OneDrive for Business DOES NOT have a file limit of 20,000

Update – the new sync tool is now available.  Really it is the OneDrive Personal version sync tool now with the ability to add a OneDrive for Business account.  Once you add the account you can do the following…

Right click the tray icon and select Choose folders under your OneDrive for Business account, choose your folders and click OK.  That’s it, the sync tool with only sync your selected files from there on out 🙂


Been noticing a lot of traffic on this post and thought this edit made sense…
(New portion start)

Just found this  Sync Tool Announcement… Looks like a new sync client is on its way 🙂

Thanks to this blog post… Overthinking Blog Post

For pointing this out 🙂

For now I still stand by this, but I’m hoping this Sync tool does give people who really want to sync with a viable tool.
In a lot of cases mapping is the way to go and provides more by way of what people are actually looking for. I helped write a script that automates this and I blogged about it…

Keep in mind things are changing in the cloud on the regular, so tweaks need to be made to the script to account for that. I’ll be presenting on this at Cloud Saturday Atlanta on Sept 26th If you want a lot more detail I recommend you attend.
(New portion end)

Today I ran across this posting about OneDrive for business and while reading through the colorful comments it occurred to me that most of these folks think that there is a 20K file limit in OneDrive for Business.

I thought it warranted a post because A LOT of people seem to have misunderstood this limit. I found some other articles that sort of misunderstood as well, but won’t be posting links here.

Just to say it again the 20,000 item limit is only for syncing, which let’s face it you are never going to need to take 20,000 documents offline between when you will be able to connect to the internet next. You can absolutely store millions of documents, I believe 50 million is the limit, in OneDrive, so don’t let the Sync limit confuse you.

I’ll be the first one to admit there are plenty of issues with Sync and for the love of all that is holy, unless you want to test the limits of your anger and frustration, please do not attempt to use it as a migration tool.

If you want to migrate to OneDrive for Business I recommend using a tool like AvePoint Migrator. If you’d like to know more about OneDrive see the following post.


About tbithell
I am the Chief Technical Architect of Portals at B2B Technologies, LLC in Atlanta GA. I first started working on SharePoint in 2005, and have built SharePoint portals and developed custom solutions for a wide variety of users. I have a MS in Computer Science and am a SharePoint 2010 MCITP and MCPD. I am very excited about the new version, and will be blogging about it on a regular basis as I explore the newly released Preview and future releases.

14 Responses to OneDrive for Business DOES NOT have a file limit of 20,000

  1. John says:

    The problem is that ODB offers only two options. Sync all, or nothing, so if you have more than 20,000 files you can’t work offline

    • tbithell says:

      I’d suggest creating another library specifically for syncing and use that vs the default ODB library. I pretty much always recommend this.

  2. clarkestuff says:

    Ok so the limit is on syncing. Can you give a practical suggestion on how to upload my 100,000 photos? Right now I am feeling pretty much mis-sold about the 1TB limit because there is no obvious way to use it.

    • tbithell says:

      Just upload them thru the browser, or map a drive to your OneDrive. If you map a drive you are going to need to make sure that your OneDrive is in your trusted sites and that you have it set to pass your username and password. Both these settings can be found in IE under Security. It has to be IE, that is how it communicates with windows. I highly recommend you avoid the sync tool.

  3. Noid says:

    If you don’t get an option to choose what to sync, its useless to have 1TB while a limit of 20.000 files to sync exists.

    • tbithell says:

      The sync tool isn’t all that great, I totally agree, which is why I recommend you NOT USE IT for OneDrive for Business. In my opinion MS made a mistake when they released the desktop app because there is so much confusion. You can add as many docs to your OneDrive as you want, without worry of limit, through the browser. Now for the serious question, why do you need to sync? Think on that, do you really need a local copy of your entire OneDrive? Just create a separate library and name is sync_docs. Sync that and rotate in and out files you need offline.

      • echang says:

        There’s a very practical reason why you need to have local copies:

        You don’t want to download and edit your 1GB Photoshop/Illustrator files every single time you make updates from one computer to another. Or in fact, any file that has modified will need to be reuploaded.

      • tbithell says:

        I totally agree that there are some files that you will want local copies of and if the sync tool would allow you to sync folders instead of your entire OneDrive Document library/didn’t have a 20,000 sync limit, you’d be all set to do that. As it stands today, it is not practical to both have a very large OneDrive and sync it. That is why I recommend creating a separate library on your OneDrive, naming it sync or something similar, and limiting its content to what you actually need local copies of.

      • echang says:

        The more practical solution is to remove the 20,000 limit. A desktop sync tool should have no issues with syncing 20,000+ files. If Dropbox can do it, MS needs to step up to the game.

      • tbithell says:

        I’d go a step further and say they need a new sync tool all together, I’ve managed to hose my machine by trying to sync too much via that tool. I’m sure something is in the works, but I’ve never been good at predicting when MS will release new products/tools.

  4. Pingback: Another rant and rave about OneDrive for Business, and light at the end of the tunnel | Overthinking.

  5. elvishuff says:

    Could you provide more detail on mapping the drive with onedrive? If I am correct, this allows all storage but no syncing when using the “map” as all files are in the cloud and you have to authenticate first before being able to access the files.

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