Microsoft begins to drop 2 GB file size limit for OneDrive


Microsoft is prepping to drop the 2GB file size limit for OneDrive. Right now a small number of users can upload files larger than 2GB in size to OneDrive. Users on Reddit were the first to notice a change, with Microsoft sharing a statement to The Next Web to confirm the file size limit changes.

Here's a statement from Microsoft on the OneDrive file size limit:

"As we mentioned on our UserVoice, we have started the work to increase the file size limit for all OneDrive accounts. We have started the process with a small number of customers and will continue to roll it out to our full customer base. We will have more to share on this update in the near future, stay tuned to the OneDrive blog."

Back in April 2012 Microsoft updated the desktop app for OneDrive (then called SkyDrive). The update introduced a handful of new features, one being an increase to 2 GB for files uploaded to the cloud storage service.

Microsoft hasn't shared the new maximum file size but will most likely announce it in the near future on the OneDrive blog. For now, let's play around – tell us the biggest file you're able to upload to OneDrive.

Source: The Next Web

Thanks for the tip Adam!


Reader comments

Microsoft begins to drop 2 GB file size limit for OneDrive


This is great! The whole file size limit is stupid to begin with, so I'm glad they're easing the restrictions. I can make much better use of that 1TB of storage now. :)

The file size "issue" is not actually an issue. This is how File Systems work. The most obvious example: you can't copy a >4GB file on FAT32.

Apparently MS are now changing it on their OneDrive servers.

Not necessarily reformatting. Silviu is just pointing out that file size restrictions aren't necessarily based on unintelligent decisions. In his example, a fat32 file system would have been the technical limit should OneDrive be using it.

I seriously doubt any cloud storage these days are using something as ancient as fat32. Recovering from errors would be a nightmare. A file system that has some sort of modern transactions is what I would expect.

But we are talking about Microsoft. The queen of carrying baggage from one decade to the next.

In his example, a fat32 file system would have been the technical limit should OneDrive be using it.

How would it have been the technical limit when FAT32 has no problems with 2GB files? This limit was purely an artificial restriction, not a file system limitation.

Microsoft should be using their new and much more scalable file system ReFS. Here's the scalability according to their TechNet article:

"As the amount and size of data that is stored on computers continues to rapidly increase, ReFS is designed to work well with extremely large data sets—petabytes and larger—without performance impact. ReFS is not only designed to support volume sizes of 2^64 bytes (allowed by Windows stack addresses), but ReFS is also designed to support even larger volume sizes of up to 2^78 bytes using 16 KB cluster sizes. This format also supports 2^64-1 byte file sizes, 2^64 files in a directory, and the same number of directories in a volume. "



It was just an example, it doesn't mean that OneDrive servers were using FAT32 (which can handle files below 4GB).

I'm not so familiar with HDD, SAS, SSD file systems though.

And this is why they had the limit! The purpose of the service is really pictures and documents. They hope most users will use it reasonably and average use won't be too high. Massive ISO files seem like they fit for a paid service-- not a free one. My two cents...

No, this is totally not the reason. When you know how cloud storage systems typically work and how the entire file system is abstracted you'll know why this kind of limitation doesn't exist. It was completely arbitrary.

These sorts of limits actually do exist in cloud storge implementations even those such as Amazon (which itself has several different storage mechanisms that you can purchase). These "arbitrary" limits exist for a reason and it hinges on how what is distributed in the first place (database, volume, or block). SQL Azure databases, for instance, also have caps of what a database can be in a single instance.  There is no logical reason why there should be a limit.  My guess is that now they have abstracted storage even further (block level) so that IO can more easily be distributed.  This is great news as it probably means Azure will have limits removed or capped at higher capacities. Yey.

Pretty sure it was an arbitrary cap.

Also, great as this is, it doesn't fix the major thing making Onedrive an also ran, and that is shared folders. Get that working, and Dropbox ceases to have a reason to be.

2GB limit is because OneDrive is essentially SharePoint. It's backed by SQL Server which has a 2GB limit on object sizes for data type (e.g. varchar(max) ). You get around this limit by using a feature called FileStream that lets you keep file on file system and create a pointer in database record for it.

Finally! Now I can fully benefit of my 158 GB on OneDrive.
And if it was still called SkyDrive and that there wasn't any file size limit, we'd say: "The sky's the limit!" Lol.

Honestly it wasn't an issue for most files... unless it was HD movies/video, videogames like ISOs, or some backups. I can't imagine how many 2gb+ people can upload unless it's that, legal or illegal, home made or ripped. but yeah it's good if you ever have to upload 2gb+ files to know there is no more restriction.

For me makes no diference. With my internet I can not upload more then 200mb or else I need to leave the pc/phone/tablet on all night and hope for the best...
But good ms..

There's a rumor that OneDrive will become a full system backup service, like Carbonite or Crashplan. 1TB + no (or much larger) file size limit means that an automatic backup of most computers would be possible - at least the primary drive.

I believe he meant Windows OS...where system can put system restore point on cloud and you can use it to restore your current system to the point of time or make another system exactly like ur current.

Some ISPs have caps. Not many do, but some do. Also for the majority of the US doesn't get anything past 5 or 10MB/s. DSL is even more painful....

Its bad enough that we had the choice of HughesNet or HomeFusion. Verizon's HF isn't bad, but we eat 50 GB/month.

Holy shit. That made me laugh.
The Fappening... WOW. So when Connor McLeod opens his trench coat it isn't his katana he's whipping out?.

