Easily migrate your Papers 3 library into Papers while retaining all of your annotations and organization from your current Papers 3 library. You can view our video tutorial or our step by step guide below:

Before you get started:

  • We recommend running this process overnight as it can take hours to fully transfer - especially if you have a library of 1000's of papers. If you are curious about the work being done behind the scenes, check out this article.

You will need to download the Papers desktop app if you haven't done so yet. If you already have the desktop app installed, you'll want to make sure you are on the latest version. You can go to "Papers" > "Check for Updates" if you aren't sure. 

If you don't already have a Papers account you will have the opportunity to create one once you start the app, or you will be able to log in if you already have an account. Please note that you won't be able to just sign in using your Papers 3 credentials, you will need to set up a new account. 

Once in the new Papers app head to +Add > Add Files > Import From > Papers 3 Library (.papers3)

Under "Select Files", click "Browse Files" and locate your library.Papers3 file. By default, this file will be in Documents on your computer, though you may have placed it somewhere else like Dropbox.  You can customize where you want the import to go. Most users leave it as the default "My Library" - but if, for instance, you want to make your Papers 3 library a shared library to share with others, you'll want to create a new shared library in the app before importing and select that as the import destination.

Once you have selected the destination for the import in the new app, you can click on the blue "Import Files" button at the bottom right.

If you notice duplicates, be patient. The importer will resolve them as they upload. It can take some time before the duplicates are merged as we prioritize uploading the PDFs first. 

Once you're finished, you can go to the web, desktop, or mobile apps to access your newly imported library along with your collections, notes, tags etc.

(updated April 26th, 2023)