OneDrive users can keep their free 15GB of storage and camera roll bonus after all, if they opt-in by Jan. 31

Microsoft has decided to give current OneDrive users a chance to keep their free 15GB of cloud file storage space, along with their extra free 15GB if they have the camera roll enabled on their smartphone. The catch is they have to make an effort to go to a special page and opt-in to keep that storage until January 31, 2016.

You may remember that back in November Microsoft said it was going to reduce the amount of free storage it was going to give OneDrive users from 15GB to just 5GB in early 2016, and eliminate the 15GB camera roll bonus completely. This caused a massive backlash from customers. Over 72,000 of them voted on the OneDrive UserVoice page, asking Microsoft to bring back their free storage amounts,

Today, Microsoft's Group Program Manager for OneDrive, Douglas Pearce, quietly posted a note on that UserVoice post, stating:

"For customers of our free service who have over 5 GB of content and who are directly impacted by the storage change, we will offer one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1 TB of storage. These customers will receive an email with redemption information early next year.""Also, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your current 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you'll be able to keep that as well."

Users will have to opt-in and go to the Microsoft web page below to sign up and keep their current OneDrive storage amounts. Again, this option will only last until Jan. 31.

Pearce also apologized for how Microsoft presented these OneDrive changes in the first place, stating:

"We are all genuinely sorry for the frustration this decision has caused and for the way it was communicated."

While it's not a 100 percent reversal of Microsoft's changes to OneDrive, the company is, at least, offering a way for current users to keep their free storage amounts, rather than have them cut down as previously planned.

