What are my options?  

There are two main types of file storage on campus: Cloud storage and network storage.  The university uses Office 365 for cloud storage.  The university also offers network storage in the form of Home Drives (H drive) and Shared Drives (L Drive).   

Microsoft Office 365 

Office 365 includes many components: Outlook, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Teams.  The benefits of using cloud services are that your files are accessible from anywhere without needing to connect to a VPN.  Log in to Office 365 with your HawkID@uiowa.edu and HawkID password. 

Microsoft OneDrive for Business 

OneDrive for Business is an online document storage and sharing tool that you can access through your Office 365 account. OneDrive for Business files can be shared with other University of Iowa and external (non-UI Office 365) users. Faculty, staff, and students can use Office Online (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint) software to work with files in OneDrive for Business and up to 1TB of documents can be stored.  To learn more about OneDrive, visit the OneDrive info page.    

Microsoft SharePoint Online 

SharePoint Online is a powerful document storage and sharing tool. This is a good place to store shared departmental or unit work.  SharePoint Online has the ability to set file and folder access. Request a SharePoint Online site or learn more about SharePoint.   

Microsoft Teams  

Microsoft Teams is a good choice for project team or application developers or any situation where you are communicating a lot and you want everyone to see what was discussed even if they miss a meeting or day at work. Teams has its own interface but works the same on either Windows or Macs.  Everyone who is a part of a Team can share and access all files and conversations (persistent chat). You would create a different channel if you needed to separate out the content.  

Home Drive (H drives) 

While at Iowa you may hear references to Home Drives or H drives. However, campus members are migrating away from home drives in favor of OneDrive. It’s easier to access since it does not require VPN access. You only need a browser and Internet access to get to your documents.  Plus, there’s even a mobile app! 

Shared Drive (L drives) 

Many departments or units have Shared Drives.  These are file storage locations that allow you to see files and folders that you have been given access to.  If you are off-campus, you need to connect to the VPN first before you can gain access to your files.  Please contact your local IT Support person for more information. 

When to use what?  

OneDrive: Store and edit your individual files. You can share these files with other people. But when you leave the university, these files leave with you.  

SharePoint and Teams: Share and collaborate on documents within a unit or project team.  You can edit and comment on documents in real-time.  

Shared Drive: This legacy approach allows units to store and share files but requires logging into the VPN if you are off campus. For easy access, the shared drive should be “mapped” on your computer. While most units use shared drives, we encourage the adoption of SharePoint and Teams for real-time collaboration, anytime and anywhere! 

Local Storage: We do not recommend storing files locally.

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