Zotero Connector and Safari


The Zotero Connector for Safari is bundled with the Zotero desktop app. (Current versions of Safari don't allow direct installation of browser extensions like other browsers.) After opening Zotero for the first time, you can enable the Zotero Connector from the Extensions pane of the Safari settings (“Safari” menu → “Settings”/“Preferences” → “Extensions”).

The Zotero Connector for Safari requires macOS 11 Big Sur or later.

Using an iPhone or iPad? You can save to the Zotero iOS app using the Share sheet in Safari and other browsers.

Can’t see the save button? Save button flickering?

Due to a macOS bug, you may occasionally find that the extension has disappeared from the Safari toolbar or is quickly appearing and reappearing after a Zotero app update. To restore the extension, delete the Zotero app from Applications and redownload it. (Your Zotero data won't be affected.) It may also be necessary to restart your computer in between deleting the app and redownloading.

We believe this bug is less common in macOS 11 Big Sur and later, so the release version of Zotero includes the Zotero Connector for Safari only for those versions. It's possible to run the Zotero Connector on macOS Mojave (10.14) and Catalina (10.15) by using the Zotero beta, but you may need to fix the extension more frequently after Zotero app updates and may encounter additional instability, possibly requiring booting into Safe Mode before performing the above steps.

If you have repeated trouble using the Zotero Connector in Safari, you may want to consider switching to a browser with a more stable extension framework, such as Firefox, Chrome, or Edge.


Due to technical limitations of the Safari extension framework, some features available in Firefox, Chrome, and Edge aren't available in Safari:

  • Automatic proxy redirection
  • Automatic RIS/BibTeX import
  • Automatic CSL installation

Other differences:

  • Gated PDFs may not be saved on some sites (e.g., ScienceDirect)
  • It's not possible to right-click on the toolbar button to access secondary translators. Instead, right-click on the page itself.
kb/safari_compatibility.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/01 23:24 by dstillman