It can be beneficial at the beginning of a New Year for an organization to ask divisions and departments to do an initial scan of the shared drive to purge and delete un-necessary files and documents.

Make sure users only purge those files and documents they have direct responsibility for maintaining. Often, employees will be hesitant with the lack of clarify of what to purge and delete. Ask users to review these files and remove all documents and file folders that no longer have significance, relevance, or are past the legally required record retention. If record retention guidelines exist, make sure to include them in the communications. Impress upon users that if there is doubt, leave the files and documents on the shared drive so they can be reviewed by others.

Staff can ask themselves the following questions when reviewing files and documents:

  • Will the organization ever need, want, or find value in this information again? (If so, keep it.)
  • Is the information outdated and/ or superseded? (If so, it can be deleted.)
  • Is the information located on the organization Intranet network? (If so, it could be deleted as the Intranet will have the most current information.)
  • Does the document or file have legal (current or future) implications? (If so, keep it.)
  • Is there any legal requirement to keep the data? (If so, keep it.)

Be sure to remind users that if documents or files are deleted from a shared drive, the files will be deleted permanently and will not go to a “Recycle Bin.” The IT manager or Help Desk must be contacted to restore any deleted files from the shared drive.

To learn how to organize electronic files and the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

How to Clean Up the Shared Drive and Electronic Files