What is my Site Collection Quota in SharePoint Online?

What is a Site Quota?

Site Quotas allow you to define a limit on the storage capacity of a top-level site (in SharePoint terms a site collection).The storage limit applies to the site collection as a whole. In other words, the storage limit applies to the total size of the content for the top-level site and for all sub-sites within the site collection. SharePoint Apps, the content in the Recycle Bin and if versioning is enabled, the versions in a site also count toward storage limits.

How do I request a site storage quota increase?

When a new site collection is created often a site quota is applied to the site to meet the organisation’s requirements to limit the unrestricted growth of their environment. In situations where the quota limit is exceeded or about to be exceeded you should contact you SharePoint farm administrator or support desk to request an increase. You may also find that your organisation has policies and procedures in place to deal with quota increase requests that define what constitutes a valid business reason for an increase and how to go about the request process.

How do I know when I am approaching my quota limit?

Over time and regular use your storage use will likely increase so how will you know if you are at risk of hitting the limit?

Firstly, SharePoint will proactively alert you to the fact that you have almost reached the current quota limit by flagging​ this at the top of the web page when you are on your site as shown below.

Second, SharePoint will send those identified as the Site Collection Administrators an email notifying them that the quota limit has almost been reached.

How Can I find out how much storage I am currently using?

Determining how much of your quota has currently been used is quite easy if you are the site owner i.e. you have Site Collection Administrator access to the site.

To view your current quota limit, how much storage your site is using and what within the site is using the storage simply go to the Site Settings for your site and click on Storage Metrics under the Site Collection Administration options e.g.

The page displayed looks something like this (obviously your metrics will be different)…

Storage Metrics

What happens if the storage limit is reached?

You will continue to be able to upload and create content until the quota is exceeded. This means that if for example you have 1Mb left of you quota you will still be able to upload a 200Mb file. Once the file is uploaded though, the quota will have been exceeded and no more updates or uploads will be possible until the storage used is brought back below the quota limit.

When the quota limit is exceeded an email is sent to the site collection administrator notifying them.  The email send includes a reference to the site with a URL, has links to the recycle bin and storage metrics for the site, and displays the site statistics (current usage). In addition to this email, a message is shown at the top of every page in the site. Unlike warnings, this message is seen by all users and is shown on every page of the site.

Quota Exceeded Banner

You cannot add content to a site that has exceeded its quota. This applies to list items as well as document/file based content. If you try to create, upload or drag and drop content you will receive an error message informing you of this e.g.

This message will also be displayed if you attempt to add a new App to your site after exceeding the limit.

How do I free up space on my site?

You might think that the answer to this question is simple…”just delete content I don’t need from my document library”. This is find if you are still within your quota limits. Unfortunately, once you have exceeded your quota, simply deleting content won’t work as it is put in the recycle bin and that also counts against usage. In this scenarios you will need to remove items from the recycle bin first to free up enough space. If there isn’t enough space freed up by the recycle bin, you’ll need to delete something from the site first and then remove it from the recycle bin. Note that unless you are a site collection administrator you can only see your personal recycle bin.
Even if you are a site collection administrator, the “empty the recycle bin” link provided in the red or yellow banner only takes you to the personal recycle bin for that user. If you are a site collection administrator and you want to see the recycle bin for all users go to Site Settings > Recycle Bin. This will take you to the administrative recycle bin page where you can see end user recycle bin items for all users as well as items deleted from the end user recycle bin (the second stage recycle bin).
Note: you do not need to delete items from the second stage recycle bin in order to clear up space as content stored here apparently does not count against your quota.


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Filed under Office 365, SharePoint, SharePoint Online

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