Students Staff

File storage and sharing

Information about our file storage and sharing services including:

  • your home directory (M:\ Drive)
  • OneDrive cloud storage
  • backup and file restores
  • ZendTo file sending service

Our services

We provide all staff and students with a home directory, also known as your M:\ Drive, to save your files and folders.

  • You get at least 1 GB of storage space - also known as your 'disk quota'.
  • Home directories are backed up daily and earlier versions of your files can be recovered if lost.
  • Can be accessed from any computer on campus and also off campus using SSH.

If you reach your storage limit you will not be able to create or extend files, so be sure to regularly check how much space you're using and delete any unwanted files.

  • Requesting additional storage space

    Requests for more storage space is made on a case-by-case basis.

    Staff quotas

    If you're a member of staff, email the IT Services Systems Group sgq@essex.ac.uk and make your case.

    Postgraduate student quotas

    If you're a postgraduate student of staff, ask your supervisor to email the IT Services Systems Group sgq@essex.ac.uk on your behalf.

    Undergraduate student quotas

    If you're an undergraduate student, storage limits will only be increased if a specific course requires it, in which case your course tutor should liaise with the IT Services Systems Group.

  • Access your M:\ Drive off campus

    If you're away from campus, or not using a University computer, you can remotely access your M:\ Drive using SSH software.


As part of your Office 365 account, you get 1 TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage space.

Key features

  • Securely store up to 1 TB of files in the cloud.
  • Sync files across devices and access them anywhere, even when you're offline.
  • Find the files you need in seconds with simple search tools.
  • Share your files with other Essex users and control who can see and edit each file.
  • Use online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to create and edit documents in a web browser.
  • Easily recover deleted documents or restore previous versions.
  • OneDrive mobile app – available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Web browser access

The quick and easy way to access your files in the cloud.

Desktop sync client

A desktop sync client is also available for download.

Request a file restore

If you have accidentally deleted or overwritten one or more important files, you may be able to recover them from our backups.

Before you submit a request you should check the previous versions to see if you can restore the file yourself, otherwise you should complete our online request a file restore form.

We can restore files from the following locations:

  • SERNT2
  • SERNT5
  • SERNT20
  • SERNT79
  • SERNT99
  • M:\ Drives

We can’t restore files from:

  • removable storage, such as external hard drives and USB sticks
  • local storage, such as your desktop or C:\ Drive

Backup and restore tool for staff computers

We provide tool that staff can use to backup and restore data from staff computers when it is due to be replaced or upgraded.

ZendTo is our file sending service that lets you send files of up to 2 GB. It's free to use for Essex and non-Essex users.

Using ZendTo

For Essex users

For non-Essex users

If you're not an Essex user, then you may perform the following activities: