Microsoft Ends Unlimited OneDrive Storage for Office 365

Unlimited OneDrive Storage

Microsoft has decided to end the unlimited OneDrive storage option for Office 365 users. And how big a deal it is to you depends, to some extent, on how much of the cloud storage service you use.

According to Microsoft, the reason for scrapping the unlimited model is, “Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average.”

The change simply reduces the amount of space available on OneDrive for Microsoft customers moving forward. Customers who’s data exceeds Microsoft’s new storage limit will be notified to make the necessary arrangements to transfer that data to another location or purchase additional space on OneDrive.

Its likely to be a blow to some, but for many the space remaining is considerable.

The changes are as follows:

  • Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers will no longer have unlimited storage. Effective immediately,subscription to those services will only include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
  • The 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans will also be eliminated as an option for new users. They will instead be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
  • The 15 GB OneDrive storage Microsoft was providing for free will go all the way down to 5 GB, while completely getting rid of the 15 GB camera roll storage bonus.

So what happens to the terabytes of data you have stored on OneDrive?

You can keep 5 GB of free storage, and as for the rest, you have at least 12 months to make the necessary arrangements for transferring the data to another provider or your personal hard drives.

For free OneDrive plan users you will be notified with a 90 day notice to take action before your account will become read-only. After the 90 days, you can access your files for nine months, but you will not be able to add more data. After that time it will be locked, followed by the possible deletion of the content if you haven’t taken any action after one year.

If you are an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriber with unlimited storage and you have more than 1 TB, you can keep the excess data for 12 months from November 2, 2015. After that you have access for at least six more months where you can view and download your files without making any additions. Following this period, the account will be locked, and may be deleted if you don’t take action beyond one year.

To soften the blow, Microsoft is offering a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription, which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.

Cloud Image via Shutterstock 13 Comments ▼

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

13 Reactions
  1. Umm so what will happen to the people who stored TB of data? It will just be lost, just like that because of their decision changed midway? This will not look good for customers.

  2. This is Microsoft’s marketing idea of a foolproof way to get consumers to love them..

  3. Hi Bryan,
    Funny, but you never know.
    Hopefully the company will re-evaluate its decision.

    • At this point I don’t think it would matter if MS changed their mind again and re-offered unlimited storage. Cloud storage is about trust. And how can you trust them. Maybe they say yes, you spend a few months and upload 10tb. Then a month later they change again?

      • Hi Michael,
        You are absolutely right, trust is a major issue. Plus, uploading and downloading terabytes of data is a task no one wants to repeat.

    • Hi Martin,
      You are right. There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch,” – T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L., but when a company of this size makes a promise, most people expect it to keep its word.

  4. While I understand that people are all angry at Microsoft about this, I can completely understand why they’d do it… and I hate seeing it as I’ve experienced the same thing in my early days of school.

    It’s like if I set up a stand for spare change, you know, like if you’re in a store line and need $0.06 in change for a purchase, and then someone comes in and takes all the change just because he can.

    Because of that ONE person he’s messed with me and other people. To prevent this, I set up a security guard by the change. The people aren’t happy that they’re being watched like if they’re some criminal, but it allows for people get what they need and it allows me to know everything is working as it should.

    Bad analogy… but I hope you know what I mean.

  5. Hi Gabe,
    I get your point.
    I don’t know if you read some of the comments on the company blog, but the overall consensus was why punish the collective. In its own words Microsoft said it was, “A small number of user.”

    Taking your example of the security guard, maybe the company could’ve prevented this small number from uploading more data or charged them accordingly by keeping an eye on them.

  6. Matthew Hargreaves

    Michael, From a purely legal standpoint i don’t think they could’ve punished the few. the rule must apply to all or its discrimination. This is known and exploited by many people in our society today and these vultures can even benefit more from a lawsuit having already taken their unjust dues.