Why am I getting the message "Attached file could not be found. It may have been moved or deleted." when I try to open a file on a synced computer, or why am I unable to download a file in the iOS app?
If file syncing isn't set up or working properly, or you've reached your online file storage quota, files may be missing on some of your synced computers. Follow these steps to diagnose and fix the problem:
- Make sure the attachment file is accessible from Zotero on at least one of your devices. We'll refer to the device that has the file as Device A and the device that doesn't as Device B.
- If Device A is a computer, make sure the attachment is stored within your Zotero data directory, not linked to a location elsewhere on your disk. Zotero syncs stored files; linked files need to be synced outside of Zotero. Linked files are indicated by a chain in the attachment icon.
- Make sure the device is syncing properly:
- If Device A is a computer, check that file syncing is enabled in the Sync pane of the preferences, and check whether you're getting a sync error, indicated by an error icon to the left of the green sync icon in the Zotero toolbar. If you're getting a sync error, click the sync error icon and follow the instructions. If you need help, please report the error on the Zotero Forums.
- If you're not getting a sync error on Device A, verify that the file has been uploaded to the server. The steps vary depending on whether you're using Zotero Storage or WebDAV:
- Zotero Storage: Check to see if the attachment file is accessible from your library on zotero.org. Attachment files will be directly viewable if they have been uploaded — the presence of an attachment item isn't an indication that the file itself has been uploaded. If you're using a group, the group must have File Editing enabled in its settings on zotero.org, which isn't possible for Public, Open Membership groups.
- WebDAV: If Device A is a computer, right-click on the item and choose Show File to reveal the file in the OS file manager (Finder on macOS, Explorer on Windows, etc.). Look at the name of the file's parent directory, which should be a string of characters such as 'F81VWFP2'. Load your WebDAV URL in your browser or another WebDAV client and look for corresponding .prop and .zip files (e.g., F81VWFP2.prop and F81VWFP2.zip) on the server.
- If Device A is a computer, the file hasn't been uploaded correctly, and syncing completes without a sync error, go to the Sync → Reset pane of the Zotero preferences on Computer A and select Reset File Sync History for the library in question. (Do not use any other options in the Reset pane.) Resetting file sync history shouldn't be necessary under normal usage, but it will cause Zotero to check every attachment to make sure that it has been uploaded to the server. If the file becomes available online, continue to the next step. If not, provide a Debug ID for the first sync after performing Reset File Sync History, followed by a successful opening of the file locally, and post it to the Zotero Forums. For Zotero Storage, include the URL from the web library where you're not able to access the file.
- If the file has been uploaded, check to see if it is available on Device B. If not, there may be a problem on that device. Check the file sync settings on that device to confirm that they match the settings on Device A. For example, if one device is set to use Zotero Storage and another is set to use WebDAV, or if they're configured with different Zotero accounts (for personal library files) or different WebDAV URLs, files won't transfer between the two.
- Sync Device B and check if there's a sync error. If so, you'll need to resolve that before file syncing will work.
- If you've performed all these steps, see the file on the server, and still can't access the file on Device B: