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Learn about using Mendeley to track articles for your papers and cite them in your research.

Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Desktop is a reference manager that allows you manage, read, share, annotate and cite your research papers. 

Download Mendeley Desktop..

Install Mendeley Web Importer

Install the Mendeley Web Importer to import references and documents academic databases.

Save articles to your Mendeley Library as you browse.

Take a Tour of Mendeley Desktop

Add Files to Mendeley

You can add files to Mendeley by:

  • Dragging and dropping a pdf into Mendeley
  • You can also add files by selecting file and then clicking add files or folder. 
  • Another way to add files is by selecting file and then clicking "watch folder" to choose a folder to put on watch. Mendeley Desktop will now automatically add files that are added to that folder.

Export references directly from other Elsevier products such as Science Direct or Scopus to Mendeley by:

  • When reading an article click the export button then choose "Save to Mendeley" ‚Äč 

Read and Annotate your PDFs

You can edit PDFs that have been added to your Mendeley Library. You can do this by double clicking to open the file in a seperate tab within Mendeley Desktop. You now have the option to:

  • Highlight Text
  • Make Notes
  • Search within Text


Click the sync button (seen below) to sync your Mendeley Desktop with Mendeley Web and mobile versions. 

Back Up Your Local Database

If you're looking for peace of mind, consider backing up the database files that Mendeley Desktop stores. 

Manually Create a Backup

  • From within Mendeley Desktop, click Help in your menubar.
  • Select Create Backup. 
  • From here, specify where to save your backup files.

Older Version/Alternate Option

If you're using a version of Mendeley Desktop prior to v0.9.4, or need to manually create a backup due to a problem with Mendeley Desktop, you can do so by performing the following:

  1. Locate your database. 
    Where your database files are stored varies from operating system to operating system. In order to locate yours, please follow the corresponding value. 
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<Your Name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Mendeley Ltd\Mendeley Desktop\ 
    • Windows Vista / Windows 7: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Mendeley Ltd.\Mendeley Desktop\ 
    • Mac OS X: /Users/<Your username>/Library/Application Support/Mendeley Desktop/ 
    • Linux: ~/.local/share/data/Mendeley Ltd./Mendeley Desktop/ 
  2. Copy this folder somewhere safe.
    Now that you have located where your database file is kept, you will want to copy this entire folder to somewhere safe like another computer, a USB stick, or another folder on your computer. 

Restoring from a Backup 

  1. Open the Mendeley Desktop.
  2. Make sure you're logged in as the user under which the backup was created.
  3. Go to Help > Restore Backup > Other and navigate to where your backup is stored.
  4. Select this file, and follow the on-screen instructions that follow to restore your account to its previous state.
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