Outlook attachments count toward OneDrive capacity so MS may just turn off your email

Some users of Microsoft’s free Outlook hosted service are finding they can no longer send or receive emails because of how the Windows giant now calculates the storage of attachments.

Microsoft account holders are allowed to hold up to 15GB in their cloud-hosted email, which until recently included text and attachments, and 5GB in their OneDrive storage. That policy changed February 1. Since then, attachments now count as part of the 5GB OneDrive allowance – and if that amount is exceeded, it throws a wrench into the email service.

It doesn’t change the storage amount available in Outlook.com, but could in OneDrive.

“This update may reduce how much cloud storage you have available to use with your OneDrive,” Microsoft wrote in a support note posted before the change. “If you reach your cloud storage quota, your ability to send and receive emails in Outlook.com will be disrupted.”

Redmond added that the plan was to gradually roll out the cloud storage changes and new quota bar starting February 1 across users’ app and Windows settings and Microsoft accounts. Two months later, that gradual rollout is beginning to hit more and more users.

One reader told The Register that his Outlook recently stopped working and indicated that he had surpassed the 5GB storage limit, reaching 6.1GB. He was unaware of the policy change, so he was confused when he saw that in his email account he had used only 6.8GB of the 15GB allowed.

It was the change in how attachments are added that tripped him up. Microsoft told him about the new policy.

No one deletes attachments every time an email is received. This is like blackmail
“So instantly, I have lost 10GB of email capacity and because my attachments were greater than 5GB that instantly disabled my email and triggered bounce-backs (even sending and receiving with no attachments),” the reader told us.

“No one deletes attachments every time an email is received. This is like blackmail. MS is forcing us to buy a subscription by the back door or to have to delete emails with attachments on a regular basis ad infinitum.”

He isn’t the only one perplexed by the issue.


One who apparently was unaware that it was the attachments shifting over to OneDrive causing the email problems deleted a lot of emails, only to find it didn’t change the “storage used” amount.



Robin Edgar

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