This step-by-step guide will show you how to log into Globus and use it to transfer files reliably and securely. You will become familiar with basic Globus concepts and interfaces, and begin to experience how Globus can help you spend more time on your research and less time on data management.

1. Method 1: Log in to use Globus with an existing identity

You can log in by choosing an existing organizational login in the dropdown at and clicking "Continue"… If you don’t see your organization in the list, you can create a Globus ID by clicking on the "sign up" link at the bottom, and use it to log in.

Log In with existing identity

You will then be redirected to your organization’s login page (Google in this example) where you will login using your credentials for that organization. Depending on the organization you choose, you may encounter a screen that Globus is requesting access to your account information (in this example, Google has a page that states: "Globus would like to:").

Google login
Google's consent screen

Once you’ve logged in with your organization’s credentials, Globus will ask if you’d like to link to an existing account. If this is your first time signing up to use Globus (you don’t already have an existing account), you’ll click "No thanks, continue". If you’ve already signed up with another account, you can choose link to an existing account.

Link to existing

You may be prompted to provide additional information such as your organization’s name and whether or not Globus will be used for commercial purposes. Please complete the form and click "Continue".

Complete Sign Up

Then you will need to allow Globus to use your third party login (or "identity") to view information and perform actions on your behalf.

Allow Globus Web App

2. Method 2: Log in to use Globus with a Globus ID

Complete the form at and click "Create ID".

Sign up for Globus ID

…and copy the verification code in the email you receive. Complete the account creation process by pasting it into the field on the Verify E-mail Address page and click "Verify".

Verification Email
Verify E-mail Address

Once you’ve logged in, Globus will ask if you’d like to link to an existing account. If this is your first time signing up to use Globus (you don’t already have an existing account), you’ll click "No thanks, continue".

Link to existing

Then you will need to allow Globus to use your Globus ID to view information and perform actions on your behalf within the service.

Allow Globus Web App

3. The Transfer Files page

After you’ve signed up, you’ll be sent to the Transfer Files page, or you can select Transfer Files from the Manage Data submenu.


The first time you navigate to the Transfer Files page, all fields will be blank.

Blank Transfer Files
Tip: Key Concept: Globus endpoint

A Globus endpoint is a data transfer location. Different types of resources (campus storage systems, HPC clusters, laptops, Amazon S3 buckets, scientific instruments, etc.) can be set up as Globus endpoints and made accessible to authorized users via Globus. An endpoint allows users with accounts on the underlying resource to transfer files, and it can also be configured to allow data sharing, publication, and discovery capabilities for other Globus users, including those who do not have local accounts on that resource.

There are two primary classes of endpoints: server endpoints and personal endpoints. Multi-user resources such as campus storage systems and HPC clusters are set up as server endpoints, typically by system administrators. Laptops or other personal computers are set up as personal endpoints, typically by individuals.

Globus Connect is used to set up server and personal endpoints.

4. Request a data transfer

Use the Transfer Files page to select the source and destination endpoints and paths, choose files to transfer, specify the transfer settings, and request the transfer with one of the arrows.

The Transfer Files screenshot shown here has recommended selections for your first data transfer. Selection descriptions follow the screenshot.

Request Transfer

The endpoints Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 and Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 are server endpoints administered by the Globus team for demonstration purposes and are accessible to all Globus users without further authentication. In the left panel, the user can access three files in the /share/godata/ path on Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1, and has selected two of them (highlighted) to be transferred. In the right panel, the path is /~/, indicating the user’s home on the Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 endpoint resource. Note that you must hit "Enter" or click on the "Go" button after typing an endpoint path—simply moving the cursor to the next field is not sufficient.

Near the bottom, there are also various transfer settings that Globus supports listed. By default, Globus verifies file integrity after transfer using checksums. Click on the question mark icons for explanations of the other transfer settings. Globus gives you powerful control over the behavior of the transfer with a simple mouse click—change the transfer settings if you’d like. You may also enter a label for the transfer, but this is not required.

When you are ready to request the transfer, select a directional arrow between the endpoints. In this example, data will be transferred from the endpoint shown in the left pane to the endpoint shown in the right pane, so the right arrow is selected.

A green notification panel will appear, confirming that the transfer request has been submitted.

Requested Transfer
Tip: Key Concept: Fire and forget data transfer

After you request a file transfer, Globus takes over and does the work on your behalf. You can navigate away from the Transfer Files page, close the browser window, and even logout. Globus will optimize the transfer for performance, monitor the transfer for completion and correctness, and recover from network errors and endpoint resource downtime.

