Dropbox limits Advanced plan storage after unlimited policy backfires

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 25, 2023

Dropbox announced plans to change the storage policy of its Dropbox Advanced plan after some customers started to abuse of the unlimited storage offer.

Dropbox Advanced is a plan designed for businesses according to Dropbox. The main idea behind offering unlimited storage from the get-go was that organizations had enough storage space available at any time and not worry about scaling storage.

Dropbox claims that it was aware that there would be "some level of uneven usage" as businesses had different storage requirements.

The company did notice, however, that "a growing number of customers" were purchasing Advanced plan subscriptions for other purposes. Dropbox mentions crypto and Chia mining, storage reselling or multiple users "pooling storage for personal use cases".

When other services started to impose restrictions on storage, Dropbox saw a surge in sign-ups for Dropbox Advanced from users that were not businesses. Many of these customers would consume more storage, sometimes thousands of times more storage, than regular business customers.

This put a strain on the entire Advanced plan and could affect legitimate use cases, if not corrected. The decision was made to sunset the unlimited storage policy and switch to a metered model instead.

New Dropbox Advanced customers gain 15 terabytes of storage space if at least three active licenses are purchased. Additional licenses will add 5 terabyte of storage to the shared pool according to Dropbox. Each Dropbox Advanced user costs $18 per month.

Existing customers who use less than 35 terabytes of date, more than 99% of all customers fall into the group according to Dropbox, keep the total amount of storage plus an addition 5 terabyte for five years at no additional charge to the existing plan.

The remaining existing customers, those that use more than 35 terabytes of data, may continue to use the storage plus an additional 5 terabytes of data for one year.  The maximum storage amount is 1000 terabytes according to Dropbox. Dropbox plans to contact these customers to discuss options in the coming weeks.

New and existing customers may purchase 1 terabyte of storage for $10 per month or $8 per month when paid annually in the near future.

Existing customers are migrated on November 1, 2023 to the new storage policy. Dropbox plans to notify all customers "at least 30 days prior to" the planned migration date.

Dropbox is not the only company that ran into issues after offering unlimited storage. In 2015, Microsoft announced storage plan downgrades for nearly every customer after, including paying Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers who previously had unlimited storage. Microsoft revealed that some customers were uploading more than 14000 times more than the average user.

Rapidshare, a once popular file hosting service, dropped unlimited storage plans in 2013. The service is no longer available.

Amazon ended its unlimited storage plan for Amazon Drive in 2018. Amazon Drive is being shut down at the end of 2023.

Google, another Internet juggernaut, announced in 2020 that it would end free unlimited Google Photos storage in 2021.

Now You: do you use online storage actively? Which service do you recommend, and why?

Dropbox limits Advanced plan storage after unlimited policy backfires
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Dropbox limits Advanced plan storage after unlimited policy backfires
Dropbox announced plans to change the storage policy of its Dropbox Advanced plan after customers started to take advantage of the unlimited storage offer. 
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