Microsoft Begins Reverting Free OneDrive Storage Accounts From 15GB To 5GB

There's a popular saying about procrastination that I'll tell you about later. In the meantime, here's a heads up that Microsoft has begun downgrading the free storage allotment of its OneDrive cloud service from 15GB to 5GB, just as the Redmond outfit said it would when it announced the impending reduction back in November of 2015.

The reduction in free space was part of an overhaul to OneDrive that also saw the elimination of unlimited storage for Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers. Microsoft was put off by a small number of people who used their unlimited OneDrive accounts to backup multiple systems, host DVR recordings, and even store entire movie collections. The OneDrive team noted that in some instances, users were storing more than 75TB of data, or 14,000 times the average.


As a result, Microsoft decided it no longer wanted to offer unlimited storage, but it didn't stop there. Microsoft also nixed its 100GB and 200GB storage tiers, replacing them both with a lone 50GB tier, and announced that its free 15GB tier would shrink to 5GB, even for existing users. That latter bit didn't sit well with users, and in response to the backlash Microsoft offered to let freeloaders keep their 15GB storage buckets, along with their 15GB camera roll bonuses. The caveat was that they had to visit a special webpage to request and activate the offer, and do so by January 31, 2016.

Now several months later, Microsoft is warning users who procrastinated that it's beginning to downgrade OneDrive's free storage ceiling. Here's the message it's sending out to users:
We want to let you know about some upcoming changes to OneDrive. On 7/13/2016, the amount of storage that comes with OneDrive will change from 15GB to 5GB. We are also discontinuing the 15GB camera roll bonus. You can learn more at our FAQ.

There is no action you need to take, because your OneDrive account is currently below the new storage limits. Even though you aren't currently affected, we want to keep you updated on all the important changes to OneDrive. If you'd like to check your account, you can visit the Storage page.

We realize these are big changes to a service you rely on. We want to apologize for any inconvenience they may cause you. We made a difficult decision, but it's one that will let us sustainably operate OneDrive into the future.

Thank you for using OneDrive.

— The OneDrive Team
It wasn't just a difficult decision, but a wildly unpopular one, especially as the web grows more focused on the cloud. But Microsoft stuck to its guns anyway. Now if you want to subscribe to OneDrive, you're looking at one of the following plans:
  • 5GB: Free
  • 50GB: $1.99 per month
  • Office 365 Personal + 1TB for 1 user: $6.99 per month
  • Office 365 Home + 1TB each for 5 users: $9.99 per month

There are also business plans available starting at $5 per user per month for 1TB of cloud storage, with an annual commitment.