How to Install Mendeley Desktop and Ms. Word Plugin?

For those of you who want to use Mendeley as a citation software, but don’t know how to install it, this article will help you to install it easily. Mendeley is well-liked by many writers. Because one of the advantages is that you can use it for free, aka free of charge.

Read Also Introduction to Mendeley Citation Software

Mendeley has two types of platforms namely Web-based and Desktop-based. But, it requires users to sign up or register first before using this application. The benefit of having an account at Mendeley is that the data or paper that we put in Mendeley will be stored in the cloud. Therefore, it can be accessed through a computer or laptop or an application on a smartphone.

Here are the steps you need to do to install Mendeley:

Download and Install Mendeley

To download Mendeley, please visit Mendeley’s official website and select the Download menu. Mendeley provides three operating systems on PCs that are compatible with this software, namely Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 (Version 1803), macOS, and Linux. Usually, Mendeley’s website can immediately recognize the type of operating system you’re using. Then, recommend the software to be downloaded. More detail about the download link shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Download Mendeley Desktop for Windows

Next, install the software that you have been downloaded (about 56 Mb). Then, wait for about one to 5 minutes until Mendeley has finished installing. Because it’s free, you don’t need to enter the serial key.

Log in to Mendeley Desktop

The first step that must be done before you can use Mendeley Desktop is to log in. Enter your email and password to start using Mendeley Desktop. The display of the Mendeley Desktop Login page shown in Figure 4.

Figure 3: Mendeley Desktop Login Display

If you don’t have a Mendeley account, you must Register or Sign Up first. The way is to click the Register button in the lower-left corner. Then you will be directed to register via the Mendeley website. Next, enter the email you registered as an account and follow the next registration step. The display of the Mendeley register page shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Initial Display of the Mendeley Register

After completing registration, you will have a Mendeley account on the web and that account will sync with the account that we have on Mendeley Desktop. After having an account you can log in by entering the email and password that you created when registering (See Figure 2). The detail is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Display of Mendeley Web Account

Import File to Mendeley

If you are able to enter Mendeley Desktop, the first step you need to do is insert a paper file, book, or other sources that you will refer to. You can see in the initial appearance of Mendeley Desktop. It has been explained how to import files. You just need to select the Import Document or Library button then select the file you want to add. Besides documents, you also can import libraries from Endnotes, XML, BibTex, RIS, and others. See Figure 6 for more detail.

Figure 6: Display of Import Document or Library

You can add more files after logging in. The way is easiest, that is select the Add File Icon or follow the instruction in Add and Create comment box. After that select the reference you want to add to Mendeley. See Figure 7 for more detail.

Figure 7: Add and Create File in Mendeley

Install Mendeley Citation Plugin for Microsoft Word

The main benefit of Mendeley is it can cite the references quickly. So, you don’t need to type references at the end of the paper or thesis manually. Other than that, the software provides a plugin for integration into Microsoft Word. But, the plugin is not automatically installed. You need to install it manually. Just follow the instructions here when you first log in to Mendeley and select >> Install Now. For more detail see Figure 8.

Figure 8: Install the Plugin for Integration into Microsoft Word

If you skip this step and haven’t had the time to install the Microsoft Word plugin, you can follow these steps: Select Menu Tools >> Install MS Word Plugin. For more information see Figure 9.

Figure 9: Install the Microsoft Word Plugin

Note: Close all Microsoft Word applications when installing the Mendeley MS Word Plugin.

Then, you can start doing citations with Mendeley.

Read Also: Tutorial on Insert Citation and Bibliography Using Mendeley Desktop


For those who got “ActiveX runtime error 429“, or can’t install it in Ms. Word 365, or other errors when installing the plugin, you might be able to use one of the following methods. (source:

Method 1

Before starting, we need to display hidden files and folders in settings. In the menu of Windows Explorer, click View -> Options -> Change folder and search options -> select the View tab -> Hidden files and folders -> select Show hidden files, folders, and drives). Then:

  1. First, uninstall the Mendeley Desktop from your computer.
  2. Download the latest version of Mendeley from the Mendeley site (if you haven’t it)
  3. Reinstall the latest version of Mendeley Desktop
  4. Then open Mendeley, click tool -> install MS word plugin
  5. After that, please open C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup. Or you can search on C:\Program Files (x86)\Mendeley Desktop\wordPlugin
  6. Copy the “Mendeley-x.xx.dotm” file (xx is the plugin version)
  7. Then paste it in C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Autostart

Method 2

  1. First, uninstall the Mendeley Desktop from your computer.
  2. Download the latest version of Mendeley from the Mendeley site (if you haven’t it)
  3. Reinstall the latest version of Mendeley Desktop
  4. Then open Mendeley, click tool -> install MS word plugin
  5. Then, click again tool -> uninstall MS word plugin (we need this process)
  6. After that, please open C:\Program Files (x86)\Mendeley Desktop\wordPlugin
  7. Copy the “Mendeley-x.xx.dotm” file (xx is the plugin version)
  8. Then paste it in C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\AddIns (the user name on your computer)
  9. Then, again, open Mendeley, click tool -> install MS word plugin

Author: Ida Wahyuni
Instagram Direct Message: @idawahyuni92

Written by Ida Wahyuni

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *