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Microsoft cutting back OneDrive storage options

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OneDrive

Microsoft has announced changes to its OneDrive cloud storage options - and they're not for the better.

Just over a year after offering unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers, Microsoft has backtracked.

Those aforementioned subscribers will now have access to a mere 1TB of storage.

Microsoft has explained the reason behind this in a blog post. Apparently, a small number of users were abusing the unlimited offer, backing up numerous PCs and storing entire movie collections and DVR recordings in the cloud.

In some instances, Microsoft says, the amount of OneDrive storage used by individual users was 75TB. That's 14,000 times the average.

It's not just former unlimited-tier customers that will be hit by Microsoft's latest changes. The amount of storage offered with the free tier of OneDrive is also being dramatically lessened from 15 GB to 5 GB. That applies to both new and existing users, and will take effect in early 2016.

In addition, OneDrive's 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued at this time.

OneDrive's current 100GB and 200GB options are also going away for new users in early 2016, to be replaced by a 50GB option. Existing subscribers to these larger plans will be unaffected.

Users who are currently over the new limits for their particular tier will be notified of the changes, and will be allowed to continue using the extra amount for another 12 months.

Related: What's the best cloud storage service to use?

"Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users," says Microsoft on the changes.

However Microsoft wants to phrase it, this equates to a downgrade for most OneDrive users.

Next, check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review:

Dead Words

November 3, 2015, 1:40 pm

Very sad that Microsoft is doing this. That storage is so useful for uploading my pictures and instantly having it available on all my devices. I also have my music backed up there, and that takes up a full third of my storage. With the cuts, I probably won't have enough for JUST the music, let alone the music and everything else. Sigh. Oh well.

PGrGr

November 3, 2015, 2:25 pm

Sigh. Oh well. Maybe you'll just have to pay for your essential services!

MattMe

November 3, 2015, 2:58 pm

Haha, it is sad that we've come to rely on free services, however I do agree with the sentiment.
The 15GB was a useful amount, 5GB less so.
They could have just put a max cap on their unlimited offer at say 1TB, then had another tier where you pay per TB, preventing people abusing the offer.

ElectricSheep

November 3, 2015, 3:18 pm

Very bad PR move. Cloud data storage should be increasing. Resembles the poor excuse that most mobile networks used to cap 'unlimited data' options thanks to a few greedy users. Why put pathetically tiny data limits in place for all because of a few people storing 75TB's?! Just kick the abusers off. Box.com gave me 100GB free cloud storage 5 years ago with a HP touchpad purchase - that's value!

Dead Words

November 3, 2015, 4:51 pm

Well yes. That's not an issue. But you can't expect me to be happy that what was previously free I now have to pay for.

Dead Words

November 3, 2015, 4:53 pm

In a perfect world. I was happy with the free 15GB. It wasn't a lot but enough to backup my photos and music and that was good. I paid for more service if I needed it.

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