Last updated on January 26, 2021
Note – 2021-01-26 – This article is still totally valid, but check the comment section below for an alternate method for getting your tenant enabled for > 5 TB storage.
OneDrive for Business offers “unlimited” storage. You would be excused if you were sure that the limit was 1 TB because that is what it is set to by default, Microsoft would prefer it if you didn’t exercise this particular option. Individual users can’t change their limits, and administrators can only up that limit to 5 TB. Increasing it beyond that limit requires extra steps. I have just gone through those steps for my own OneDrive for business, and thought that I would share the experience.
The stratification of the different OneDrive for Business storage options has been outlined effectively by Joel Oleson in his article Three Tiers to Increase to Unlimited Storage in OneDrive for Business.
The bottom line is that you must increase the quota limit for a OneDrive in stages. These stages are:
- Increase quota from 1 TB to 5TB
- Reach 90% of the OneDrive storage limit (4.5 TB)
- Open a support ticket to turn on “Boost Quota” for the tenant
- Increase quota from 5 TB to 25TB
- Reach 90% of the OneDrive storage limit (22.5 TB)
- Open a support ticket to turn create a new site collection with 25 TB quota
- Repeat steps 5 & 6 as necessary
I have just completed step 4, so that’s as far as this post will go. It likely goes without saying, but all of the operations below require tenant admin permissions.
Increase from the default limit to 5 TB
To increase a user’s OneDrive limit from the default of 1 TB to 5TB, it is a simple matter of running a PowerShell command, as documented in Change a specific user’s OneDrive storage space.
Set-SPOSite -Identity <user's OneDrive URL> -StorageQuota 5242880
The number 5,242,880 (5 TB) used for the storage quota must be precise.
The default value for the tenant itself can be changed as well, so that this first step isn’t necessary for new users. See Set the default storage space for OneDrive users for details. It should be noted that the maximum value that you can set as a default is 5120 (5TB). If it’s set any higher, it won’t be saved.
Increasing storage limit to 25 TB
Before you can set the limit any higher, you must first fill the OneDrive to 90% of its capacity, or 4.5 TB. This happened to me a few weeks ago and I started getting weekly “approaching your capacity” messages. At this point I opened a support ticket, and this is where the fun started.
I’ll spare you the back and forth email exchange, but a little snippet of the conversation went something like the following. Each line is an action or an email:
Me: fills out form explicitly stating that I have hit 90% and need quota increased from 5 TB to 25 TB
Support: Please reply with a screenshot of the problem, and any troubleshooting steps
Me: I need my OneDrive quota increased from 5 to 25 TB
Support: You need OneDrive Plan 2 for that, and your OneDrive must be at 98% (both incorrect)
Me: I have E5, which includes unlimited storage (I ignored the 98% comment)
Support: What capacity is it at now?
Support: Send the OneDrive URL
Me: sends OneDrive URL
Support: Your tenant may not have the Boost storage option enabled. Let me ask my supervisor to get that enabled.
Support (one day later): Would you like instructions?
Me: Yes please
Support: sends publicly available url listed above that increases quota with Powershell
Support: First change it to 10 TB, then change it to 25 TB (no idea where that came from)
Me: tries it, doesn't work for 10 or 25
Me: It didn't work
Support: Did you connect to the SharePoint Online module first? (seriously)
Me: Yes. This isn't my first rodeo. (I'm paraphrasing)
Support: Can you send a screenshot of your error message?
Me: There is no error message, the value simply does not save.
Me: This approach works up to 5 TB but not beyond
Support: Let me look further into this and get back to you.
Support: Your request had now been passed to our escalations team
Support (5 days later, different rep): We enabled boost storage. Can you try and let us know?
Me: Successful. Thank you.
I include the above partly because you might want the chuckle, but mostly to let you know not to give up in this. It’s advertised, and you paid for it.
The command that I used to enable this, once support had turned on the boost storage feature was:
Set-SPOSite -Identity <user's OneDrive URL> -StorageQuota 26214400
The number 26,214,400 (25 TB) must be used precisely.
In any event, after running the above command, my storage limit is now at 25 TB.
The particularly interesting thing to note here is that because the “Boost storage” feature is set at the tenant level, any other OneDrives in the tenant can have their limits increased without contacting support. All that is necessary is the PowerShell script above. However, the drive must still reach 90% capacity before it can be increased.
Should I hit the next limit, I’ll report back here.