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RefWorks (Classic): Backup/Restore your Account

Important 'Restore' Function Notice

When you restore an account, anything already in the account
will be overwritten

Large Databases

If your RefWorks account is very large (i.e., tens of thousands of references) you might encounter difficulties in backing up or restoring your account. This is because it takes more time to backup or restore large accounts, and your Internet connection may time out.

If this happens, you can try exporting your RefWorks references one folder at a time using the Export function in RefWorks Tagged Format (see the sections in this LibGuide on Importing and Exporting References).

Backing Up Your RefWorks Account

Backing up your account saves your RefWorks database as a .RWB file on your computer. In addition to being a safety precaution, the backup function is also useful for transferring your RefWorks database to a new account, if necessary (for example, you attended the York University for your undergraduate degree, but are now attending uWaterloo for your graduate degree).

To perform a backup of your RefWorks account, select "Backup & Restore" from the Tools drop-down menu.

Screen shot demonstrating instructions


A new window will pop up, and you can select which items you'd like to backup, including references, attachments, RSS feeds, and modified output styles (we recommend backing up all of these items). Once you've made your selections, hit the "Perform Backup" button.

Screen shot demonstrating instructions


If you are backing up a lot of references, this may take a minute. When the backup is done, you will be prompted to save the file. Give the file a name that is meaningful to you (for example, "RW May 2011 Backup.rwb"), and save it to a location on your computer that you will easily remember. Your backup is now complete.

Screen shot demonstrating instructions


Restoring Your RefWorks Account

NOTE: Using the restore function will permanently overwrite everything in your account (including RSS feeds, modified output styles, and attachments). Your account will be modified to the exact configurations in the backup file — you can't pick and choose aspects of your account to restore, while retaining other aspects currently present. If you're looking to modify certain aspects of your account, use the Export/Import feature (see the "Exporting References" and "Importing References" tabs for more information).

To use the Restore feature, you must first have a RefWorks backup file saved to your computer in order to restore it (see above box). Once you have this file, select "Backup & Restore" from the Tools drop-down menu.

Screen shot demonstrating instructions


A new window will pop up. Select the "Restore" link, then select which features you'd like RefWorks to restore (if all features were backed up, we suggest restoring all features). Browse for the file you have saved to your computer and then click the "Perform Restore" button. Your account has now been overwritten with all the references and settings present in the backup file.

Screen shot demonstrating instructions