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 your OneDrive 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

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 (please see related article).

Saving your work

OneDrive – University of Leeds gives you 5 terabytes of cloud storage, which means you can store and organise all your files online and access them anywhere (through  If you need to collaborate on a piece of work, you can also securely share documents and folders. For more information see

You will also have a home drive (usually M:\ drive), an area of the network personal to you, which you can access from any cluster PC on campus. However, we recommend you keep all your files on OneDrive – University of Leeds as it gives you more space, easier access off campus or over the wireless network and allows sharing. 

If you have  any files containing confidential information, you must follow the guidance in the University’s Information Protection Policy -

Don’t keep copies of files on a single device (eg 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 backup. 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. Time machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups until your 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.