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Zotero for MLA, APA and Chicago Citations: Install Zotero

Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is a program that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and best of all it's free.

What is Zotero Standalone?

Choose Zotero Standalone if:

  • You prefer Chrome to Firefox
  • You prefer to run Zotero in its own window instead of in the browser

Zotero Standalone (unlike Zotero for Firefox) runs as a separate program instead of part of your web browser.

It works with Firefox, Chrome.

Download and install Zotero Standalone just as you would any other program. You will also need to install the Connectors to allow your browser to save items to your Zotero library.

You can install both Zotero Standalone and Zotero for Firefox and use both on the same computer.

Step 1. Install Zotero Standalone

Install Zotero on your computer

  • Download and install Zotero Standalone from the Zotero website.
  • Create a free Zotero Account on if you don't already have an account
  • Open Zotero
  • On Windows Click Edit -> Preferences -> Sync
  • On Mac click Zotero -> Preferences -> Sync
  • Enter your login and password, close Preferences, click Green sync button.
  • If Zotero fails to sync, check your Zotero Account

(There's a different version for each operating system: Windows, Mac or Linux.)

Step 2. Install word processor plugins

Word processor plugins allow you to insert citations and bibliographies directly into your documents. Installing them is optional but highly recommended.

  • Close Microsoft Word
  • Open Zotero on your computer
  • Windows Users click Edit -> Preferences
  • Mac Users click Zotero -> Preferences
  • Click Cite/Word Processors 
  • Install Microsoft Word Add-in
  • Restart Microsoft Word