Saving and storing your work

Computers break, memory sticks get lost, cloud providers go bust and hackers destroy your data. We get around 50 enquiries a month to our IT Service Desk and the Student Equipment Support Service about these kind of problems. We’ll always try to help you recover lost items but the best thing you can do is adopt these good habits:

  • tick boxKeep multiple copies of files

  • tick boxSave your work in progress regularly

  • tick boxSave completed work safely

  • tick boxGive your files sensible names

  • tick boxUse "save as"

Where to save your work

The best places to save your files are in your University storage, or Google Drive:

University networked filestore

University Networked storage

You automatically get 10GB of storage in your own individual filestore and you can request more if you need it. Staff also get a shared drive, so that your colleagues can access your files if you are out of the office.

  • Accessible both on and off campus (with internet connection)
  • Accessible via your own computer (myFilestore)
  • Accidentally deleted files can usually be recovered

Learn more about University storage

Google Drive

Google Drive

As we work with Google to provide various services, such as Google Mail and Calendar, University of Sheffield students and staff also get storage free.

  • Accessible anywhere
  • Files uploaded to Google drive can be synced offline too
  • Good for collaborative working - you can easily share and work on files with other students and colleagues

Learn more about Google Drive

Other places


Email attachments are useful for moving files around but they’re not reliable for long-term storage.

You should save email attachments to your Networked storage or Google Drive before you work on them.

Hard drives and removable storage

USB memory sticks and other removable storage devices are useful for moving files around but again, they’re not reliable for long-term storage. They can and do break and get lost, so make sure this isn’t your only copy of your work. Don’t leave external hard drives and memory sticks connected to your computer either - if the computer gets stolen or attacked by a virus, they will be affected too.

Hard drive: Desktop or C drive.

If your computer breaks, then you could lose everything on its hard drive. And if you store things on our student computers, other people could access your files when they log in. 

External services

You might want to use Dropbox, or another cloud storage provider like Skydrive or iCloud. You can use these, but remember that we work with Google so we can't offer the same level of support should you need it as we can for Google Drive.

If you want to use Dropbox on the student computers, please only use the web version. The desktop version isn’t suitable for our student computers and your folder is deleted when you log out.

Information Security

For more information about keeping your files safe, choosing good passwords and generally protecting yourself, your equipment and your fellow students and colleagues, take a look here:

Safe computing

Help & Support

If you need further information, need extra storage or have special requirements, contact the IT Service Desk.