WARNING: Microsoft is reducing OneDrive storage in the New Year
Ken in Regina
In "early 2016" Microsoft plans to significantly reduce OneDrive storage plans.

- The free storage space of 15GB gets reduced to 5GB.
- The Camera Roll additional 15GB goes to 0GB (yes, Zero).

This is retroactive. That is, it applies to all current users, not just those who sign up after the changes.

Here's the detailed blog article. A number of their paid plans will also be affected:

As you might expect, there has been serious blowback from this. It appears that Microsoft has relented. A little bit. There is now a page on OneDrive that allows you to opt in to retain your current free storage allocation. You just go there and click the "Keep your free storage" button.

Microsoft has done little to publicize the reductions and virtually nothing to publicize the ability to retain your storage. No surprise.

If you are a OneDrive user and want to retain your free storage allocation you should act now. I have no idea what the dates are for the reductions to occur but it's safe to assume if you have not acted by then you will see most of your free storage go away.

Yes, please feel free to do your own fact checking before circulating this further (I hope you will) and before clicking on that button if it applies to you.

I have included only the links to the relevant Microsoft pages. There are many news and tech articles on the reduction announcement and quite a few on the option to retain your storage space at its current level. A search on something like "microsoft reducing onedrive storage" should get you lots to review.

I hope you get this in time to save your storage if you are affected.

All the best of the season.

Ken in Regina
This is just a followup to the original article. Microsoft OneDrive free storage continues to be limited to 5GB. I was one who poked the button to retain my 15GB of free storage back then. In addition, I've somehow been lucky enough to catch some other promotions that have increased my free storage to an even higher amount.

I've very recently volunteered to set some things up for a local volunteer non-profit organization. In order to set up the shared online stuff we need a little over 7GB of space. I use OneDrive almost exclusively and I like the way it works compared to any of the other cloud storage systems. So my immediate impulse was to set up the new system on OneDrive. I had somehow managed to forget that it's limited to 5GB free.

After creating the new account and getting a couple of hours into the upload (my internet service has a much slower upload speed than download) I got an error message that the online free storage was full. Oooops! Damn!!

Every other online (cloud) storage service has quite a bit more free storage. So I cleared off the OneDrive account, created a new account on Google Drive (15GB free storage), uploaded the necessary files and we're now well into getting things organized.

As a result of this experience there are two things I learned that I want to share. First, and this is really just a reminder, Microsoft continues to limit OneDrive to just 5GB of free storage on OneDrive, versus other cloud storage services that offer more.

Second, Microsoft insists that you have, or create, a Microsoft ( account in order to use OneDrive. Other services do not. Specifically in this case, Google did not insist that I create a Google account to use Google Drive. It was quite happy to let me use the Microsoft account I had set up for OneDrive.

Google Drive is not quite as integrated with Windows as OneDrive but it has made huge improvements since I last tried it. So today there is really no reason not to give it very serious consideration if you think you'll eventually need more than 5GB of storage or just want to say away from Microsoft.

For the record, I'm still using OneDrive for my personal use, so I'm not trying to attack Microsoft. I just wanted to share that the large differences in free storage between Microsoft and some other services still exist, and that at least Google Drive has improved to the point where I'm switching back and forth between OneDrive and Google Drive frequently - multiple times a day, and sometimes multiple times an hour - without any difficulty.

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