Best Practices in Personal Storage Management

Data's value decreases as data ages. Data is generally most valuable and most frequently accessed within the first 72 hours after it is stored. Access declines precipitously from that point forward. The data is rarely accessed after 30 days and almost never after 90 days. And yet, it frequently stays on high-priced storage months or years after its value has plummeted.

  • Delete emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, proposals and more from employees who are terminated
  • Do not store personal non-work related information (personal MP3s, photos, videos) on HSC storage resources; use only personal portable devices (for example, a flash drive or portable hard disk).
  • Do not keep multiple iterations, versions, or drafts of files, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, price lists and so on that consume storage and are outdated or obsolete
    Follow the record retention schedule or ask your department’s Record Management Representation or the institutions Record Retention Officer.
    Consider archiving personal files on an encrypted external hard drive. Contact TechZone for encrypted external hard drive options.

If you can answer “No” to these questions. Files can be defensible deleted.

  • Is the file potentially responsive to a lawsuit, investigations, or other formal proceeding requiring ongoing preservation?
  • Is this file unique?
  • Is there a legal or regulatory requirement to keep this file?
  • Does keeping this information serve an ongoing business purpose?

Tips for search files to cleanup

For Window 7 and greater

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Select the networked folder to search
  3. Use Windows Advanced Search features to narrow searches for the following
    • File kinds: folders, documents, presentations, pictures and so on.
    • File stores: specific databases and locations.
    • File properties: size, date, title and so on.
    • File contents: keywords like “project deliverables”, “AQS,” “blue suede shoes”, and so on.

  • On the search bar to the top-right type kind: Select file type in drop down menu. Start with movie or picture files.

  • To search by date
    1. Created – datecreated

    2. last modified – datemodified

    3. last accessed - dateaccessed

  • For a document kind of file last accessed less than or equal to 1/1/2010

  • To search by size.

    For example: to find a document with a size over 100 Mb.


    To save a search select “Save Search”

    To find out more about Windows Advanced Search Click here

  • For Mac OS X

    1. In the Finder Click “Go” in the menu bar. Select “Connect to Server” and enter Server Address for the network drive that you want to search files for cleanup

    2. Click Connect
    3. A Finder window of networked drive opens
    4. In Finder: Type any letter or press a spacebar in the search button. The search bar will appear below the search field
    5. Select the networked folder

    6. Click the add button (+) on the right side of the search window, below the search field
    7. Click the far-left pop-up menu, then choose or add search criteria

    • To search for files based on date:
        Click “Last modified data” or “Last opened date” or “Created date”
        Click on the second filter and choose “before”
        In the third space, enter the date

      • To search by files type:
        Click “Kind”
        Click on the second filter and choose “Movie” or other file type

      • To search by file size:
        Click “Kind” and select “Other” then click the check box for “File Size” from the attribute list

        Click on the second filter and choose “is greater than”
        In the third space, enter the size to search for anything greater than (ex:100) and choose either MB or GB as the final filter

        Add or remove search criteria as needed by clicking the Add button (+) or the Remove button (-).

      Here are examples of how you might use file attributes in a search:

      • Kind: images created: before 1/1/2010
      • Kind: music by “John Cash”
      • Modified: <= 1/1/2010 searches for items modified on or before a specific date

      For items to appear in the search results, an item must match all your criteria and you have permission to view the content.
      You can save filter criteria for future use. Click “Save” button in the upper right corner for easy future retrieval.