Protecting Your Work

Ensuring that your work is safely stored and backed up is essential, and will prevent you from having to rewrite coursework or notes in the event of the originals being lost. 

Your computer may break or get a virus, it could be stolen or the file may be accidentally deleted. Departments do not usually make allowances for technical issues if you submit work late, so it is up to you to make sure that your work is properly saved and backed up. Here are a few things that you should remember when saving your work.

A very important thing to note

If you are opening a file on a University Cluster PC from your email, or cloud storage please ensure that you save the file to the University M drive before opening it. If you select to open a file rather than saving it first, the document will be placed in a hidden temporary folder located on the PC you are using and not on the M Drive.

If you have lost a file, there is a recovery tool that can be run to try and find the missing files, but unfortunately there is no guarantee that files saved in temporary folder location can be recovered. 

Save work to the M Drive


The M Drive is your own personal space for saving your documents. The University M Drive is backed up once a day. This means if you accidentally delete or save over a document it can be restored from a previous version. You can also access your files from the M drive on any PC on campus and from any internet connected device using the University’s Desktop Anywhere service.

Don’t keep copies of files on a single device (e.g. a USB stick).

If your only copy of your work is on a USB stick or CD and that breaks or gets lost then your files will be lost with it. Save your work to the M: Drive or the Cloud as well as your device so you have a back up. If internet access is a problem even saving to another device kept separately is better than only having it in one place. 

Back up using your own computer and storage devices 

To protect your files on your own computer, you can create a backup: a set of copies of the files that is stored in a different location from the original files (such as an external hard drive). Windows users can use tools such as the Back Up Files Wizard to back up their files at regular intervals. Mac users can use Time Machine to back up their files. Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups until your backup drive is full. If you use a Mac please make sure you remember to turn off the sharing settings to prevent other people being able to access your machine.


Save documents in the Cloud 

OneDrive @ University of Leeds is a personal storage area provided for every student while studying at the University. It’s a place to store and organise your work documents on the internet and can be accessed from any internet connected device. If files that are saved in your personal OneDrive are accidentally deleted they can be recovered for up to 30 days.

Find out more about University File Storage options.