Did you forget to opt into 15GB of free Microsoft OneDrive storage? Starting in July, your storage limits on the cloud-based service will officially drop to 5GB.
Back in November, Redmond announced free OneDrive storage would decrease from 15GB to 5GB for existing and new users, while its 15GB camera roll storage would be discontinued. It also nixed unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 users, capping it at 1TB of free space.
Amidst backlash, Microsoft backtracked a bit, saying in December that it would allow users to keep 15GB of free storage—if they claimed the offer by Jan. 31.
For those who declined or forgot to do that, storage will drop to 5GB automatically in three months.
Microsoft has been notifying OneDrive customers via email. Those who opted in received an email that said their accounts will not be affected, plus another apology from Redmond about the confusion. Those who did not opt in, but currently have less than 5GB of data stored on OneDrive got a reminder that they will only have 5GB going forward. But Microsoft is offering them a free, one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which normally runs $69.99 per year.
Things get a little trickier for those who did not opt in and have more than 5GB of data stored on OneDrive. According to a Microsoft FAQ, files will become read-only in July but you have nine months to view and download them. After nine months, accounts will be locked (“you will not be able to access the content in your OneDrive until you take action,” Redmond says.) After a year of inactivity, any data in OneDrive over the 5GB limit will be deleted.
To get more than 5GB, Microsoft offers a paid OneDrive option of 50GB for $1.99 per month.
As for the exact date in July when you should expect your storage to decrease, that depends. Some users are reporting a July 27 date in their email from Microsoft, others July 13. “Because Microsoft is rolling out the storage changes in different waves, this date varies for some customers,” a Microsoft spokesman told PCMag.