Managing Your Digital Files and Information When You Leave U-M

If you are leaving the university, you will lose access to some or all of your computing services depending on your university affiliation(s). See Leaving U-M for details.

See UHR Procedure: 201.40 Termination of Employment for a link to download the most recent version of the U-M Termination Checklist. The checklist includes items about the transfer of shared files and MCommunity groups. Michigan Medicine employees should follow Michigan Medicine procedures.

If you will lose access to U-M computing services, here is information to help you transition files, messages, and other digital data that you want to keep. You may want to delete those things you no longer need. Address

As long as you have a profile in the MCommunity Directory, your email address will continue to work. If you no longer use a U-M email service, you can have your email forwarded to another address(es).

Adobe Creative Cloud

You will lose access to Adobe Creative Cloud. If you would like to continue using Adobe CC after your departure, Adobe has several options available for purchase.


Adobe has created a process for you to migrate your content to a free account so that you can keep all of your work. If you want to continue creating new content, you will need to maintain a personal subscription, but you can retain access to the work you have already created by visiting

Faculty & Staff

  1. If you don’t already have a personal Creative Cloud account, start a free trial or buy a plan
  2. Follow the instructions on the Manual Asset Transfer page. This document was written for those transferring assets from a personal account to an enterprise account (the opposite of your situation). Where it says “Adobe ID”, you will enter your enterprise account, and vice versa.
U-M Google

You will continue to have access to your U-M Google account as long as you have a university affiliation listed in your profile in the MCommunity Directory. This includes Alumni and Retirees.

If you are no longer affiliated with U-M, you will lose access to U-M Google. You will receive an email notice 30 days before your access ends. Export, save, or forward any messages, documents, and other data that you wish to keep from your U-M Google account.

If you own Google Drive files that contain university data, transfer ownership of them, and any other information stored in U-M Google, to a U-M Google Shared Account, university colleague, or Google shared drive so the information will remain accessible after you leave. For more information, see Shared Accounts in U-M Box and U-M Google and Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) Overview.

U-M Dropbox

You will lose access to U-M Dropbox. Before your affiliation with U-M ends, be sure to download and save all of your files in Dropbox to another location. Although you retain your files when your U-M account is transitioned to a personal account, those files that exceed the 2 GB storage limit offered to free accounts will become read-only. You will have to download any files until you are under the limit.

Caution: For faculty and staff who leave the university without retiring, you will no longer have access to your U-M email address. As a result, you will no longer have access to your transitioned personal Dropbox account. Make sure to download everything in your account and move it to another location.

If you own files in U-M Dropbox that contain university data, transfer ownership of them, and of any other information stored in U-M Dropbox, to a university colleague so the information will remain accessible after you leave.

For more information, see Dropbox: Accounts for People Who Leave U-M.

U-M Office 365

You will lose access to U-M Office 365. Download any personal files you would like to keep or move them into U-M Google Drive or a personal OneDrive account.

If you own files in U-M Office 365 that contain university data, transfer ownership of them, and of any other information stored in U-M Office 365, to a university colleague so the information will remain accessible after you leave.

For more information, see Office 365 Accounts for People Who Leave U-M.

Your AFS Space

If you have files in your AFS space that you want to keep, please download copies to your computer. There are several ways to download your files.

  • You can download your files from AFS using mFile over the web.

  • If you use a Windows computer and have a lot of files and folders to download, you may find it easier to use the file transfer software WinSCP.

  • Another option is to use a computer at a Campus Computing Site. These computers are set up such that they display your AFS home directory as an icon on the desktop. You can put a blank CD into the sites computer, then drag the icon of your home directory to the icon for the CD to burn your files to the CD. If you have a lot of files, you may need more than one CD.

If you have a website. If you have a personal website for which the pages are stored in AFS, please be aware that your website will no longer be published when your AFS directory is removed from the system. If you want to keep your site, you will need to arrange for a new web host and transfer your files. If you will maintain your U-M Google account, you can use Google Sites.

Your Directory Groups

Delete Obsolete Groups to Reduce Spam

If you own groups in the MCommunity Directory that are no longer needed, please delete them before you leave. If you don't, the unfortunate members of those groups are likely to continue to receive spam through them.

Transfer Ownership for Groups that Are Needed by Others

If a group you own is needed by people at U-M, please make someone who is still at the university is an owner of that group. Do this by making changes to your group so as to add the new owner(s) and remove yourself as owner.

Request Membership in Groups You Want to Stay in

Even if you no longer have a uniqname, you can be a member of MCommunity groups that are not work-related. Contact the group's owners and ask that you be added as a member using your external email address.

Group Websites

If you maintain a website for a student organization, a university program, or anything else associated with the university that must continue after you leave U-M, please assign the appropriate AFS permissions for the new people who will maintain the website.

Visit​ Managing Access to AFS Group Directories for Websites for instructions.