How I got more free space on OneDrive with minimal effort


Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5 GB of online storage free of charge. Well, most people get 5GB for free. I get a huge 140GB for free and here’s how I do it. Expand your OneDrive storage for free!

Please note that some of the additional course tips come from special offers that are no longer available. Some tips are still valid, but a few don’t work. However, new offerings can be added and old ones revived, so keep an eye out for opportunities to increase space. If you see any new offers, post them as a comment below.

Every Windows user should have a Microsoft ID – a username and password used to sign in to any of the Microsoft services such as email, OneDrive online storage, Xbox Live, Skype, etc . Even Windows 10 uses the same username and password these days.

That means you have access to 5 GB of free online storage. The files and folders on the OneDrive website are identical to the files and folders stored in the OneDrive folder on Windows PCs.

(Windows 7 users will need to manually install the app from, but it’s built into Windows 10.)

These days 5GB isn’t a lot of storage space and it’s easy to fill it up with backups of photos, videos, music and documents.

Microsoft OneDrive online storage

If you’re running out of storage on OneDrive, there’s always the option to upgrade to a plan with more storage. With the top plan, you can get up to 5 TB, although working with that amount of online data would be very tedious. It would take some people a month just to upload 5TB of files even if they had 5TB to upload.

The free 5GB isn’t enough, but the plans are overkill, either in terms of space or price. What’s the alternative? Just increase your free storage space. I currently have 140GB free which is plenty for my needs. Here’s how I got it.

1 Stick with it

The limit for providing online storage hasn’t always been 5GB and it’s been up and down over the years. I had a Microsoft account when free storage was higher and my current limit is now 15GB.

I’ve also had a Microsoft account for a very long time. Even before OneDrive existed. So I get a loyalty bonus of another 10GB. My basic free disk space is therefore 25 GB, which if I remember correctly, you got for free in one go.

There’s not much a new user can do to earn more free space, so you either have it or you don’t. Check how much storage space you have on OneDrive.

  1. Sign in to with a browser
  2. Click the gear icon in the top left corner
  3. click options
  4. click manage storage

This shows the amount of free space, bonuses and extras.

Microsoft OneDrive storage bonuses

2 Check your phone

Sometimes extras come bundled with mobile phones and once I got 100GB free storage on Dropbox. With my last phone, a Samsung, I got 100 GB of free space on OneDrive, valid for two years. Update: My Samsung Bonus has now expired and I lost the 100GB 🙁

I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a new phone just to get a few gigabytes more online storage, but you should definitely check your phone and OneDrive account to see if you have more storage , than you think. You may have extra storage space and haven’t claimed it yet.

If the OneDrive app is on your phone but you’ve never used it, launch it and sign in. Your OneDrive storage may be upgraded for free.

Update September 2018: This popped up on my phone a few days ago! This offer seems to be still active! Unfortunately, I didn’t get the 100GB extra storage, probably because I’ve had the offer before. Still, it shows that deals aren’t dead. Check the OneDrive app on your phone.

Additional storage offer on OneDrive for Samsung phones

If you’re thinking about upgrading your phone, check if there are any special offers bundled with it.

Related: Is Microsoft OneDrive Photos catching up with Google Photos?

3 Sync your photos

Even if you didn’t get extra storage with the phone, you could still get a storage bonus for syncing your photos to OneDrive for once. Upon opening the app, you may be asked if you want to set up photo uploads, but if not, go to settings in the app and turn it on Camera Upload.

I get 15 GB additional free storage if I activated this feature some time ago. (Don’t tell Microsoft, but I turned this off and still have the extra 15GB.)

Unfortunately, this offer isn’t currently available, but you never know that Microsoft might offer this offer again as a OneDrive promotion, so keep an eye out.

Related: How to access the files on your PC from anywhere with OneDrive

4 Invite others

You can earn extra free storage for your account by getting other people to use OneDrive. It can be difficult to find people who don’t already have a free account because so many people have Microsoft accounts, but if you know some who don’t, you can earn 0.5 GB for each one who signs up.

This is an ongoing offer (as of April 2018), so take advantage! Earn up to 10GB of extra online storage space by getting others to sign up. Here’s my link: Get OneDrive.

  1. Sign in to the OneDrive website
  2. Click on the gear icon
  3. Choose options
  4. click manage storage
  5. click Earn more to the right referral bonus below

Microsoft OneDrive referral bonus brings additional storage space

This has multiple options and at the top is a URL. Paste this anywhere e.g. B. in your blog, in an email, on the bumper of your car and so on. There are also share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo. Click on the links to share them on social media and repeat every week or two.

The maximum number of referral bonuses is 20, which means you can get an additional 10 GB of cloud storage space for free.

5 Empty the Trash

Files that get deleted on PC are not actually deleted and moved to recycle bin in case you realize you really need them after all and want to recover them.

OneDrive has its own recycle bin, separate from the recycle bin on the Windows desktop, and files are moved there when they are deleted. If you never empty the trash, it will grow and grow. Files in the Recycle Bin count against your total disk space usage. Delete them to recover disk space.

Microsoft OneDrive website recycle bin

Go to OneDrive and click Rwaste paper bin on the left. click empty trash above and the files will be permanently deleted. The storage space they use is added to the free storage space in your account.

6 compress files

If you have rarely used files on OneDrive, save them in a compressed ZIP file to save disk space. The space savings depend on the file type and some can be compressed a lot, others only a little. Zips are always smaller than the original files and it just comes down to how much space is saved.

How can you compress files on OneDrive? Do it on your PC. Open an Explorer window and select the OneDrive folder in the sidebar. Right-click a file or folder in the OneDrive folder and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. Then delete the original file.

The OneDrive on the PC’s hard drive will be synchronized with your online storage, so the ZIP file will be uploaded automatically.

Related: Is Microsoft OneDrive Photos catching up with Google Photos?

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