Microsoft is becoming less generous with OneDrive storage if you use Outlook.com

OneDrive logo with mobile in foreground

For many people cloud storage is now pretty much essential. There's no shortage of services to choose from, but Google Drive and Microsoft's OneDrive are among the most popular. For users of Microsoft's cloud storage, there is some bad news -- and we're not talking about unwanted ads for OneDrive in the Windows 11 Start menu.

The company has announced that, as of next year, it is consolidating cloud storage across Microsoft 365 apps. What this means in practice is that users of Outlook.com will effectively end up with less storage space for personal files as email attachments will count soon eat into OneDrive quotas.

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The change is coming in February, so those affected have a while to either seek out an alternative cloud storage solution, or to look into upgrading to a more generous OneDrive tier.

Whether the policy change impacts you or not will really depend on how -- or, indeed, if -- you use Outlook.com. If you are the sort of person who receive lots of attachments, or who even someone who has use attachments as a means of boosting cloud storage by emailing files to yourself, the impact could be huge.

Microsoft has hardly shouted about the changes, but reveals more in a support document:

Starting February 1, 2023, cloud storage used across Microsoft 365 apps and services will include Outlook.com attachments data and OneDrive data. All data will continue to be protected with Microsoft’s comprehensive set of security features.

This update will not impact your Outlook.com mailbox storage amount. However, this may reduce how much cloud storage you have available to use with your OneDrive. If you reach your cloud storage quota, your ability to send and receive emails in Outlook.com will be disrupted.

The company goes on to make clear precisely what counts towards your OneDrive storage quota:

  • OneDrive files and photos, for example:
    • Personal files you store, upload and sync from your computer or mobile device, such as Office documents, mobile camera roll, screenshots and other files and photos which have been saved to your OneDrive, including Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders.
    • Any items in your Recycle Bin.
  • Outlook.com attachments.
  • Teams message attachments & recordings.

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