The following small guide helps to migrate the Mendeley library and the file paths of the linked PDFs. If you have a Mendeley account and all your synched files combined are not exceeding the space limit, then the files are synched through the Mendeley service.
If your collection became quite large, then you can copy the database file between the two computers. The problem however is, that in the database the paths to the files (mainly PDFs) are stored as absolute paths, which are not necessairly the same between the two machines, hence the links to the files are not working anymore.
The following guide shows how to replace the paths inside the Mendeley database. (This guide assumes that all the literature files are stored inside one folder)
1. Installation of Mendeley and SQLite Database Browser
2. Copy the database and the folder storing all the literature files
Copy your Mendeley Desktop database file on your first computer to the second computer. On Windows machines it is located inside the user folder in
AppData\Local\Mendeley Ltd\Mendeley Desktop looking like this:
<firstname.lastname@example.org>@www.mendeley.com.sqlite (see: Article: Locate mendeley database).
Copy the folder storing all the literature (all PDF files etc) from your first computer to the second computer. In our example the literature of the first computer is stored in
C:/Users/John/Documents/Mendeley/ and of the second computer the files will be stored in
3. Edit the SQLite Database to store the new file paths
<email@example.com>@www.mendeley.com.sqlite database with the SQLite Browser.The paths to the files are stored in the table „files“ (see Fig. 1).
These old paths (old:
file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Mendeley/) need to be changed to the new location of the literature folder (new:
file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Literatuere/) with the following SQL query. This query replaces the string of the old path with the new one. After execution of the query, saving the SQLite database and restarting Mendeley Desktop the files should link correctly again (see Fig 2).
update Files set localUrl = replace(localUrl, 'file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Mendeley/', 'file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Literature/') where localUrl like 'file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Mendeley/';