The Globus service routinely achieves 99.9% availability, providing nearly uninterrupted oversight of data transfers taking place on much less reliable networks and endpoint resources. When a problem is encountered part-way through the transfer, Globus resumes from the point of failure and does not retransmit all of the data specified in the original request.

Globus can handle extremely large data transfers, even those that do not complete within the authentication expiration period of an endpoint (which is controlled by the resource administrator). If the credentials expire before the transfer completes, Globus will notify you to re-authenticate on the endpoint so that Globus can continue the transfer.

These wide-ranging capabilities make data transfer with Globus truly "fire and forget".

5. Confirm transfer completion

In our simple example only two small files were transferred, so the transfer will complete quickly. When it does, you will see an Activity notice at the top of your Transfer Files page. You can click the in the recent activity box to go to the Activity page. On the Activity page, click on the three dot icon on the right to view details about the transfer. You will also receive an email with the transfer details.

Activity Page
Activity Details

You may notice that the transferred files are not listed in the right pane of your Transfer Files page under the Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 endpoint and the /~/ path, even though the transfer has completed. Refresh the list to see the updated contents.

Refresh Page
Warning:files are periodically deleted from the user paths on the Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 and Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 demonstration endpoints, so if you return later these files may be gone.

6. Move beyond getting started

At this point you’ve mastered the basic Globus data transfer capabilities by copying files between two endpoints that are accessible to all Globus users. You know how to specify additional transfer options (such as encryption), understand how Globus manages the transfer on your behalf, and are familiar with Activity notices that let you find out about transfer task progress. You are well on your way to letting Globus simplify your research data management.

Follow the next steps suggested here or explore on your own to understand and experience more of what Globus has to offer.

  • Set up and use a personal endpoint.

    • Follow these instructions to download Globus Connect Personal and set up an endpoint on your Mac, Linux, or Windows system.
    • Navigate to the Transfer Files page and request a transfer between your new personal endpoint and Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 or Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2.
    • Navigate to the Activity page (via Manage Data submenu or Quick Links dropdown) and review your transfers.

    Personal endpoints do not require administrative privileges to set up. Transfers to and from your personal endpoint will not fail if you shutdown your system; transfers will be suspended and then resumed by the Globus service when the system comes back online. Try it!

  • Discover and access endpoints on your campus computing systems.

    Many campuses, research labs, and cross-site projects have set up Globus server endpoints on their multi-user resources to enable reliable, secure, and high-performance data transfer and sharing via the Globus service.

    • If your resource provider has set up a Globus endpoint, enter the endpoint name on the Globus Transfer Files page, authenticate using your normal username and password for the site when prompted, and proceed with your data transfer request.
    • If you don't know the endpoint name, you can use the search capability on the Globus Transfer Files page to look for an endpoint. Just enter a likely resource name and look for the resource in the scroll-down list of matching endpoints. For example, "umich", "nersc", "xsede", ...
    • If your site is not set up as a Globus endpoint, direct your system administrator to the Globus Connect Server Installation Guide or ask us to contact them on your behalf.
  • Learn how Globus lets you easily share data.

    Globus lets you share your data with others, even if they do not have accounts on the resource where the data is stored. This capability can be a huge benefit in terms of both time and money because the data need not be copied to cloud storage (e.g., to Box or DropBox) in order to be accessible.

  • Learn more about Activity reporting and transfer retry.

    • Using the Transfer Files page, transfer one of the files from Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 /~/ (entered in right panel) to Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 /share/godata/ (entered in left panel).
      • If necessary, refresh the list in the left panel to deselect the two files that were selected previously.
      • Select the file you want to transfer in the right panel.
      • Use the left arrow to request the transfer.
      • Observe the green notification panel informing you the transfer has been successfully submitted.
    • Scroll down to the Activity area of the Transfer Files page.
      • Monitor the task status and observe the caution icon and the warning message "permission denied".
      • Expand the notice and look at the Overview and Event Log details.
      • In the Event Log, notice multiple instances of "The operation was started or restarted" and "Permission denied" log messages.

    Globus, on your behalf, continues to retry the transfer when a problem is encountered. There could be a permission problem (as is the case in this exercise), or an endpoint resource that goes down mid-transfer (perhaps you closed your laptop while copying data to it), or any number of other issues that prevent the transfer from progressing. Globus will continue to retry the transfer until (1) the problem is fixed (permissions changed, resource becomes available), (2) you cancel the transfer task (click the X next to the task in the Activity log), or (3) no progress has been made in three days, at which point Globus will notify you the transfer has failed.