OneDrive Out of Space

Using the default settings, it is easy to quickly fill up the 5GB of free storage. You will then start receiving a notification that your OneDrive is full. Something like “You don’t have enough free space in your OneDrive”.

It can be difficult to free up enough space to get rid of this message. By default, OneDrive is configured to backup all data from your Desktop, Documents and Pictures. If you are only going to use the free 5GB plan, it’s probably best to not backup any of these locations. Instead only use the OneDrive folder under your user profile.

After your OneDrive is full with more data waiting to be backed up, you will start seeing an annoying notification. When this happens, the easiest way I have found to get rid of the notification is to uninstall OneDrive. This will allow you to manage the space online. After freeing up enough space online, you can then reinstall OneDrive and change the backup options to not include Desktop, Documents and Pictures.

Another method is to stop backup for additional locations. This will cause OneDrive to move your files as shown below.

From OneDrive Settings -> Backup Tab, you can open the Manage backup dialog as shown above. This will allow you to Stop backup for different locations.

After you stop backup, you will notice that your files are no longer on your desktop.

Your files have been moved into the OneDrive folder under your user profile as shown above. It’s probably best to move those files back.

After moving the files back, you will see a confirmation dialog that the files are being deleted from your OneDrive.

Even after moving these files out of OneDrive, OneDrive still reported “Not enough free space”.

Checking OneDrive online confirms that the storage has been freed up, but you can still see the red status icon in the bottom right corner. Try restarting Windows.

After restart, there should no longer be any out of space messages.

The free 5GB is really only good for office related files such as documents, spreadsheets and maybe a few pictures. Unless you are going to pay for a larger plan, it is best to stop backup of most data on your PC. Instead consider using an external hard drive.

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