Microsoft are making some key changes to OneDrive, their cloud storage software. If you are an Office 365 customer, listen up- these changes will certainly affect you.

The storage amount available to you will be greatly reduced in the near future.

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  • The default free limit is being reduced from 15 GB to 5 GB.
  • The ‘unlimited’ capacity of OneDrive is being reduced to 1 TB.
  • 100 GB & 200 GB paid plans are being replaced with 50 GB plans for new customers.

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What should I do now?

Firstly, check the ‘Manage Storage’ Page in your OneDrive account to check your current plan and how much storage you are currently using.

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What you do next depends on your data storage allowance.

If you are currently on the free 15 GB plan and have more than 5 GB storage:

Microsoft are claiming to offer any user in this situation a free year’s subscription to Office 365 Personal, but haven’t released any details regarding this yet.  If you do not choose to alter your plan, you will be notified when Microsoft is making these changes, and given 90 days to move or limit your data. If you’re still over after 90 days, your account will be made ‘read only’ for the next 9 months. This you will still be able to access and download your files, but won’t be able to add any more. After 9 months, your account will be locked until you decide to take action, and after a year, your data may be deleted.

If you don’t want to remove your data, you will be able to purchase a 50 GB plan or upgrade to a paid account.

If you are currently on a 100 GB/200 GB plan:

You won’t be affected by these changes.

If you are currently on the unlimited plan with over 1 TB storage:

You will be notified of this change and be able to keep your unlimited data for at least 12 months starting November 12th 2015. After this year, your account will be made ‘read only’ for the next 6 months. This you will still be able to access and download your files, but won’t be able to add any more. After this, your account will be locked until you decide to take action, and after a year, your data may be deleted.

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Will I need more data?

We’re disappointed Microsoft have chosen to limit their data storage, but understand the motivations behind it. On their FAQ, Microsoft highlight what these figures translate to practically:

5 GB: enough space for approximately 6,600 Office documents or 1,600 photos.

1 TB: enough space for approximately 1 million Office documents or 330,000 photos.

How much storage a business needs is largely dependent on the amount of users you have.  The average organised SME will struggle to make a million word documents, for instance! If you feel the new Microsoft allowances aren’t enough for you, however, you can find larger and unlimited data packages on many other cloud storage solutions, such as Box, Egnyte, and Dropbox for Business. We’d be happy to discuss which solution can best suit your company.