Microsoft 365: can't send/receive mails, due to reaching Microsoft's OneDrive file limit

[German]Nasty surprise for Microsoft 365 users who use Microsoft's email service. Users of the free email service may suddenly find that they can no longer receive or send mails. The reason given for the going on strike is that the available storage capacity of OneDrive has been exceeded. The cause of this effect is a change in the OneDrive storage limit policy on February 1, 2023, which has now been rolled out more broadly. This is because Microsoft now also includes email attachments for in the 5 GB OneDrive storage limit.


Change in OneDrive storage limits

Microsoft has always limited the available storage space for the free OneDrive online storage – the limit is currently 5 GB. As of February 1, 2023, Microsoft has adjusted its guidelines for the storage allocation of the free OneDrive account, which is used with a Microsoft account from Windows 10/11, for example. Since this effective date, attachments of emails sent or received via will also be included. The articleChanges to Microsoft 365 email features and storage states:

Changes to cloud storage

Starting February 1, 2023, cloud storage used across Microsoft 365 apps and services will include attachments data and OneDrive data. All data will continue to be protected with Microsoft's comprehensive set of security features.

This update may reduce how much cloud storage you have available to use with your OneDrive. If you reach your cloud storage quota, your ability to send and receive emails in will be disrupted.

To ensure we offer the best experience, the cloud storage changes and new quota bar will gradually roll out on or after February 1, 2023, across your app settings, Windows settings, and Microsoft account. If you do not see the new storage experience in your settings or Microsoft account, be sure to check back in the coming weeks.

However, Microsoft rolled out these changes gradually for the respective user accounts. Since the and OneDrive storage limits apply to all Microsoft 365 apps, Microsoft pointed out that the amount of free cloud storage on OneDrive could decrease. If the cloud storage quota is reached or exceeded (can happen immediately after the switch), will no longer be able to send and receive emails. cam't send/receive mails due to OneDrive limit

This is exactly what seems to be happening to users now, as more and more Microsoft accounts are being switched to this Onedrive limit. The Register picked up on the issue after user comments in this article. The user in question had suddenly reached 6.1 GB of OneDrive storage and found that his was no longer working – even though his email account only occupied 6.8 GB of the 15 GB allowed. He hadn't noticed the above policy change. Also on Microsoft Answers there is this forum post that addresses the problem.

Outlook 15GB attachments included, but cloud storage exceeded (at 5GB)

Someone please help.

It says I have 15GB of emails attachments included. But I exceed the cloud something storage…. I do not use the cloud.. I only use email ! How can this be ? Are you forcing users to buy cloud storage this way ?????? storage limits
Cloud storage limits, click to zoom


Microsoft employee Faery Fu-MSFT points out the facts I outlined above in his March 15, 2023 response and writes:

Hi @Julian PENA-PAI ,

You have 5 GB of free cloud storage with your Microsoft account shared across your files and photos in OneDrive, attachments in, and your Microsoft 365 apps. You also get 15 GB of free email storage which is separate from your Microsoft cloud storage.

Please refer to this article to check your storage in the link: How does Microsoft storage work?

Besides, to clean up your mailbox or make room in your mailbox, try the solutions in the link: Storage limits in

There are more threads in the Microsoft Answers forum about In the thread I can not receive or send email because One drive is full the email quota occupies only 2.6 GB of 15 GB. But since the OneDrive limit of 5 GB is reached, the affected person can no longer send or receive emails.

My 2 cents

SNice crap that Microsoft has gotten its users into through a mishmash of "forced" Microsoft accounts, with forced OneDrive integration in Windows 10/11 as well as Microsoft 365/Office 365 along with subsequent restriction of storage limits. At this point, I can not refrain from a certain schadenfreude, hit but again and again Microsoft talking dolls here in the blog in comments, who think that all this is alternative and ingenious. The cloud stuff is slowly falling on more and more people's toes. I had shared my post Issues with new 365 tenant/accounts – Migration Exchange 2013 to Exchange Online in a private Facebook group on Azure/Windows Server topics. An administrator's comment on this topic:

Meanwhile a nightmare and first migrations "out of Microsoft Cloud" are already running. With the support and prices, cloud is not always cheaper and the dependency on the Internet is an additional operational risk.

Shiney happy Microsoft Cloud world?

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