Office 365 subscribers now have access to 1 TB of OneDrive storage

Earlier this month, Office 365 business subscribers began getting access to an additional 1 TB of OneDrive for Business storage. Now, Office 365 Home and Personal accounts are getting their free terabyte in the consumer OneDrive. Here's what to look for.
Written by Ed Bott, Senior Contributing Editor

If you’re an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriber, your OneDrive storage just got a big boost.

Microsoft announced its plans last month to increase cloud storage to 1 TB for all Office 365 subscribers. Anyone with an Office 365 Small Business, Midsize Business, or Enterprise account should already have seen their OneDrive for Business storage increase.

This week, the 1 TB increase in the consumer version of OneDrive goes into effect for Office 365 subscriptions that aren’t part of a business plan. Here’s a quick Q&A on what you can expect. For detailed instructions on how to check your storage allotment and share an Office 365 Home account up to four other household members, see "How to get 5 TB of OneDrive storage from your Office 365 Home subscription."

How can you tell if your storage has been upgraded?

Sign in to OneDrive using the same Microsoft account that’s tied to your Office 365 subscription. Look in the lower left corner of the OneDrive screen to see your current available storage. That number is equal to your total available storage minus whatever storage is currently in use.

To see full details about available OneDrive storage, click the Get More Storage link in the bottom left of the OneDrive screen. That opens a web page that should look something like this:


Note the 1,024 GB of available storage added to this account with its Office 365 Home subscription. That amount is not a maximum. It is in addition to any other storage you might have purchased or added from other sources.

Can more than one person get extra storage from a single Office 365 subscription?

That depends on the type of Office 365 subscription.

Office 365 Personal allows one subscriber to install the Office desktop and tablet apps on a single PC or Mac and on a single tablet (including iPad). The 1 TB of extra OneDrive Storage is for the subscriber only.

Office 365 University is like Office 365 Personal except that it allows Office apps to be installed on two devices, which can be PCs, Macs, or tablets.

With an Office 365 Home (previously Home Premium) subscription, you can install the Office desktop and tablet apps on up to five PCs or Macs and up to five tablets. In addition, as the subscriber you can share those subscription benefits with up to four people in your household. Each person you share your account with gets an extra 1 TB of storage in their OneDrive account and has the option to install the Office apps as well.

To share your Office 365 Home subscription, start at your Office.com account page. You'll find step-by-step instructions in the accompanying gallery: "How to get 5 TB of OneDrive storage from your Office 365 Home subscription."

What’s the difference between OneDrive for Business and the consumer version of OneDrive?

OneDrive for Business (formerly known as SkyDrive Pro) is a feature of every Office 365 Small Business, Midsize Business, or Enterprise subscription. The 1 TB of additional storage is personal for an individual user account and is managed by the Office 365 administrator. You sign in to Office365.com using your corporate credentials to access the web-based management tools.

The consumer OneDrive storage is associated with a free Microsoft account and cannot be centrally managed by a business (or a parent, for that matter).

In OneDrive for Business, some file types are prohibited from uploading, and certain characters cannot be used in a file name. In addition, there are significant limits on the number and size of files you can sync. OneDrive for Business allows a total of up to 20,000 items (folders and files), which seriously limits the amount of data you can store in practice. The maximum size of a file synced via OneDrive for Business is 2 GB. Read the full list of limits on this Microsoft support page.

In the OneDrive consumer service, the maximum size for files is also 2 GB. You can, however, have up to 10 million files in a OneDrive account.

Both services have synchronization utilities. The consumer OneDrive sync utility is built into Windows 8.1 and allows selective sync on a file and folder basis. It’s also available for Windows 7, OS X, iOS, Windows Phone, and Android. The OneDrive for Business sync utility is not available for OS X, and it does not support selective synchronization, which can be a problem on mobile devices with limited storage.

Can OneDrive storage be purchased without an Office 365 subscription?

Yes, although Microsoft is still updating the plans, and at this point it costs far less to purchase storage as part of an Office 365 subscription than independently. For details on available plans and prices, click Plans from your OneDrive Storage dashboard, or see this page.

What happens to OneDrive files if the Office 365 subscription is not renewed?

Any files that are added to OneDrive will always be available, even if available storage has shrunk below the amount of storage in use because you didn’t renew a subscription.

If your storage in use is greater than available storage, you won’t be able to add any new files to OneDrive without first deleting files to bring the available storage up to a positive number.

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