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Debug Output Logging

If you've been asked to provide a Debug ID (which is different from a Report ID) to help troubleshoot a problem, follow these simple steps:


  1. In the Help menu, go to Debug Output Logging and select Enable, or use “Restart with Logging Enabled…” to generate debug output from Zotero startup. (If you're not able to access the Help menu, see Reporting Startup Errors instead.)
  2. Immediately perform the relevant action (syncing, saving, importing, etc.) and reproduce the problem you're experiencing.
  3. Before doing anything else, return to Help → Debug Output Logging and click Submit Output, which will disable logging and submit the output to A window should pop up containing a Debug ID (e.g., “D12345678”). Click “Copy to Clipboard” and paste the Debug ID into your forum thread.

Zotero Connectors (Firefox, Chrome, and Safari)

  1. Open the Zotero Connector preferences
    • Firefox: right-click on the Zotero Connector extension button and click “Preferences”.
    • Chrome: right-click on the Zotero Connector extension button and click “Options”.
    • Safari: right-click anywhere on a webpage and select “Zotero Preferences…”
  2. In the Advanced tab of the Zotero Connector preferences, under “Debug Output Logging”, check the box next to “Enable Logging”. Do not close this tab.
  3. Immediately perform all the relevant actions (e.g., import an item from a web page).
  4. Go back to the Advanced tab of the Zotero Connector preferences and click Submit Output.
  5. You will be provided with a Debug ID (e.g., “D12345678”). Please post the Debug ID to the forums.
  6. Uncheck the box next to “Enable Logging.”

Error Submitting a Debug Log

If submitting output fails, you can return to the Debug Output Logging menu and select View Output, go to File → “Save…”, choose Format: “Text Files”, and save the output to a file, which you can email to with a link to your forum thread. It can be helpful to ZIP the file before emailing it.

Logging to a Terminal Window

If you'd like to regularly follow Zotero's debug output in real-time, it may be preferable to have Zotero log to a terminal window.


  • Open Terminal via Spotlight or /Applications/Utilities.
  • Paste /Applications/ -ZoteroDebugText into the Terminal window.
  • Press Return


Start Zotero via the Cygwin terminal (not cmd.exe):

  • Open the Cygwin terminal
  • Paste '/cygdrive/c/Program Files (x86)/Zotero/zotero.exe' -ZoteroDebugText into the terminal window.
  • Press Enter.


Start Zotero via the command line, adding the -ZoteroDebugText command-line flag.

Developer Note

To enable Zotero debug output permanently, set extensions.zotero.debug.log to true in the Zotero config editor, accessible from the Advanced pane of the Zotero preferences, and then start Zotero from the command line.