out this form.

Recent Questions

Do I need an installer key or product key? I keep getting prompted for one.

No. We are a site license institution. There is one site license key. We provide you access to downloads if you can authenticate your status via your UGA ID information on the SSO site.

Product key issues usually come up when you had a trial or commercial version of EndNote installed on your computer.

Try these fixes:

  • Carefully search for EndNote files and remove them (Sync or back up libraries on a USB drive first!) Look for .dmg, .enl, .enlp files. Only delete .data files that have a name matching your .enl library file.
  • Restart your Mac
  • Quit from the File menu, and don't close (click the red button) all your Office software (Excel, Outlook, Word, etc.)
  • Download the .dmg file again, but save it to your desktop before double-clicking to open
  • Download an older version of the same EndNote edition. For example, download 20.0 instead of 20.2. Then update within the application.

If none of this works, contact an EndNote trainer. If a trainer is unable to help, we will refer you to EndNote Clarivate, or you can contact them sooner in the process.


More questions? Email and we may post your question here.

Common Problems

Basic Maintenance and Simple Fixes

  • Try a restart. Sometimes program or system changes don't take effect until you restart your Mac.
  • Completely shut your Mac down at night instead of putting it to sleep (i.e., closing the lid). It takes a LOT of working memory to sleep a Mac. Periodic shut downs are good for your Mac and can help your programs process updates and install patches.
  • Quit all applications instead of running them with a closed window (i.e., clicking the red button)
  • If you were given your computer, make sure you're an administrator and if possible, have older user profiles removed.
    • If this is not possible because you use a UGA machine, it may be best to have who ever is the admin install EndNote for you.
  • Don't put your EndNote Library too far down in subfolders. Documents or Desktop are common locations.
  • Always back up your library

Syncing issues

If you have several libraries, syncing them to the same EndNote online account will merge the references. All libraries, will have the same references. You may want to consider changing your libraries to Groups within one large EndNote Library. Groups will always show only the reference you place in them, regardless of the number of total references in the library.

Occasionally EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online will not Sync correctly or, you may wish change the EndNote Online account that your library Syncs to. These directions come from the James Cook Library.

Before attempting the procedure below, back up your library!

  1. Open EndNote >click on Edit>Preferences>Sync. Disable all automatic syncing and then restart EndNote.
  2. Make sure the Trash is empty both in EndNote online as well as in EndNote desktop. For EndNote online, Log into your EndNote online account Delete all references and all groups from EndNote online, with the exception of any Shared Groups or ResearcherID Groups that they may have. To do so, login to EndNote online and check the reference under All References group and click on Delete. You will need to delete the groups as well, because when they sync with EndNote desktop, the groups will sync with the desktop. To delete the groups, go to the organize tab and click on Manage My Groups. Select the groups and delete.
  3. In EndNote desktop, open the correct copy (backup copy) of the library. Open EndNote>Edit>Preferences>Sync. Add this to the end of your E-Mail Address in the sync preferences: 
    Note! This is Case Sensitive -- resetLocalSync not “resetlocalsync". 
  4. Click OK to close the preferences, and then click the Sync button.
  5. EndNote will then appear to authenticate and return the prompt: “A Sync library can be linked to only one account. Do not proceed unless you intend to break the link to the original account.” This happens because EndNote is checking authentication. Click OK, and EndNote will purge any knowledge of a previous sync.
  6. EndNote will then display the message, “Your local sync state has been reset. Please re-enter your E-Mail Address, restart EndNote, and sync again.” Click Ok.
  7. Close EndNote and open it again. Close all libraries then open the library which you'd like to sync with EndNote online.
  8. Again go to your sync preferences; enter your username/password and setup automatic sync settings. 
  9. When you next click Sync, you will once again get the message “A Sync library can be linked to only one account. Do not proceed unless you intend to break the link to the original account.” Click OK.
  10. You will be prompted to make a backup. While this step is not required, it never hurts, follow the onscreen prompts to backup.
  11. A complete sync will then begin. 

Known Issues - Shared Libraries

If the Share feature is not working, sync your library.

  • Share depends on sync services to work, so this means that you cannot create a different, un-synced, library version to share.
  • The most comment method is to share libraries. If you need to share a group, follow these directions from Clarivate.

To begin sharing groups, the library should be synced with the EndNote online account. Once done, follow the steps below:

  • Open your synced library
  • Initiate group sharing by right-clicking a group or from the ‘Group’ Menu and select ‘Share Group’ option
  • After selecting one of these options, you will get a ‘Sharing Group’ dialog
  • Enter the email address (or addresses separated by commas) of the people that you would like to invite in the email box
  • For each invitee, use the dropdown box to select the desired access level: Read & Write or Read Only
  • Enter an optional message to be sent to the above email address
  • Click on the Invite button

Now the user will get the invite to their email address and they will need to accept it. For an EndNote 20 and EndNote X9 user, the shared groups will appear under the ‘Groups Shared by Others’ group set in the Groups pane in the user's synced library. When that is clicked, it opens the group in EndNote online.

A user who does not have EndNote 20 or EndNote X9 will be able to access the shared group by logging onto EndNote online under the ‘Groups Shared by Others’.

Word Troubleshooting

Check the "Word for Mac" tab for Word issues that come up for EndNote users.

Opening older libraries

You can convert libraries from the old 32-bit EndNote versions (EndNote X9.2 and earlier)

In EndNote X9.3 or EndNote 20 select File → Open Open Library and select the old library file you wish to convert. EndNote will create a new library with "-Converted" in the name and leave the original library unchanged.

  • If you had a package library (.enlp file) that never converted or didn't open, just open the package and convert the .enl file.
  • Use your right-click or secondary menu command with the .enlp file highlighted.
  • Select "Show Package Contents"

The package is made up of the .enl and .data files.

Note the location, and return to EndNote to select the .enl file to convert. You may move the .enl file from the package if you wish, but you must move the .data file with it. The two files must always be in the same folder location for EndNote to work properly.