Microsoft slashes OneDrive storage with new rules

The good times are over, backup your online storage

Microsoft has been providing unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers, but now the company has backtracked on the deal and will end this offer early in 2016.

The reason for this change and others that are coming, is that some people have been storing too many files online.

This is another case of companies using the word ‘unlimited’ and are then annoyed and surprised when people try to consume unlimited amounts of whatever it is they are offering, whether it is storage, bandwidth or pizza.

Unlimited means no limits, without end, consume as much as you want. And people did. Apparently some OneDrive users were storing more than 75TB online, which is an astonishing amount.

How can people have that much data? How many weeks or months must it have taken to upload? Microsoft said that multiple PCs were being backed up, entire movie collections and DVR recordings were being uploaded.

 Microsoft OneDrive

It is silly to offer unlimited storage if you don’t mean it or you think people will not use it. Someone will and you either have to accept that or don’t offer it in the first place.

  • Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscribers will get just 1TB of online storage.
  • 100GB and 200GB plans are to be axed and there will be a 50GB plan for $1.99 a month.
  • Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15GB to 5GB and the 15GB bonus for storing your photos online will be stopped.

If you are using more than the limit of 1TB for Office 365 subscribers or 5GB of free OneDrive storage, you will will not immediately lose those files. You will have a year from the introduction of the changes in early 2016 to access your files and reduce your storage to below your limit.

It might be a good idea to invest in some USB disk drives to store all your files. Some people have a lot of downloading and backing up to do. If you are over the limit come 2016 then OneDrive will become read only until you have shifted your surplus files.

Although Microsoft points out that some users are using too much online storage space, there could be another reason for the change.

OneDrive is built into Windows 10 and because millions of people have already upgraded to the new OS, and millions more will get it in the future, Microsoft might sooner or later find it a struggle to provide the current level of storage. As more users switch, the problem would only get worse for the company.

The changes are not unexpected or unreasonable, but it is irritating to be offered something and then to have it taken away. Microsoft should have foreseen this storage crises and avoided it in the first place.

How much space are you currently using? Open a browser and go to In the bottom left corner of the page is the amount of storage available. Click Get more storage and your plan and bonuses are displayed.

OneDrive storage plan

Remember that there will be 5GB with no bonuses from early 2016, so be prepared.

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