Guidance for uploading files

Uploading a lot of files

Your project may have thousands of existing files of diverse types. As you are planning to move your research into the workspace, understanding how the upload process works can help you plan how to do this most effectively. For example, you might consider one of the following approaches:

  • The most simple way to upload files is using the workspace web interface. However, if you want to upload data programmatically, you can do so using an API.
  • We recommend that you upload no more than 500 files at a time (just as you probably wouldn’t between your desktop and any other shared file server).
  • If you have a Virtual Desktop add-on to your workspace, using .zip files to batch upload manageable chunks of data is one way to manage this. You will be able to unpack these later in the workspace, and the upload process will be easier.

Upload limits

  • Uploads to Files up to 10 GB and to Blobs up to 100 GB have been tested. Larger uploads might also be possible but any network interruption might result in upload failure.
  • Generally, files that are larger than 250GB should not be uploaded into the workspace using the methods described. If you have files that are over 250GB, please get in touch with your Data Steward Team who will be able to help plan the data migration.


See the table below for a summary of different types of source data, guidance on where to store it, and how you can access the data once it has been uploaded into the workspace.

Source data to be uploaded File extensions Typical size per file Purpose Workspace folder Data mapping applied? Accessed from
Web interface Virtual desktop
Tabular data .csv 1000s of rows and columns Database analysis Files Workspace database Yes Yes
Analysis scripts .r, .sql 100 – 500kB Reproducible statistics Files Workspace file system Yes Yes
Text, pdf documents and small images .txt, .doc, .pdf, .png, .jpg 2MB Project communication and reports Files Workspace file system Yes Yes
Large image files, image series, genomic data, executable files for tool installation, other non-structured data .png, .jpg, .vcf, .exe 10GB – 250GB Raw data for analysis and information extraction Blobs Workspace file system Yes Yes (needs to be enabled by Service Desk)
Updated on June 16, 2021

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