Troubleshooting Issues with Zotero Translators

When you're unable to save high-quality metadata from a particular webpage, most likely either the page isn't supported by an existing Zotero translator or the page layout recently changed, breaking Zotero's ability to recognize data.

Before you post that saving isn't working, try these steps:

  1. If you don't see a “Save to Zotero” button in your browser toolbar at all, make sure you've installed the Zotero Connector in your browser. The Zotero Connector should be listed in the browser's Extensions pane. You can install the appropriate Zotero Connector from the Zotero download page.
  2. If you only see a webpage icon, make sure you're looking at a supported site. If you're not sure, try a New York Times article or an Amazon product page.
  3. If you don't have the Zotero program open, try opening Zotero before saving. (If you haven't installed Zotero, you can do so from the download page.) While the Connector can save directly to your online library, you'll usually get better results saving to Zotero directly. If the Zotero Connector reports that Zotero is unavailable and tries to save to zotero.org, see Zotero Unavailable.
  4. Check for Zotero Connector updates from the Extensions pane of your browser, in case a new version of the Connector is available that you haven't yet received.
  5. Make sure you have an up-to-date version of your browser. See System Requirements for supported browser versions.
  6. If you're saving to the Zotero program, check your Zotero version to make sure you have the latest version available from zotero.org. We can only troubleshoot translators that fail for the current 5.0.x version of Zotero.
  7. Check Known Translator Issues to see if problems have been noted on the site you're trying to save from.
  8. Hover your cursor over the “Save to Zotero” button. The tooltip shows which translator, if any, Zotero will use for the page you are viewing. If the displayed translator is incorrect, post the site name, a URL, and the name of the incorrectly detected translator to the Zotero forums. Note that “Embedded Metadata,” “DOI,” and “COinS” are generic translators, and Zotero will not be able to save automatically from all sites on which they appear. Also, PDFs will usually not be saved automatically on such pages.
  9. Make sure that your browser privacy settings are not blocking cookies. Some sites require you to accept third-party cookies in order to save.
  10. If you are having chronic problems getting the Zotero Connector to work across multiple sites, you may have an extension conflict. Try disabling all extensions except the Zotero Connector. If this solves the problem, re-enable the extensions one-by-one until you find the conflict, and then post the name of the extension that was causing the issue to the forums.
  11. In rare cases where you're seeing a webpage icon on all sites or saving is failing on all sites, there may be a problem with your translators. Select “Reset Translators” from the Advanced pane of the Zotero preferences (if applicable), and then do the same for the Zotero Connector. This isn't necessary as a regular troubleshooting step.
  12. If none of these solutions solve your problem, please create a new thread in the Zotero forums (or use an existing thread if you've already created one) and provide the following:
    • The exact URL of a page that isn't working (even if none are)
    • A Debug ID from the Zotero Connector for a save attempt or, if you're only getting a webpage icon, for loading the page.
    • What it says in the popup when you try to save (e.g., “Saving to My Library” or “Saving to zotero.org”)
    • The name of the translator from step 6, if applicable