Free OneDrive storage changes: what happens if you are over quota?

On November 2nd, Microsoft shocked and disappointed many in the tech community when it was announced that free OneDrive storage was being dropped from 15GB to 5GB. Alongside that drastic change, Microsoft was removing unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 users.

Microsoft cited a number of OneDrive users who misbehaved and took advantage of the free storage space by uploading massive movie collections and other large files. Oddly enough, Microsoft has touted in the past how OneDrive can be used to store your music so you can access it via Groove Music (one of the key selling points of the music service from Microsoft). Regardless of why Microsoft has decided to reduce the free storage space, one thing is for sure — it’s going to happen whether we like it or not.

Microsoft plans to “actively communicate” with OneDrive users as these changes begin to roll out. The Redmond giant says they plan to give you enough time to to act or make changes so you don’t lose your files. Here’s what will happen once these changes begin next year:

  • You will be notified and will have 90 days’ notice to take action before your account will become read-only.
  • If you are over quota after the 90 days, you will still have access to your files for 9 months. You can view and download them. However, you will not be able to add new content.
  • If after 9 months and you are still over quota, your account will be locked. That means that you will not be able to access the content in your OneDrive until you take action.
  • If after 1 year you fail to take action, your content may be deleted.

You can either move or delete your files to get within the quota, or you can purchase a new +50 GB plan that will become available in early 2016 when all these changes begin. You can also subscribe to Office 365 and get 1TB of storage (it used to be unlimited, just saying).

Microsoft is also allowing those who utilize the free OneDrive storage to claim a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal for free (but a credit card is required and it will auto-renew after a year). This will get you 1TB of storage, which is better than the 15GB you previously had before these changes were announced.

These changes also affect Office 365 customers who have enjoyed unlimited storage space. Thankfully, Microsoft is letting you keep your storage space for at least 12 months, but after that you will lose your content.

  • If you are an Office 365 consumer subscriber and have stored in excess of 1 TB, you will be notified of this change and will be able to keep your increased storage for at least 12 months starting on November 2, 2015.
  • After that period, your account will become read-only, but you will still have access to your files for at least 6 months. You can view and download your files, but will not be able to add new files.
  • If you are still over quota after that time, your account will be locked. That means that you will not be able to access the content in your OneDrive until you take action.

It’s probably best to begin reducing your OneDrive storage now as we are simply two months away from the new year and the new OneDrive changes.

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