Move folder with PDFs and have JabRef reconnect links to them automatically

Hi there,

As is written in the subject, is there a possibility to move a folder (while keeping its structure intact and/or different) with my PDFs and have JabRef reconnect links to them automatically after the fact?

For example, move

\level 1\level 2\PDFs\
or to

and suffer no consequences?

I would’ve tried on my own, but I’m afraid to mess up with the database and then not being able to go back. Yes, I know I can create a copy of it, but still it’s better to ask.


welcome to the wonderful magic fature of JabRef, renaming and moving files :wink:
It’s definitely advisable to create a copy of your bib file.

JabRef can rename files, create directories and move files to those directories, it’s very flexible, but depends on how you organize your files.

  1. Do you have a sinlge folder where you put alll your pdf?
    Then it’s probaly simple. Just change the main file directory in the preferences to the new one and to a Cleanup -> move files to folder. Then JabRef should move the files to the folder.

Before you do this for all files using the Cleanup operation it’s advisable to test it with a single entry first.
Right click the file in the gernal tab -> Move

Hi Cristoph and thanks for your reply.

My organization is like this: I have a main folder which doesn’t contain any PDFs, but only the folder structure (organized thematically). The PDFs are located down in the subfolders, at multiple levels.

Finally, all PDFs are named according to my own naming scheme (i.e. Author - Title . Subtitle [year].pdf) that I’d like to keep.

Is there a possibility I move somewhere else the whole main folder with the structure and naming as they are now, and then just make JabRef relink them as they were?

I guess the alternative would be to replace the path string inside the .bib file for each entry, which I would avoid doing unless absolutely necessary.

Each users organizes the files slightly different. If you have the file paths stored relatively in the .bib file, this is no issue. If not, you can use the cleanup action to convert the paths to relative ones (see

Then you can use the preferences of the current library to change the starting search path:

Then, it should be no issue to move around the diretory.