Sign up to keep your free OneDrive storage amounts{.cta .large}

Source: Microsoft; Via: Business Insider

262 Comments
  • Gah too slow, I literally just tipped this haha. Good news though. I'll be signing up even though I subscribe to office 365.
  • Me too. MS just saved a lot of customers
  • "Customers" who want free stuff? Ok.
  • So you're not going to take the free storage at all?
  • Well of course. Who wouldn't. My point is a customer isn't defined as someone who wants something free and doesn't want to pay for it. But then again, everyone instantly disagrees, so here we go. If it isn't generating revenue, a for-profit company doesn't really care (pro-tip)...
  • I don't think you understand the idea of a promotion. Or what the masses do when said promotion is taken away after it has been promised. MS actually DOES make a profit off it's onedrive users, even the free ones. Not to mention the users it would've lost from different pieces of equipment due to the removal of the promotion. MS obviously cared since their position changed, so they must've thought they were going to lose revenue.
  • I think the point here is that the "promotion" wasnt leading to more sales. That is why its going to 5 GB now. I think they wanted to increase PR by extending this for people who care enough to actually sign up. But I dont think they actually make any money on the free storage otherwise they would have kept it in the first place. 15 GB is really at least 45 GB of storage because they have to have an inhouse copy and an off site copy at the least. All that free-ness adds up and I dont think they get anything back from that. Obviously not enough because they would have kept it if it meant more sales in one of their services, namely Office 365.
  • Please explain how Microsoft makes money from free users. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • A customer for Microsoft would be anyone who buys products and/or services from them. Chances are most of us have purchased a Microsoft product or two. So yes, we freebie scarfing folks are, in fact, "Customers".
  • But not a customer of OneDrive which is the important part...
  • Groove pass = 100 GB. I currently have 230 GB
  • Let's see out of my 1.12t on my account, including Office365, I've used 864mb. I think I might be safe.
  • Well, two things. One is that, they would still be making money through ads. And second is that by retaining the customers, they are reducing the number of customers going to their competition. A loss to the enemy is a gain to you anyway :-)
  • Well, two things. One is that, they would still be making money through ads. And second is that by retaining the customers, they are reducing the number of customers going to their competition. A loss to the enemy is a gain to you anyway :-)
  • You obviously do not know how businesses are run. I drive a BMW. I have "free" maintenance through a 100,000 miles. If you think I am getting free stuff because of that you are not very smart.  And yes, if BMW takes that away after I bought the car based on that premise, I will balk. And no, if they give it back because I balked it does not make me someone that likes free stuff, it makes me someone that holds a company to its word after I bought their product because of it.  And yes, Microsoft gets it. Which is why they have reversed course. And you not getting it? I don't care. You do not run a company. Thank God. 
  • I'll tell you this, although I don't pay for storage. I do pay for all the movies I rent through movies/tv app.
  • Well I just bought a Nexus 5x instead of a 950 and Microsoft's decision to take away our storage was a big factor why I went with Google. I've been loyal since WP7 and my Samsung Focus (and many other WP models) and found the removal of the OneDrive storage to be very anti consumer. Nice to see they are trying to right a wrong but too late for me. I like my Nexus. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Please. Don't start. Lot of discussions have happened over this. They would be betraying trust if they didn't do this.
  • Yeah because it was already free when given to us,it was a wrong decision to take it back.You don't want it,well and good
  • Yea, people who are paying yearly for their services as usual gets a kick in the balls..
  • Bollocks.  People who paid for it NEVER were to be afftected anyway.  Shut your whining and go back to your dropbox/iCloud account.
  • I bought a Lumia 930 and on the box it said free 15GB one drive i want them as i paid for it with the phone.
  • Yes they did. And funny thing is, some people here were attacking the people that were voicing their frustration over the changes. Yet, those same people are going to rush and sign up for the space.   People, there is nothing wrong with pointing out obvious missteps. Every company makes them. Good ones correct them when they are made.  Thank you Microsoft for at least listening. 
  • At least it's a relief for us. But what a shame that people always complaining of what changes are coming, even if the changes came from themselves. And now I have 2 cloud storages that have big storage: OneDrive, and MEGA.
  • Did it amazingly Microsoft
  • I tipped this like 40min ago. When I opened the story it said, posted 2 min ago. I guess they're faster than me here...
  • This came in right after me and all my friends opt in. Haha good news though.
  • Did I read correctly that if you have more than 5GB that they're giving you Office 365 personal for a year? That's pretty generous if that is indeed the case.
  • Cant i use office without 365 personal i don't have enough money for service and storage of 5 gb ?
  • I believe we read the same :D
  • If you are a free customer and you have more than 5GB, then yes. But I don't know if that changes if you opt to keep your 15GB+15GB. Maybe if you do that you forfeit the one year of Office 365 Personal. (Since the changes are no longer impacting you.)
  • I have 130 gb free onedrive space right now, so if I just upload to an excess of 30 gb, I ought to qualify as being affected... ;-)
  • No, because they aren't taking away your 100GB promotion. (At least that is how I have read everything they said.)
  • that sounds more likely, its would seem to be one or the other and if you do the one (for life) then you dont get the other (which they may see as an equal value offer).  I'd say that if the language didn't use words like "In Addition" which makes it sound like "if you were affected and we ticked you off, we're going to give everyone this thing (if you care enough to know about it as in are interested enough to keep up on the news), but if you actually cared and weren't just piling on (aka you actually use one drive) we're sorry, you weren't our target so we're gonna give you this other thing for a year as a way of showing you we messed up and mean our appology.
  • Too bad you can't stack Office 365 offers/promotions. I have two years left on my Office 365 university subscription and when I got my surface 3 it had a one free year subscription to Office 365.... But I had to choose which one to keep. I could have used it on another email but that sounded like a waste of time
  • You can, but there is a specific way to do it and probably doesn't cover the single user O365 things that were given away with cheap $75 tablets and other promos.
  • LOL, I was reading and tjought that it will also available for us, too, besides the 30GB storage reclaim. But let's hope that what we think is real ;)
  • Pretty nice move by microsoft on this one.
  • +1... I love Microsoft. They keep winning me back.
  • Goodguymicrosoft.jpg
  • Not really.  They made a totally dickish move by screwiing people over to start with rather than just limiting the high use users.  They could also have just done the 15 to 5Gb thing for new users. Just because they have backtracked and had you sign up to receive lots of ads and offers doesn't mean they did it for any other reason than to stop an exodus to the other cloud storage services.  They're still dicks, but dicks that realized they did a dickish move and are de-dicking things for the small % of users who will bother to sign up for retaining their storage. I think I got enough 'dicks' crammed in there.  The singular is censored, the plural isn't.
  • Geez.  Someone has alot of dicks in their mind.
  • Shut the **** up... ****
  • Sausage fest
  • Wow, this is a nice surprise. The longer MS remained silent, the less likely I thought something like this would happen. Overall still disappointed that they are making themselves less competitive and that the rates for extra storage are getting higher when costs should be decreasing with time. I wonder what will happen the the current 10 GB "Loyalty bonus" from when free accounts went from 25 GB to 15 GB.
  • I thought they said you would keep any other promotions, that only the base and camera bonus were being changed. (So you would keep the referral bonus and loyalty bonus..) I guess we will find out.
  • +929 hope so
  • +929
    I'm wondering this too
  • Well the change to the way their servers are designed now are a reason probably for the chance in cost
  • Yes, good on Microsoft for righting this wrong. Credit where credit is due. It would have saved a lot of teeth gnashing if they simply downgraded the 365 subscribers to 1TB, and new accounts to 5GB (grandfathering in older 15GB users and 15GB camera roll). But this is a laudable move on their part, a move that proves MS is capable of adapting. I still think they should offer serious perks to Windows 10 Mobile users of these services. This would have the double-benefit of incentives in their uphill battle against the Goliaths of Android and iPhone, plus getting people hooked after a 1-2 year access period to elite MS services. Much like the trial period for XM satellite radio that comes with many new cars: People will only pay for it once they know what they are missing.
  • Lol I had a feeling they might give in. This is the new Microsoft, after all.
  • Done. Signed up for this . Finally some positive about one drive storage.
  • Yeah, I had almost migrated to Mega.
  • You should anyway.
    None of them is 100% fail-proof so we should have backups in many places as possible, been the physical the most important
  • Have that & nero backitup(free 5gb)(rebranded pogoplug, & wp app) used a 25pro key that came with a nero platinum offer last year
  • That's okay, mate. I have signed up already in MEGA, and bam! It's as fast and reliable as OneDrive and even a little better. But one concern is, there's a rare case that it will accidentally delete files, but it's very rare, for sure.
  • umm, accidentally deletes in its own? kinda defeats the whole purpose Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Right?!
  • Yeah :)
  • :P long tongue (habadila)
  • Great news, keeps me as a user of the service. I hoped they would see sense for users with a limited usage. I think I'll still be losing the 10GB loyalty bonus for being with OneDrive from day one but it could have been worse.
  • I thought they said that you would keep any other promotions, Bing bonus, etc., and that only the base and camera bonus were being changed/removed. (So you would keep the referral bonus and loyalty bonus..) I guess we will find out in February?
  • That is my understanding.  I should still be getting 40GB free.
  • ...45GB if you have invited 10 friends to use OneDrive.
  • It all adds up!
  • Wow this is awesome. Thanks MS!
  • But how does this work if you opt to keep your 15GB+15GB of storage and you have more than 5GB of files? Will you still get the offer for a free year of Office 365 Personal?