Learn to read, the article doesn't state what the max limit is now as MS hasn't stated. Hence why I asked "what is the limit now", hoping someone had checked with a extremely large file for a singular transfer (ideally over 10gb, then increase in 10gb increments if the previous transfer is successful etc). If you can't comprehend such a question best not to respond with a sarky, mr-know-it-all-comment.

Also never assume, you will just make an ass out of yourself. Assuming I didn't even read the title....

why don't you throw a file and see if it gives you an error? wouldn't that be the easier way to test what the file limit is?... we know 4gb don't have problems, someone said 5.70 something... throw a 8gb file and see what happens. if it doesn't display an error throw a 10gb file, etc etc

I have no files that big :P, which is why I was wondering. Plus my upload speed is utter crap - less than a meg. So it would take ages lol.

nah, you only need to put it to upload and it will say right away if there is a problem when trying to sync the file in desktop and web (I only test the desktop sync in win8.1)... and you don't need to have a big file, because what I do it's zipping many files in one... pretty easy if you use 7zip and you do it as zip, it will be fast since it will not compress the file so much.

but it seems the limit it's now 10gb, I tried with a 15gb or 17gb or something and it threw me the sync error (it's a yellow triangle in onedrive notification area icon) when you click on it to know the issue it will go to onedrive app on win8 and say "file too big over 2gb" (which is BS haha)
But I just tested trying to get the closest and I made a 9.98gb zip file and it's uploading fine. and I Just did my last test trying to upload a 10.1gb file and it said there was a problem syncing and the file was too big ;)

so there you have it 10gb it's the new limit, that's what my tests told me ;)

Ahh thanks for taking the time to check :), didn't think it would show a prompt straight away Lol. Will keep that in mind for next time MS raise the limit again.

ok I was smarter and I did a "fsutil file createnew filename length" to create a 10gb file in my onedrive easier, with 10737418240 bytes (10gb exact) it uploaded fine, but with 10737418241 bytes file, and i threw me the sync error.

so yeah the limit it's 10737418240 or 10gb exact. ;)

That is pretty darn precise, have tipped Sam about your tests so he can update the article :D. Thanks again, much appreciated :).

haha yeah! I was like "why am I even wasting my time zipping files if there is CMD, where I can make it precise"

I must add the 10gb limit also applies for web, so both, desktop and web has a 10gb (10737418240 bytes) limit, not just desktop one like before when it was like 2gb for desktop and 300mb for web or something.

Wohoo... am sure it comes as a relief to some people with great upload speed & then theres me, who has to wait about half a min to upload a single 1.7 MB photo

did you know? I, in my own country (Indonesia) have a much worse upload speed (Upload:Download = 1:30 ratio), where I have just 1Mbps while I have 39Mbps download.

I know that, but what I share here is not always at that speed, though. At usual, I often get the slow speed (1-2Mbps download, far below 72Mbps, and upload speed of 0.1-0.3Mbps) here, and it often gets unstable, which is why I feel disappointed with ISPs in my country.

OneDrive is joining the party late but seems to heat it up nicely. A very warm welcome to the 21st century!

Seriously: One more thing to check off from my wishlist! Next up, we need a communication tool that doesn't need ages to deliver messages, yes, I'm talking about Skype...

It's quite intermittent to deliver message notifications on Windows Phone. But that's because it uses the old Microsoft Push Notifications service rather than the new Windows Push Notifications service which is much more reliable.

The old service hardly ever expires the records of phones registered for app notifications, so it has been severely clogged with old connections that no longer exist. To the point that notifications are often delayed a long time. The new one (created for Windows apps and now available to universal and Windows Phone RT apps) expires every connection after 24 hours. The downside is that purely push apps still need a background task to resubscribe every 24 hours, but the upside is that notifications work properly all the time.

Skype is not yet a Universal app, and is not yet built on Windows Phone RT. They haven't taken advantage of WPN as far as I can tell. So we still get notification unreliability.

Huh! Is this the reason I have to wait for ages until a Skype call connects, even though the recepient has his/her phone active with the Skype bg agent running?

15 + 3 GB storage, no ads, no download limit, what else? cheap offerings? Only at OneDrive you can get all things like this!

I have so far been able to upload a 3GB file. Most of the stuff I'm uploading is movies anyway but It's good that I can better utilize the 1.3TB's that I have :D

"Thanks for the tip, Adam"
No problem! ;D

I use my account to back up data files. Currently, I have to split the back up set to stay under the limit. This will be a welcome change.

Yea! This is the one thing that i hated!! I'm a video producer and graphic artist, I have a lot of files that are way bigger than 2gb. I once tried to find an alternate service but nobody had something with no limit, so this should help set the service apart.

I have a 25gb Onedrive, would love to upload backups of my servers.... Anyone find out how large of a file they would take ? 5gb ?

I can span my backups of my 3 servers but, if it will take a 5-8gb file that would work for me.

About time. I had home videos that I wanted to store on OneDrive but I couldn't because of the file size limitations. Made me mad that I have all of this storage yet I'm limited to what I can upload such as a home video or graduation recording...

Perfect timing. FiOS just rolled out speed match and my upload is faster than my download. Purchase 75/75Mbps but speed test shows me 84/94Mbps average. Awesome timing MS.

I wonder if this change will pave the way for being able to use OneDrive to store movies/tv shows purchased through Xbox Movies...

Woohoo! Finally my 10 GB Man of Steel file from Xbox video can stop taking up space on my Surface Pro!

YESSS!!!! FInally!   I literally was just talking to someone yesterday about this very same thing .... this is perfect, now I dont have to think about jumping purely to dropbox anymore.... *sigh*  relief.

    Hopefully, this means that Microsoft has updated Xbox Music and is getting ready to allow customers to upload their music files to OneDrive like Google music.