Central File Server: How to connect to your H: drive with Windows

Name: Central File Service (Home Drive)

Recommended For: Document storage

Audience: Staff, Faculty, All Students

Data Classification Types: Confidential and Unrestricted with Princeton University

Available Space: 5 GB per user

How to Get Started: Send email to ess-storage@princeton.edu

Cost Associated with Service: none


The Central File Service - Home Drive, is a network folder that can only be accessed on Princeton's network, either while on-campus or through VPN. It can be accessed via Windows, Linux, and OSX devices through the following protocols: CIFS/SMB/NFS. It used to store personal documents.

There are automatic snapshots taken of all data under the following schedule:

The Home Drive can be utilized on Princeton's Linux services like Public Linux and the Nobel clusters.


A limitation of CFS is lack of access external from Princeton's network. Content cannot be shared directly through the internet. External access is only permitted through the VPN.

Connecting to the Central File Server

Note: If you are off-campus, you will to make a VPN connect to the University before accessing the Central File Server. Please refer to VPN: How do I Remotely Connect to Protected Resources for more information. Once a VPN connection is established, follow the instructions below to access drives on the Central File Server.

Connecting to your Home (H:) Drive via Windows

  1. Press WindowsKey + E to launch File Explorer on your computer.
    image of screenshot displaying user's Windows Explorer
  2. On the left side of the screen, right-click on the Network.
    Image of user's Windows Explorer, with user right-clicking on Network Drive and selecting Map Network Drive
  3. From the drop-down list select Map Network Drive.
  4. The Map Network Drive dialog box will open.
    • In the Drive field select H: from the dropdown.
    • In the Folder field type \\files.princeton.edu\YourNetID
    • If you want to remap to this drive the next time you log in, click the Reconnect at sign-in checkbox.
             Image of user selecting H drive from dropdown and entering "\\files.princeton.edu\YourNetID" in the Folder Name field, and clicking the Finish button
  5. Click Finish.
  6. If you are prompted for authentication, login with your netID (PRINCETON\YourNetID) and password
    image of user logging into Windows Security , with username "Princeton\user's NetID" in the username field and user's password in the Password field
  7. The drive is now mapped.