  • There is always something confusion, isn't there?  Not sure.  I will be opting in for the free storage.  If I get the free Office 365 subscription too, I will give it a try.
  • Wondering the same. If one or the other I'd take the added 30GB. The 5 license 365 plan is a steal.
  • A single year of the cut down O365 Vs permanent(ish) storage?  I'll take the storage too. The 5 user O365 thing is indeed a great deal.
  • Will anything happen with the Groove Pass, Bing Bonus and Enthusiast Bonus? The Bing and Enthusiast ends in the end of February for me though.
  • Well, those end as they would. Groove Pass bonus was never on the table, so that just stays the same.
  • Groove pass remains I believe
  • So relieved!!! But I feel sorry for new 2016 users...
  • Yeah but that's mitigated by the fact that I think 5GB is the same limit that Apple has (not sure about Google). They should've been quicker. :p Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Google offers 15gb free with it's account, why would microsoft not want to be competitive? How can I recommend windows phone to people if they are only going to get 5gb? They mite as well go to andriod.  More apps and know more cloud storage.
  • I agree...
  • Well does outlook have a limit?
  • Yeah, they make OneDrive less competitive to against Google Drive, another big cloud storage that is really popular and growing. Its really a bad time to reduce their base storage especially hat Windows 10 gives opportunity for more potential OneDrive users, where the service is directly baked on the OS. Making it just 5GB makes it not much better than ridiculed iCloud. Yeah, its still better than iCloud but only better for Office 365 users. For more casual, everyday cloud storage use for thousands photos (average of 8-13MP), videos (especially phones equipped with 4K recording), some documents which isn't much and probably even music thanks to Groove Music locker and other music locker services out there. With those, 5GB seems nothing especially if a user dont manage their content. Since the OneDrive changes, Google Drive officially takes he place of OneDrive. While Microsoft went to Apple-esque route. OneDrive is not much known outside Windows users (especially Windows phone/mobile users), this move doesn't help making it more mainstream. No problem with paying users, yes. But this makes less attractive to recommend for other users who just needs decent and generous enough cloud storage for everyday needs, who dont need large storage and pay for unnecessary expense for them.
  • That 5gb thing is valid till .....? Tell me anyone
  • End of January 2016
  • *breaks screen mashing the link*
  • +30gb
  • -200$ (for a new screen)
  • -$70 for mouse
  • -$45 for new cursor (it brokes) :(
  • Thank you so much for the info
  • Phew! This is good news, the music stays on OneDrive hehehe!
  • The music gets transferred back to OneDrive! Removed it about a couple weeks ago.
  • Damage control PR to the rescue.. a bit too late
  • How is it "too late" if the 5GB  restriction hasn't even been implemented yet?  
  • Well a lot of people already switched to competing platforms. Likely not a huge percentage of users overall but still.
  • "A lot of people". Please indicate the resource from which you have gathered this systematic data. 
  • Go into any forum or story here and elsewhere that covered the gimping of the 15Gb OneDrive data thing and you see a LOT of people claiming to be leaving or to already have left onedrive in favor of other services.  I have accounts with 4 other similar services and while I wasn't going to leave onedrive (I get a lot of the bonus data from various promotions and deals) it certainly got me seriously thinking about paying for another service that wasn't going to screw me over by killing their data limits.  I'm by no means unique in exploring other options and while I was never vocal about the changes many many other were. As an aside, DropBox is doing a similar thing and killing many of its consumer targeted things (photos for example) to focus more on business and enterprise users who already pay for the service, and even the google drive service compresses images over a certain pixel size, and yet nobody complains (if MS did that there would be **** to pay).  And yet you barely hear a whisper from people complaining about that. The double standard here is sickening. If apple did it to iCloud everyone would rejoyce and claim apple was helping their users.
  • The operative word here is "claiming". It's more likely that they were just basking in the opportunity to whine about changes to a service that the majority of them get for free.   Because, declaring mock outrage is a thing that people do these days. It's become a national pass-time. 
  • Lol didn't easyshare do that to pictures
  • I'm not a lot of people, just an individual, but the day of this announcement I ordered a Nexus 5X and shortly afterwards was on my first non-WP mobile since 2011.  I even pay for Office 365, and will likely continue to do so, but it left such a sour taste in my mouth I knew it was finally time for me personally to move away from Microsoft's mobile OS.
  • You showed them! And opened your wallet to Google stock holders to boot! I just took a long breath.......turns out it was just a blip. Nothing really happened. And I'm right where I was.  
  • Get over yourself. What he does with his money is none of your business. We are not all the same. He has every right to move his business anywhere he wants that meets his needs. And no, you do not know him/her so you have no idea what those needs are. 
  • Because some people have already moved all their cloud storage elsewhere, and may have started a paid subscription with someone else.
  • Can't prevent people from being irrational. If you will pay for a cloud service, why would you miss the opportunity to get office on top of it?
  • WHAT??? I must agr