Guide to Cleaning-Up the S: Drive (Network Storage Directory)

Posted April 6th, 2021 at 4:30 pm.

Please review the following in full before beginning to clean up your S: Drive, also known as Network Storage Directory on Macs. If you have any questions about cleaning-up your S: drive, contact the Help Desk ( or x7440).

If you haven’t already, please review the Top 11 Tips for Cleaning-Up Your Files:

Purpose of the S: Drive

Similar to the H: drive, the S: drive is part of the College’s network file storage system. Unlike the H: drive, the S: drive is used as a shared storage space, meaning that multiple people can have access to the same directories (folders). Think of it as a locked filing cabinet that multiple people can have a key for, and LITS serves as the locksmith.

What Belongs on the S: drive?

While the S: drive is designed to accommodate shared storage needs for a variety of College constituencies, the available storage space is by no means infinite. Due to the finite space and the costs associated with maintaining the network storage drives, the S: drive should only be used to store files related to academics and/or College business. Files of a personal nature, such as personal videos, pictures, audio files, etc. are not permitted to be stored on the S: drive. If personal files are currently stored on your S:drive, they should be deleted or transferred to a different storage medium.

Certain types of sensitive data are not permitted on the S: Drive. Please see the Data Handling Policy and the Data Handling Storage Guidelines for more details. If you have further questions about whether a file is permitted to be stored on the S: drive, contact the Help Desk.

Cleaning-Up Your S: Drive To-do List

Given the shared nature of the S: drive, it’s strongly recommended that you meet to discuss a plan of action with the other community members who use the shared directories before deleting, transferring, or reorganizing any files. For example, moving folders without considering who has permissions might end up causing widespread access issues and other problems, leading to a laborious reconciliation process. Think of who has the key before changing the lock! If your S: drive is complex with many users, LITS recommends reaching out to the Help Desk (, x7440) to schedule a consultation on a later date.

If you think you’d benefit from a quick brush up on how to use your operating system’s file management tools, see the section in this guide titled Tips for Using the Windows and Mac File Management Tools.

1)  Delete files from the S: drive that do not belong there and/or are no longer needed

Note: LITS recommends that all employees follow existing file retention policies for digital files. See the College ’s Record Retention Policy here:

Please consult your supervisor with any questions.

  • Target the big ones! Delete large files that are of a personal nature or are unnecessary to keep. See this video to learn how to sort files by file size:
  • Consider deleting older versions of files. You may not need to hold onto dozens of revisions
  • Delete duplicate files. No need to keep multiple copies of the same file on one storage
  • Delete copied Applications (e.g. MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, any .exe file types). See this video to learn how to sort files by file type:
  • Delete sensitive data stored on your S: drive that you no longer need. Simply holding onto it increases the risk that it could fall into the wrong hands

2)  Transfer files from the S: Drive that do not belong there that you’d like to retain

If there are files that you need to remove from the S: drive but do not want to delete, there are various options for archiving or moving your files to a different storage medium. Certain storage media are best used for more temporary storage, whereas other media are better suited for longer-term storage. Please see this Tech Doc for a list of suggestions for:

Note: Again, please remain mindful of the Data Handling Policy and Data Handling Storage Guidelines when considering storing files containing sensitive data on any storage medium

3)  Other Things to Consider While Cleaning-Up Your Files

  • Be consistent about how you name your files, and follow file naming best practices. Naming your files in a consistent man- ner will improve your ability to efficiently find them later and to understand differences and commonalities among your Following file naming best practices –such as avoiding using special characters (e.g. <, >, : , ?, *) — will prevent various issues. Read more here:
  • Consider how you organize your folders. Does your current folder organization system work for you? How could you better organize your folders to make files easier to locate and less likely to be lost and forgotten? While there isn’t a silver bullet for folder organization, you should base your folder organization around the way you work. For example, creating folders for different months or semesters might make the most sense for your workflow, or creating a folder for each of your projects might improve your organization
  • When considering what action to take with a file, ask yourself the following questions:
    • How often will I need to use this file? If it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use a file on a recurring basis or at all in the near future, consider deleting it, archiving it, or moving it to a new folder on the S: drive for past projects
    • Did I produce this file? During your clean-up, you may come across files that someone else had created. If you do, find out if they need the file(s) before taking action
    • Can I access this information somewhere else? If you’re storing data on your S: drive that you can access elsewhere (e.g. BiONic, the College website), consider deleting the file, especially if it contains data of a sensitive nature
    • Should this file be archived? Certain types of files are required to be archived. Contact the Help Desk if you have questions

More Tips for Using Windows and Mac File Management Tools

LinkedIn Learning, the College’s online learning tool, has a number of helpful videos focusing on using Windows and Mac File Management Tools (File Explorer and Finder) for tasks related to cleaning-up your files. See below for the links to the courses. You can either view the entire playlist of videos or view individual videos. Clicking on a link will redirect you to the LinkedIn Learning sign in page. Please click the option to sign Read more about LinkedIn Learning here:

Filed under: File Storage Tags: , by Andrew Mantuano

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