Update on the missing PDF issue

Message from Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

Update 6 July 2018

Our team continues to work round the clock to fix the issues experienced by affected users however, this is a complex issue and it is taking us a little longer than we anticipated. We expect to have a solution deployed by the end of next week for most users, but it is likely it will take us into the week after (week starting 16 July) to fully implement the fix for all users.

Thank you for bearing with us, we appreciate your patience. We will keep you updated via this channel and our social media accounts. 


We know it’s been a difficult time for some users who experienced problems with missing PDFs and issues related to the recent Mendeley Desktop update. Most of us have been researchers ourselves, so we understand the concern that losing PDFs and annotations has caused. We apologize unreservedly.

As you might expect, we’ve been working round the clock to fix the issues experienced by affected users. Our team has now identified the reasons behind these issues and are working to resolve them.

If you had missing PDFs: most users should see these re-appearing in your library over the next few days. Please sync your library to check if your PDFs are restored. This process may take some time so do not worry if you do not see all your PDFs re-appear straight away. If by the end of next week (week of July 2nd) you still have missing PDFs, please contact Mendeley Support.

We recommend that you update to the latest version of the Mendeley software, which is version 1.19.1. You can start an update manually, go to Help and Check for Updates in the Mendeley Desktop.

If you have missing annotations: we can reassure you that these are not lost. To enable us to restore them for you, please upgrade to Mendeley Desktop 1.19.1 or later. Once you have upgraded, your annotations should be restored by the end of next week (week of July 2nd). If this issue is not resolved by then, please also contact Mendeley Support.

You may see your PDFs restored before your annotations reappear.

Finally, we know that we have more to do. We know that some of you are still experiencing crashes when working with certain PDFs and we will work to fix this in a later release. If you are experiencing other issues, please contact Mendeley Support.

Thank you for bearing with us over the past couple of weeks. We especially thank those researchers and Mendeley Advisors who gave us detailed information on the problems they experienced, which helped us to address them for the whole user community. We really appreciate your constant feedback and insights to help us improve Mendeley and serve you better.

We also appreciate that it’s taken us some time to get this information to you – this was because we wanted to be as certain as we could that the information we were providing was correct, and to do that, our developer team worked in detail with a group of individual researchers to make sure we had fully diagnosed and understood the problems they saw. We will keep providing updates through this channel and our social media accounts.

Support Update: PDFs Missing from Desktop and Web Library 

Message from Laura Thomson, Head of Reference Management

Where did my PDFs go?

As some of you may be aware, we are experiencing issues with missing PDFs on Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Web Library. We know accessing your PDFs is a crucial part of your research and are sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, so you can get back to your research, but we wanted to let you know what is happening and give you a workaround while we solve this issue.

What‘s going on and how do I fix this?

Some users are finding that all PDFs are missing from their library.

If you find your files missing from Mendeley Desktop and Web Library, the files present on your local machine can be restored by reactivating the sync. Click here for the latest information on how to do that. This will also restore the notes and annotations.

This solution may not work for all users. If it has not worked for you, please check if:

You see an error message that the PDF will not open. If so, then click here for more details.

Your PDFs are not syncing to the cloud. If this is the case, then click here for more details.

If the issue you are experiencing is not covered by the above, please contact Support so that we can help you resolve it.

When will this be fixed?

At this time we do not have an exact time when this will be permanently fixed. Please check this blog post, and our social media accounts for the latest updates.

Mendeley Twitter
Mendeley Support Twitter
Mendeley Facebook