I recently installed Mendeley on a new computer. I had deleted all articles from my previous computer and my online profile also did not list any articles. So my library was/seemed empty.

However, when I installed Mendeley on my new computer, it downloaded over 250 articles! All articles I had included in Mendeley at some point in the past, but had long deleted.

I tried searching for a way to delete this data from Mendeley, but could not find it easily. I find this behaviour so infuriating...

How can I purge all articles (not the actual PDFs, but the associated metadata) from Mendeley Desktop and from my Mendeley online account?

Note that I want to delete information from Mendeley, not delete PDFs from my computer.

  • For future reference, what StackExchange would be most appropriate for such a question, if not this one? – LBogaardt Jun 3 '20 at 11:59

The easiest and most reliable way I've found is to go to the online library of the Mendeley web page, and select the items you want to delete while in All Documents, and choose delete from the toolbar.

This will move the items to the Trash, which you can then choose to manually empty as well.

The trick is that if you select Sync on one of your devices now, sometimes it gets confused and adds everything back to the online library rather than clearing everything off. So I suggest deleting everything from each device manually - uninstalling, deleting the Mendeley folder, and then reinstalling in the worst case.

I went through this once while testing adding entire conference proceedings (1000+ documents with PDFs) , the deciding that was a bad idea and trying to remove them. They proved to be a bit sticky and kept coming back, but after I went through the above they were finally gone for good.

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