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EndNote desktop guide: EndNote 20 release

EndNote 20 release for BU users

Important information for EndNote users; EndNote 20 will be rolled out to BU users over the summer of 2021. Please read this page to see what to do next.


Endnote via AppsAnywhere (Windows 10 machines)

EndNote X9 will be replaced with EndNote 20 in the summer of 2021. This will affect users who access EndNote via AppsAnywhere on Windows 10 machines (BU supplied or personal). Please read this page to learn more about the changes.

EndNote locally installed (Windows 7 machines)

It is not recommended to run EndNote 20 on Windows 7 machines so users will need to continue running EndNote X9.

EndNote for Macs (BU and personal machines)

From macOS 10.15 Catalina, you must run EndNote X9.3 or later. 

Visual changes to EndNote

One of the main changes you will notice with EndNote 20 is the re-design of the interface, including the removal of a lot of the shortcut buttons. However it should be noted that the tools and features you are used to using are still there, they have just been relocated. Please take a little time to familiarise yourself with the new layout. This guide shows you how to run certain tools/features in both EndNote X9 and EndNote 20. 

Converting libraries to X9.3 or later

One of the most significant changes that you will encounter with EndNote 20, is that libraries run in Endnote 20 (or EndNote X9.3) cannot be run in EndNote X9.2 or earlier. 

What this means in practice

If the libraries you are using have been created in EndNote X9.2 or earlier, when you try to open them in EndNote 20 (or EndNote X9.3) you will be prompted to convert your library to a new format. Before you do this,

  1. Synchronise your existing library with it's corresponding online library (if you are using this feature)
  2. Make a compressed backup of your existing library. You will need to do this in your current version of Endnote X9.2 or earlier. If this is no longer available to you, save the .enl file and .Data folder of your library to the H:\ drive. Compressed libraries can be saved to cloud storage, e.g. Microsoft One Drive, or flash storage like a memory stick. Your .enl files and .Data folder should not be saved to cloud storage or flash drives as this can corrupt them.

Once you have made a compressed back up, open your existing library in EndNote 20. You will be prompted to convert your library to the new format. When you convert your library, you will see that a new version (.enl file and .Data folder) is created in the same location as your original library. The new library will have -Converted after its name. The original library will retain its original name.

Synchronising your new converted library

If you are synchronising your library with an EndNote online account, your new library should sync correctly with the online library, although it will indicate it is merging libraries the first time you sync it. once you have synchronised it, check it has been done correctly.

Working with different versions of EndNote

If you are working on the same library with EndNote 20 on one machine and EndNote X9.2 or earlier on another machine, you will need to use an EndNote online account as an intermediary. This is because libraries opened in X9.3 or later will not run in EndNote X9.2 or earlier. Review the section on Sharing a library with yourself for information on how to do this.

Which version of EndNote am I using?

To check which version of EndNote you are using, open EndNote and go to Help > About EndNote.

You will see the version displayed; look at the following for some examples or how it is written:

  • EndNote X9 (BLD 12062)  (Indicates version X9 for Windows)
  • EndNote X9.3.3 (BLD 13966) (Indicates version X9.3.3 for Windows)

Remember that libraries that have been converted for use in X9.3 or later and not compatible with EndNote version X9.2 or earlier.

EndNote 20 CWYW toolbar in Word

Please note that once you have run EndNote 20 on your machine, the toolbar for EndNote 20 will display in Word. If you subsequently run EndNote X9.2 on your machine the EndNote 20 toolbar for Word will not link with the library running in X9.2.