How to Manage SharePoint Storage Limits [Microsoft 365]

How to Manage SharePoint Storage Limits [Microsoft 365]

SharePoint Online is a good investment, especially for companies that have large teams and multiple files.

Part of your potential concern may be about the storage limits (like how much you will have out of the box).

In this article, let’s talk about the storage limits in SharePoint Online, how you can manage the limits, as well as some of the questions you may have.

Let’s get started.

How much storage is included with SharePoint Online?

SharePoint Online comes with 1 TB per organization, with 10 GB additional storage for every licensed user.

The additional storage stacks up — which means you can have an additional 1 TB of storage if you have 11 licensed users.

On the downside, if you need more space than what SharePoint Online provides out-of-the-box, you will have to pay.

Currently, that price sits at $0.20 for every GB per month (or $200 for a TB per month), which is pricier than what other cloud storage applications provide.

The free 1 TB storage is already big. But if your organization has a lot of files, that size is clearly not enough.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to manage your SharePoint Online storage space before you invest in more space.

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    How to manage your SharePoint Online storage space

    The truth is, $200 for a single terabyte per month is a lot, which is why you must make sure you absolutely need to expand your storage space.

    More often, you don’t actually need the additional storage — all you might have to do is manage your storage limits and check for obsolete or redundant files or documents.

    Before you buy additional storage, do these things first:

    1. Delete old and unimportant files and documents

    If you’ve been using SharePoint Online for a few years already, it’s likely that you will find old files and documents lying around.

    You may have some spreadsheets and documents that are unimportant anymore that you can delete without repercussions.

    When going through your files, check out the modified or the created dates and refer to the retention policies of your organization (if you can delete these files or not).

    2. Check for redundant or duplicate files

    It’s normal to create backups (and even backups of backups).

    When you go through the contents of your storage space, check for duplicate files and folders and delete them.

    You might also find different versions of the same document which you can combine into a single file.

    3. Check for personal files and documents

    It’s a good practice to upload files and documents to SharePoint Online that are usable to others in the organization.

    Personal files and documents don’t need to be in SharePoint Online (there actually no point in doing this in SharePoint Online).

    If this might be an issue with other users, recommend to them to transfer their files to OneDrive for Business which gives 1 to 5 TB of personal storage to users.

    Now, if after doing all the things above you still end up short with all the storage space you need, then you may need to really buy additional space.

    Remember, with SharePoint Online, the price is $0.20/GB/month.

    The other option is buying storage with Azure, which costs $0.058/GB/month. The Azure option is equivalent to $58 per TB per month.

    The good news is that you can use Azure Connect so you can see your files with the search functionality in SharePoint Online.

    How to check the available space in SharePoint Online

    If you want to check the total space available in your SharePoint Online tenant, you need to visit the SharePoint admin center.

    From your SharePoint Online site, click on the launcher icon and click on the “Admin” option.

    Find the app launcher and click admin

    From there, go to the bottom part of the navigation menu on the left side and show all the available options.

    On the admin centers, select “SharePoint”.

    Find SharePoint under the admin centers group

    Once you’re on the SharePoint admin center, visit the active sites page.

    Click on the active sites link on the left-hand side menu

    On this page, you will find the total and available space of your SharePoint Online on the upper-right side of the page.

    Look at the upper-right corner to find the total and available storage space

    You can also see on the same page here how much storage space each site is using up.

    If you want to check on the individual site, you can go to the storage metrics on the site settings (under site collection administration).

    How to manage individual SharePoint Online site storage limits

    By default, storage space management is automatic and the system will allocate the same storage space per site.

    But if you want to manually manage each site’s storage limits, you can easily do so right in the SharePoint admin center.

    If you don’t know how to get to the SharePoint admin center, here are all the steps (illustrations are shown in the earlier section):

    1. From your tenant site, click on the app launcher on the top-left side of the page.
    2. Click on the “Admin” option from the app launcher.
    3. Once you’re in the Microsoft 365 admin center, focus your attention on the left-hand side panel and show all available options.
    4. Under the admin center group, click on the “SharePoint” option.

    Now, once you’re in the SharePoint admin center, click on the “Settings” link on the left-hand side menu.

    Then, find “Site storage limits” on the page and click on it.

    On the settings page, find the site storage limits setting and click on it

    After you click on it, you will be able to select the manual method of storage management. Don’t forget to click on the “Save” button.

    Select the manual site storage management option and click on the save button

    To set the storage limit of an individual site, head over to the active sites page first.

    Click on the active sites link on the left-hand side menu

    Once you’re on the active sites page, select the site you want to manage. Then, on the top menu, find and click on the “Storage” option.

    Select a site first and click on the storage option within the action menu bar

    A panel will then slide in from the right where you can edit the maximum storage limit of that site.

    Simply enter the maximum storage for that site and click on the “Save” button.

    Enter the maximum storage and click on the save button

    You can also disable the notifications part (although I recommend that you keep it enabled) or adjust how much % is used up before the system sends you an email.

    Note that when you check on the storage metrics on an individual site, it may show it has 25,600 GB available even if your organization doesn’t have that much allocation.

    Check first before buying additional space

    In the end, if you still need additional space after cleaning your SharePoint Online storage and allocating the maximum storage per site, you don’t have a choice but to buy additional space.

    Like I have written in the first part of this article, the storage space in SharePoint Online is expensive, so the better choice is to go with Azure instead.

    If you’re worried about having your files in different places, don’t worry since there’s an Azure Connector available.

    If you have additional questions regarding SharePoint Online storage space, drop a comment below, and let’s talk about it.

    For other concerns and inquiries, send me a message via this site’s contact page and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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