OneDrive storage usage to get unwanted reduction changes

OneDrive will soon count images in Gallery and Albums as separate data, significantly reducing the storage usage of the service.

OneDrive new UI 2023
OneDrive new UI 2023 / Image: Microsoft
  • Microsoft will change the storage usage policy for OneDrive.
  • Uploaded images to the OneDrive Gallery and those in the Albums will be counted twice.
  • The new change will significantly reduce the storage quota for those using Albums.
  • The company plans to offer additional storage to mitigate the change, but only for one year.

UPDATED 10/10/2023: Microsoft is reportedly planning to change how files count for the total usage again, significantly reducing the storage for users. According to an email from the company, starting October 16, 2023, images uploaded to the OneDrive Gallery and the same files available in the albums will count as separate items against the total storage quota.

In other words, if you upload images to OneDrive and then create an album with a group of pictures you have in the cloud storage, those files will be counted twice for the total amount of storage available in your account.

The company refers to the “Gallery” as the location where all your pictures are displayed by default on the web and mobile app. The “Albums” is a feature that allows you to create collections with pictures you have stored in the cloud.

Although this is an unwelcome change, Microsoft will offer additional space to mitigate the changes and minimize complaints, but only for one year. However, it’s unclear how much additional space users will get. After the year expires, if you’re running out of space, you will have to purchase additional storage (if applicable).

Microsoft isn’t sharing many details on the reasoning for the chance, but it could be the case that creating an album will copy the files into the new collection instead of configuring pointers to the original files so that if users delete images from the Gallery, it won’t delete images from the Album.

Alongside this storage change, the software giant is expected to make some additional announcements on October 3, including possible AI integration with OneDrive and other features that may be coming to the Microsoft 365 service.

Update October 10, 2023: Microsoft rolls back changes and says that after user feedback, it’s no longer planning to count images in Gallery and Albums as separate items. 

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.