Backup JW Library Data


Introduction: Backup JW Library Data

The Faithful and Discreet Slave have given us a great tool with JW Library but if we need to install it on another machine for whatever reason it largely requires a re-download of all the books and media which can be tedious.

This guide will describe the process of backing up and restoring the information using Windows 10.

Step 1: Viewing Hidden Files

By default Windows hides protected and system files from users because it something goes wrong with them then they will break a lot. However, the files we need to backup are hidden and thus need to be revealed first.

Open an Explorer window by holding down the Windows key (either side of the spacebar) and pressing e.

At the top of the window you'll see View, click that to reveal a dropdown window.

You'll notice that Hidden items is unticked. Tick this box and that's it, you should now see the hidden items.

To see if it's worked you should now see a slightly duller folder called Program Data. Don't worry about this folder it'll just show if it worked.

Go into the Users folder.

Step 2: Finding the Location

In the Users directory you'll see a list of profiles. In my case the one I'm after is the one labelled Loweded. This is my username. Go into the folder that correlates with your username.

Here you'll see a lot of familiar folders like Music and Videos etc. Inside both of those folders are respective JW Library folders. These will need to be backed up as these contain the music and videos you've downloaded in app respectively. However, for now the folder we need to concentrate on is AppData.

We now need to go into the Local folder.

You should now see a folder called Packages so go into that one.

Inside this folder there will be called something like:


Step 3: Backing Up

In a previous version of this instructable I mentioned scripting this. It seems that this was NOT a good idea as XCopy was screwing up the permissions on the file.

Instead simply copy the entire WatchtowerBibleandTractSo.45909CDBADF3C_5rz59y55nfz3e folder by selecting it in Windows and pressing CTRL + C.

Next go to your preferred backup drive and simply press CTRL + V and this will copy the entire contents of the folder into your backup drive.

Step 4: Restoring

There are three folders that need to be restored and all can be found in the LocalState folder. The folders are Publications, MediaTiles, and Tiles. Simply restore these to the following location:

C:\Users\{your username}\AppData\Local\Packages\WatchtowerBibleandTractSo.45909CDBADF3C_5rz59y55nfz3e\LocalState\

Make sure that you have installed JWLibrary on the required machines and run it once, closed it, then rebooted before copying the files across.

Now when you load up JW Library it should load up with all your downloads. You will still see the cloud icon that indicates it needs to download but when you click on it it will realise that it is already downloaded and remove the cloud icon. The reason for this is that JW Library needs to recreate the database.

Step 5: JW Library Now Crashes

It's possible that you've copied over the WatchtowerBibleandTractSo.45909CDBADF3C_5rz59y55nfz3e folder to the location on the new machine. This will cause issues because Windows has special permissions on this folder and some of the other folders.

The fix is simple but time consuming so first you need to uninstall JW Library. You can do it without doing so but this will ensure that the files are completely gone.

Reboot Windows now. You'll need to do this step because even though the app is gone there are files that still seem to be open in memory even though the app hasn't loaded correctly. Rebooting Windows will clear these from memory.

Reinstall JW Library through the Windows Store and when installed run it. It might restart a couple of times but it should come to a state where it is useable. When it is at this point close JW Library yourself.

Now follow step 4.

Step 6: A Couple of Notes

Anything in this document with {your code here} is specific to your machine.

Also this is specific to your Windows Store account so the backup and restore, restore more specifically, MUST be done with the same Windows Store account on each machine. There is no getting around this unfortunately as this is how the Windows Store works.

Step 7: Contact Me

If for whatever reason you're having issues please leave a comment below and I will endeavour to help you.



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    3 Questions


    i did what you said about restoring the Jw Library data but it seems nothing is coming. please i need your help

    I am brianjfs,

    Found your instruction on JW library backup instructive. However is there an instruction on how to back up The Watchtower Library (desktop). My operating system is windows 10. Looking forward to your response

    Hi brianjfs, I do apologise for the late reply. I've been a bit sidetracked lately.

    To answer your question kind of requires knowledge of what you're trying to backup. If it's the main application then you need to go to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Watchtower". There is a folder here called" Watchtower Library" that you can backup but restoring it or copying it to another machine requires that you first run the WTLib installer off the DVD first. This is because non-Metro apps need to install stuff to the registry otherwise they won't work. Once the application is installed then simply copy the "Watchtower Library" that you backed up into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Watchtower" on the restored machine or new machine.

    If you are trying to backup the Favourites then you go to:

    C:\Users\{your username}\AppData\Roaming\Watchtower\

    There is a folder called "Research Favourites" which you can backup and restore to the new locations. Don't worry about the "USER" folder because it's tied to your username.

    Remember that you need to turn on Hidden Files to see the AppData folder so just use this guide here right at the start.

    Hope this helps.

    Very accurate tutorial, may I please ask if you know where the jwlibrary stores the images?
    We have no internet connection and would like to bring all files on flash drive to meeting. Thanks.

    If you look under LocalState/Publications then you will see a list of the downloaded publications.

    Each publication will have its own named folder for example the Meeting Workbook for February has the folder name mwb_E_201802. Inside this folder you will see the images for this publication. The same can be said for the Watchtower and Awake and the various books and tracts we have as well.

    This folder will not have the videos however as these are stored in your Music and Videos folders respectively.

    Hope this helps.


    I tried it I believe step by step, but now when I try to start the app on Windows 10 the app shuts itself down before it opens all the way. Tried to reboot... same result

    1 reply

    It seems you might have copied the entire WatchtowerBibleandTractSo.45909CDBADF3C_5rz59y55nfz3e folder which will cause this issue. I'll modify the guide to add a section that tells you how to fix this but it's a little time consuming.