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Microsoft 365 File-Size Support Expanding to 250GB

Microsoft 365 users will be getting expanded file-size support, allowing files to be shared that are 250GB maximum in size, per a Microsoft announcement this week.

The file-size expansion likely will help users with very large files, such as CAD files, scientific data, videos and 3-D models, the announcement explained. It applies to business, education and consumer Microsoft 365 subscribers, including individuals just using OneDrive for personal file storage.

The 250GB file-size expansion is expected to start arriving to Microsoft 365 subscribers "by the end of January."

The announcement described the expanded file-size limit as a perk for Microsoft 365 subscribers, but it's associated with expanded OneDrive and SharePoint limits. Back in July, Microsoft had announced a coming file-size boost to 100GB, up from 15GB previously, in OneDrive and SharePoint, which applied to all subscribers. This latest announcement represents a doubling, and more, of last year's file-size limit.

Customer demand might have been a motive for the 250GB file-size support, but Microsoft ascribed it to technical improvements, particularly with regard to how it stores files:

We've achieved the 250 GB limit by optimizing storage for upload performance -- each file is split into chunks and each piece is encrypted with a unique key. All your files are backed up in Azure Storage, ensuring high availability and performance. You can easily upload and download your large files when you need them, where you need them.

Microsoft also suggested that it'll be easy to address file changes and collaborations with such large files because of the use of its differential sync technology. The differential sync technology just delivers the changes to a file, rather than the whole file.

File storage space is another matter. The actual OneDrive storage space allocated per user has its own limits, depending on the Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription plan used. For Office 365 Enterprise F3 subscribers and Microsoft 365 F1 and F3 subscribers, the total storage space per user is just 2GB, which of course makes it impossible to store a 250GB file. Microsoft does expand these storage limits to a degree, but organizations have to contact Microsoft when individual users need more than 5TB of storage space.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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