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This page provides tips and troubleshooting help for clients using EndNote on a Mac computer.

EndNote versions for Mac OS

Catalina OS

The current version of EndNote (X9.2) will not work with the Catalina operating system for Mac.

EndNote have released a new update version (X9.3.1) for Macs to fix this problem. Note this version is also compatible with older Mac operating systems.

If you have not yet upgraded to Catalina:

  • A pop-up notification of the update will appear when you open EndNote.
  • Close all Microsoft Office programs
  • Click the Download and Install button to run the update.

If you have already upgraded to Catalina you will need to reinstall the software:

  • Go to the home page of the EndNote guide > select Download EndNote
  • Login and go to the Download section
  • Agree to the conditions of use and choose Macintosh from the drop down menu
  • Choose the version X9 from the drop down menu and click Download. This will download X9.3.1
  • Once downloaded, install the program as usual.​

File conversion

  • Due to the change in database format, existing libraries will require conversion when first opened in X9.3.1.
  • This will create a new, converted version of the library for use with X9.3.1, but will not alter the original file.
  • The original file will still be able to open in X9.2 and earlier but will not contain any changes made in the newer version unless synced online.

Cross Compatibility

  • EndNote X9.3.1 Mac libraries are currently not cross-platform compatible with EndNote for Windows.
  • If you use your EndNote library across Mac and Windows computers you will need to use the online sync function to keep your library current on both machines.
  • The X9.3.1 patch for EndNote (Windows) will be available later this year to restore cross-platform compatibility.

Mojave OS

The new Mac OS system, Mojave, includes new Security & Privacy functions which can prevent EndNote CWYW from being able to correctly automate. This can result in the toolbar not working properly and inserting unformatted citations or give error messages.  To correctly set these options:

  • Go into the Apple menu and select System Preferences
  • Click Security & Privacy
  • Click the Privacy tab (along the top)
  • Click the Automation options, along the left.
  • Make sure that both "Microsoft Word" and "EndNote X#" are both turned on. With this automation turned off, the Cite While You Write functions will not work.

High Sierra OS & Microsoft Office 2016 must upgrade to EndNote X8.2​

If you have updated Microsoft Word and the EndNote toolbar has disappeared, update your EndNote software. 

To update your X8 version, go to the "EndNote" menu and choose "Check for Updates".

Sierra OS

Sierra users must use EndNote X8 or X8.2

Downloading database results to EndNote

You need to use File Associations to get EndNote to automatically open files of results from databases.

The main types of files that can be downloaded from databases  include .ris (most databases, including One Search), .enw (Google Scholar) and .ciw (Web of Science).

Download the files linked below and follow these instructions to set up the file associations for the file formats listed above.

  1. In the Finder window, highlight the file format you want to set up File Associations for (e.g. .ris).
  2. Go to File > Get Info
  3. Open With > choose the applications selection bar
  4. Choose EndNote and make sure Always Open With is selected
  5. Click on Add.
  6. Click on the Change All... buttton

EndNote for Macs troubleshooting

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