HomeBlogMedical LibraryCommon EndNote for Mac issues and how to solve them

Common EndNote for Mac issues and how to solve them

17 October 2018 - 9:56am by Caitlin Meyer

EndNote X8 on Mac computers can be finicky. We've collected some common issues Apple users experience and figured out how to solve them. If you are still struggling to get EndNote working well after you work through this page, feel free to sign up for an EndNote class, check out our EndNote tutorials, visit the walk-in IT help desk on the lower level of the medical library, or contact EndNote support

“When I try to download the software, my computer says it can’t download it because it’s from an ‘unknown developer’!”

Open up System Preferences, then Security & Privacy, navigate to the General tab, and click “Open Anyway”. Proceed with download and install.

“When I download citations, the computer says it doesn’t have an application to open that type of file!”

Temporary solution: Click “Choose Application” -> EndNote x8 -> EndNote x8

Permanent solution: Open your Downloads folder and right click on the downloaded file. Click “Get Info”. Scroll down to “Open with”, select EndNote, and then click “Change All…”. Now, whenever you download a file with that extension, your computer will know what to do. Common citation file extensions are .nbib, .enw, .cgi, .ciw, and .ris, so you may have to do this multiple times depending on where you like downloading files from.

“When I try to open a downloaded file of citations, I get a weird pop-up telling me to choose a library. Even weirder, sometimes it says ‘This library is in use by somebody else’!”

I’ve had luck bringing my EndNote library back up on the screen and then opening my downloaded file. If the library is minimized or if you’d exited out of EndNote, these problems may occur more often.  

“When I use Find Full Text, it isn’t finding anything, says ‘Searching…’ forever, or freezes my computer!”

1.     Connect Find Full Text to library resources. Go to EndNote in the upper left-hand corner -> Preferences -> Find Full Text -> then type http://wa4py6yj8t.search.serialssolutions.com in the OpenURL Path box.

2.     Were you connected to the Yale Guest network at any point today? Exit out of EndNote, make sure you’re connected to Yale Secure, open EndNote, try again.

“When I open Word to start writing, I don’t see EndNote as an option!”

Go to EndNote, click on EndNote in the upper left-hand corner, and click Customizer. Next to Cite While You Write in the list of components, check the box to install the plug-in. The progress bar may get to the end and the window won’t close. If this happens, force quit EndNote and then restart EndNote and Word. It should work now.

“When I try to insert a citation in Word, the ones I’m looking for don’t come up!”

Make sure you’re hitting enter after you type an author’s name. If it’s still not working, in Word on the EndNote tab, select Preferences, then Application, then make sure “EndNote” is selected – not “EndNote online.”

“When I try to open my EndNote library, it says it’s corrupted or that it can’t open it!”

When you create an EndNote library, you also create a .Data folder with the same name. The .enl library file and the .Data folder need to be kept in the same place, or else the library can’t open.

“When I try to import PDFs I already have on my computer, I’m not having much luck!”

In EndNote, select File then Import. Select Options, then in Import Options select PDF File or Folder.


If you have had any other problems you've encountered and solved, and think they would be helpful additions to this list, contact Caitlin Meyer