Get back the 10GB of free OneDrive storage Microsoft is taking away

Starting in July, Microsoft will limit free cloud space to just 5GB. Here's another option for adding back another 10GB.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Microsoft giveth, and Microsoft taketh away.

Last November, the company announced plans to scrap its unlimited-storage option for OneDrive subscribers and cut free storage to 5GB from the previous 15GB amount.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the latter change will take place in July. Anyone who didn't opt in to the 10GB camera-roll storage bonus, or who's new to OneDrive, will find themselves with just 5GB of cloud space.

Fortunately, you have options:

Get another 10GB of free OneDrive storage

Although Microsoft's camera-roll bonus is going away, there's another way to earn up to 10GB of free OneDrive storage: referrals.

Whenever a friend, family member, co-worker or even complete stranger signs up for OneDrive using my special referral link (sorry, your special referral link, heh-heh), you'll both get an extra 500MB of storage. So just find 20 interested parties and, bam, you're back to 15GB of free space.

Enlarge Image

Referrals can add up to 10GB of extra free space.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

You can find your link on your OneDrive Manage Storage page. Look near the bottom, click Earn More, then choose a method for sharing your referral link: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and so on.

Pay for more OneDrive storage

Granted, it sucks that Microsoft is reducing the amount of free OneDrive space you can get. On the other hand, Microsoft is a business, and OneDrive is a pretty good cloud service. Consequently, you might want to consider actually paying for it.

Shocking, I know! But for the very reasonable price of $1.99 per month, you can get 50GB of cloud storage. I suspect that's ample for the majority of users. If you disagree...

Switch to another cloud service

OneDrive is far from the only game in town (though I'd argue there's no other cloud service that integrates as well with Windows). You might well decide to move your online-storage business to the likes of Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, Dropbox or Google Drive.

In fact, Google Drive is now the free-storage leader in that group, as it offers 15GB. So if you were getting by on Microsoft's 15GB, consider making a lateral move to Google.

Before doing so, however, be sure to check out CNET's recently updated "Which storage service is right for you?" It compares the aforementioned "big five," taking into account Microsoft's new changes.

So what's your plan? Stick with OneDrive? Move to another cloud? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.