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Zotero: Installing Zotero for Firefox

This guide shows you what you need to know about using Zotero as a powerful citation management tool.

What is Zotero for Firefox?

Choose Zotero for Firefox if:

  • You use the Firefox browser


  • You prefer to have Zotero as a pane inside your browser instead of a separate window

Zotero for Firefox runs as a plugin for the Firefox web browser, not as a separate program.

The same version of Zotero for Firefox works on any computer that runs Firefox; there are no separate Windows and Mac versions.

Zotero for Firefox or Zotero Standalone?

I recommend using Firefox as your browser while using Zotero. Install the Firefox browser if you do not already have it.

If you must use  Safari or Chrome as your browser, Zotero offers a version called Zotero Standalone that works with those browsers. In my experience that standalone version that works with Safari and Chrome is not as slick but it certainly works.


*Note - you cannot use Internet Explorer with Zotero.

Step 1. Install the Zotero for Firefox plugin

Zotero downloadGo to the Zotero Download page.

Click the Zotero for Firefox link.

When you see the message "Firefox prevented this site from asking you to install software on your computer," click Allow.

firefox notification

Click Install Now, and Zotero will download and install. You can either restart Firefox now, or wait until you have installed the word processor toolbar (below).

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.

Go to the Word Processor Plugins page. Choose the most recent version of the plugins if you're installing Zotero for the first time.

Word for Windows users:

  • Close Word.
  • Click the link labeled "Install the Word for Windows Plugin."
  • When you see the message "Firefox prevented this site from asking you to install software on your computer," click Allow.
  • Click Install Now, then restart Firefox when prompted.
Word for Mac users:
If you have an older Mac read the specifications carefully.
  • Close Word.
  • Click the link labeled "Install PythonExt." (Word for Mac requires this extra step.) Click Allow and Install now as above.
  • Click the link labeled "Word for Mac Plugin." Click Allow and Install now as above.
  • Restart Firefox when prompted.
(If you're using Zotero Standalone, you don't need to install Word toolbars; they are included with Zotero Standalone.)

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