Microsoft shrinks OneDrive storage for Office 365 and free users

If you're a OneDrive user, the changes Microsoft just announced for its cloud storage service are almost certainly cutting down the amount of space available to you. Last year it was flying high and announced unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 consumer users -- an option that is now disappearing. Now, if you're on Office 365 Home, Personal or University your space is capped at the (still sizable) old limit of 1TB that matches its professional offering, but is a far cry from the 75TB Microsoft claims some were using its service to hold. Next year, both current and new free users will see their available space shrink too -- from 15GB to 5GB -- and the 15GB camera roll bonus go away. There were paid plans for 100GB or 200GB of storage, but they're going away too, with only a $2 per month 50GB plan remaining.

According to Microsoft's FAQ, if you're a free user with stored files beyond the quota, you will be notified and given 90 days notice before your account becomes read only. Even if that happens, you will still have 9 months to access and presumably back up any files. After that, your account will be locked and it "may" be deleted. Office 365 users with over 1TB of files uploaded can expect at least a year, then six months of read-only access before deletion is imminent. Also, if you decide you can't deal with the new limits or are unhappy they're not as advertised, Microsoft is offering pro-rated refunds for your subscription.

The way Microsoft paints the picture, some people definitely were taking advantage of a sweet cloud storage deal, but cutting out the bonuses like unlimited storage and groups (just as Windows 10 is rolling out to phones, PCs and even Xboxes) gives users fewer reasons to choose it over the likes of iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox.

[Image credit: Nattapong Kiatmongkollert / Alamy]