Microsoft will be shrinking free account storage from 15GB to 5GB in August of this year. Microsoft notified users in late 2015 about the planned changes and, due to customer demand (pitchforks and torches), offered a limited opportunity to retain extended space they had provided. If you’re a free OneDrive user and missed the boat on keeping the extra space, then you have a couple things to consider.
First, you’ll have 90 days after the change to deal with your files as needed, but you can’t add anything new. After the first 90 days then files go to read-only status. Don’t care about the RO flag, after 9 months your account will be locked. Still ignoring the issue at the 12 month mark?: your files will be subject for deletion. (How and what gets deleted isn’t really spelled out, so why risk it?)
Now the question, where to put those files that pushed you over the 5GB limit? Microsoft gladly offers 50GB of space for $1.99 a month or, if you sign-up for Office 365 Personal at $69.99 a year, you get 1TB of space. Office 365 Personal also includes both PC and tablet versions of the popular software as well as 60 minutes of Skype to phone calling per month.
Not interested in Microsoft’s options? Here are some others (note that none of these are currently supported by Office for iOS or Android):
- Apple iCloud still has 5GB free and offers more at 50GB for $0.99/month and 200GB for $2.99/month.
- Google Drive offers 15GB free and 100GB for $1.99/month, but the caveat is their storage includes any space your Gmail and Google Photos also use.
- Amazon offers unlimited photo storage and 5GB for files free to Prime members (otherwise it’s $11.99/year) and an unlimited storage account for $59.99/year.