Almost exactly a year ago, Microsoft announced that they would be offering unlimited OneDrive storage to subscribers of Office 365. The feature rolled out fairly quickly to Office 365 Business customers, but it took a while to roll out to the consumer-level subscribers. As you would expect, offering unlimited storage to users resulted in some users storing A LOT of stuff in the cloud. The company said,
Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average.
That's a lot of data, but that's why it's unlimited, right? Wrong, apparently. When Microsoft saw that some users were using so much storage of their advertised unlimited storage, the company panicked. In fact, they panicked A LOT.
We're no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.
What this means is that a few bad apples ruined it for all of us. An average user who syncs their photos to OneDrive will lose 25GB of storage because of the unrelated actions of other people. The good news is that there are some options to help keep you afloat. If you are a free user who is currently using more than 5GB of storage, you can take advantage of a promotion to get a free year of Office 365 Personal, giving you a full year to figure out how to get under quota, or keep it past the year and continue to get 1TB of storage. You can also purchase an additional 50GB of storage for $1.99 per month.
For those who had their Office 365 Personal account mostly for the unlimited storage, you have the ability to cancel your subscription with a prorated refund. For the rest of us, though, 5GB is enough to store all of our pictures, and probably a ton of documents, as well.