Data backup: Why, where, and how

This article reviews why, where, and how to back up locally-stored files and data.

Why back up?

Backups are critical to ensuring you'll never lose valuable files in the event of a device failure. They are also important if you are leaving the College, to ensure you don't lose any work.

Warning: If you store files in a non-College-affiliated location, be sure it adheres to the College's Acceptable Use policy, Data Handling policy and Data Handling Storage Guidelines.

infographic describing the 3 2 1 backup best practice

Where can I store my backup?

Storage size How to access
OneDrive¹ OneDrive logo 1TB via OneDrive Online
via OneDrive App
Home Drive (H:)¹ Network drive logo 1TB via network drive on Windows and macOS
Alternative Cloud Storage² Varies See link for alternative cloud storage
USB or External Storage USB drive logo 8GB-2TB via USB port

¹Access to your Home Drive and OneDrive end when you leave the College.

²Faculty/Staff: College-related files should ONLY be stored on College-provided resources.


OneDrive application

Note: The OneDrive application is pre-installed on all College computers!

Follow the instructions below based on your computer.

OneDrive online

  1. Navigate to
  2. If prompted, log in with your College email and password
  3. Clickin the top-left
  4. Select OneDrive
  5. Click NewFolder
    title your folder appropriately (e.g., Backup MM-DD-YYYY)
    OneDrive new folder
  6. Open your newly created folder
  7. Click Upload, select either Files or Folders
  8. Navigate to, and select the file(s)/folder(s) you’d like to back up

Home drive (H:)

You can map your H: drive and store data like any other folder on your computer.



External Drive

Store your files on an external hard drive or USB, by copying-and-pasting as your normally would!




If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor