Getting Started Guide for BEAR DataShare


11305 BEAR DataShare AW_smWhat is BEAR DataShare all about?

BEAR DataShare lets you share multiple folders over all your desktop and mobile devices and therefore is one easy way to sync, share and backup files.

  • The BEAR DataShare desktop Client is software that monitors one or more folders on your desktop computer and syncs any changes to the web and other devices.

  • The BEAR DataShare website allows you to access your files on any computer from a web browser. You can also use the BEAR DataShare website to share your files or folders with others.

  • The BEAR DataShare mobile apps let you connect to your folders on the web and sync the files and folders you need direct to your mobile device, so you can take your files with you wherever you go.

Is it useful for me?

Researchers increasingly need to exchange data with external collaborators but also within research groups and may resort to swapping USB sticks, sending emails with large attachments, or may already be using other sync and share solutions but be unaware of where their data is actually being stored and who has access to it. With BEAR DataShare, you can safely transfer data over the internet knowing that your data is securely stored on campus. As well as transferring data between people, it can also aid those researchers needing to upload data from instruments on different networks to a common location.

How to use BEAR DataShare

There are three ways to interact with the BEAR DataShare Client on your computer:

The DataShare Folder

When you launch the BEAR DataShare application for the first time (see our Installation Guides for Windows and Mac), it creates a folder on your hard drive called DataShare. It is like any other folder on your hard drive, however the BEAR DataShare Desktop Client will automatically detect if you add files or folders to it (as long as you are logged into the Client).

Whenever you move a file to one of these folders managed by your BEAR DataShare Client, you are also moving the file to the same folder on the web and your other devices that have the application installed. There is no need for manual copying or uploading, BEAR DataShare takes care of that for you!

The DataShare Desktop Client

When you start the Client, it will ask you to login1 after which it will show you the overall status:

Fully syncedIf the circle with the checkmark is shown then DataShare is fully synced.

SyncingIf the rotating circle is shown then DataShare is currently syncing.

Waiting to syncIf the hourglass symbol is shown then DataShare is waiting to sync your folders, eg. the Client is waiting to connect to the internet.

AttentionIf the exclamation mark is shown then DataShare needs your attention. Common reasons are that you are not logged in yet, your hard drive is full or your storage quota is exceeded.

PauseIf the pausemark shows, then DataShare has been paused.

As well as seeing the overall status of all your folders here, you can also see a list of all folders managed by BEAR DataShare. Simply click on 'Show Folder's.

1If you are a University of Birmingham (UoB) researcher/research student then you should already have your own BEAR DataShare account allowing you to login with your UoB username and associated password. If you are using the service as an invited user/external collaborator, then login with your email address and the password you have created through the welcome email that you should have received.

The DataShare System Tray/Menu Bar Icon

The DataShare system tray (Windows) or menu bar icon (Mac) is where you can check the current synchronisation status. The same status icons which you can see in the desktop Client (see above) are displayed in the system tray/menu bar, so you can check the status without opening the Client.

When you right-click the system tray (or left-click on the menu bar icon on a Mac), a menu will pop up from which the following options are available:

  • Open - Opens the desktop Client.

  • Web - Opens the web portal

  • Explore - Goes to your DataShare folder on your hard drive.

  • Pause - Stops all sync-processes for a specified time.

  • Recently changed - See the latest files that have been changed.

  • Preferences - Takes you to the Preferences window where you can make changes.

  • Sync & Exit - Sets the Client to finish syncing and then shut down automatically.

  • Exit - Exits the desktop Client.

How do I share my files with other people?

There are two ways of sharing files with DataShare:

  • Send download links to quickly share files and folders.

  • Send invitations for others to access your folder(s) (requires them to register for an account).

To share a file or folder via download link:

  1. Login to the web portal 

  2. Navigate to the relevant file/folder and click on the sharing icon of the file/folder.

    Sharing symbol
  3. Click on 'Create link'.

  4. A link is created, by clicking on 'Can read' you can allow uploads or change the settings to add a password, expiration date or maximum number of downloads.

  5. Click on
    Copy link symbol

    to copy the link to your clipboard. You can then paste this link anywhere you want to share it such as in an email.

To stop sharing links, click on ‘Links’ in the main menu on the left-hand side, select the relevant link by clicking on the checkbox which appears on the left-hand side when you hover over it. A menu will appear on the top right-hand corner with the option to delete or change the settings.

To send an invitation for others to access your folder(s):

  1. Login to the web portal 

  2. Navigate to the relevant file/folder and click on the sharing icon of the file/folder.

  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to give access to in the field 'Invite by name or email' and press enter.

  4. Change the permission to the required level.

  5. Finally, confirm sending the invitation by pressing enter or
    Plus symbol

You can also manage existing members of the folders and their permissions by clicking on the sharing icon of the relevant folder.

How to get help with BEAR DataShare

For more information on BEAR DataShare please go to our main webpage where you will find links to our Frequently Asked Questions and user guides including our full user guide, Canvas course (UoB only) and a quick user guide for invited users.

If you are a researcher or research student in the University of Birmingham and are not able to login to BEAR DataShare using your username and password then please log a call through the IT Service Desk online.

Any other queries can be made online through the Service Desk or you can come and visit us in person at our regular drop-in sessions.


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