Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology



MyFiles is a file storage service for faculty and staff to store and share files across departments and groups.

MyFiles is backed-up for data retention and utilizes snapshots that allow users to recover files to a specific point in time for up to 16 weeks in the past without contacting support. Users can also contact the Solution Center for assistance recovering files up to a year ago.

MyFiles can be accessed from Windows, Apple, and Linux computers without having to install any additional software (with the exception of off-campus access through VPN). It is also recommended that you use VPN when using wireless networks to access your storage.

Use the procedures below to access and use MyFiles.

Connect to MyFiles

MyFiles can be accessed from anywhere using the University VPN service. You must first install the VPN on your computer. After installing and connecting to the University VPN service, follow these instructions:

Windows Computers

  1. Connect to VPN.
  2. Open Computer (from Desktop or Start Menu).
  3. Click “Map network drive” from tool bar (near top of window).
  4. Select your drive letter (any drive letter will work).
  5. Next to folder enter:
    • For department share: \\\deptshare$

      Note: replace deptshare with your departmental share name; this is usually your department or college’s shortname, such as engr or las.Department shares may end with a dollar sign ($).

    • For individual share: \\\Users\UserNetID
  6. If you would like your MyFiles path to attempt to reconnect at login you can select the check box “Reconnect at logon.”
    • Note: The drive will fail to map if you are not connected to the University VPN service when not on the campus network.
  7. Check the box next to “Connect using different credentials.”
  8. Click Finish.
  9. A login box will appear.
  10. Enter your username as: Iastate\yourNetID
    • Note: Replace yourNetID with your University NetID.
  11. Enter your University password in the Password box.
  12. Click OK.
  13. You should now see your drive mapped.

Apple Macintosh Computers

  1. Connect to VPN.
  2. Click on Finder in the dock (should be far left icon).
  3. Click on the Go menu (top of screen).
  4. Select Connect to Server.
  5. In the Server Address enter:
    • For department share: smb://$

      Note: replace deptshare with your departmental share name; this is usually your department or college’s shortname, such as engr or las. Department shares may end with a dollar sign ($).

    • For individual share: smb://
  6. Click Connect.
  7. If you receive a login prompt, enter the following information:
    • Username: iastate\yourNetID (replace yourNetID with your University NetID).
    • Password: Enter your University password.
  8. You should now be taken to your MyFiles Storage.

Restoring Deleted Files

Restoring file and folders on MyFiles is easy and can be done completely on your own by using snapshots. MyFiles has a total of 31 snapshots ranging from every hour to 16 weeks ago!

If you have problems or questions recovering files or folders you can contact the Solution Center at 294-4000 or email

To restore a file or return to a previous version of a file, follow the instructions below:

Windows Computers

  1. Find the folder that contained the file or folder you wish to recover and right-click it.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click on the Previous Versions tab. (This may take a moment to load.)
  4. You will then see a list of all the different copies of that folder that have been saved in checkpoints.
    • You will see recent checkpoints more often (every two hours) and older checkpoints less often (one per week).
    • If no changes have occurred on this file or folder you will not see any checkpoints listed.
  5. You will want to select a copy of the folder based on the date and time that you know the file or folder existed.
  6. You now have three options for recovering the file or folder:
    • Open - Click the Open button, which will allow you to browse the folder or view the file. You can use this option to review if this is the checkpoint you need or simply copy files and folders out of the checkpoint by clicking and dragging it to a new location.
    • Copy - Click the Copy button, which will allow you to copy the folder (and its contents) or the file to a new location.
    • Restore - Click the Restore button to restore the folder or file to exactly what it looked like at that checkpoint. Warning: this option will overwrite any changes in the file or folder that have occurred since that date and time of the checkpoint!
  7. Click OK when you’re done recovering your files or folders.

Apple Macintosh Computers

Restoring files from Apple Macintosh Computers is not currently supported. If you use an Apple Macintosh Computer please contact the Solution Center for assistance restoring deleted or missing files.

Regaining Access to MyFiles

An IT admin in your department or college usually maintains and controls access to the data in MyFiles. If you have lost access to your data in MyFiles, first contact your departmental IT coordinator to have them grant you access. Your departmental IT may need to contact IT Services to restore access if they too have lost access.