Key Limitations for Synchronizing Files with Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro

One of the most promising features with Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro is the ability to synchronize large volumes of files (e.g. your entire my documents folder or a large project archive) with your collaboration site in the cloud. 

Like any other SharePoint project, success with this model is going to be dependent on some reasonable governance, effective training with your users and roll-out support.  We have had some customers who have reported frustrations with the technology and we find most of the time it’s because a user is bumping up against some boundaries in the product.

The following are some of the key boundaries, limitations and best practices for enabling synchronization with Office 365 and Sky Drive Pro. 

The Hard Limits

Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro have some specific hard limits that impact offline synchronization.

  • No single file can be uploaded that is > 2 gigabytes
  • No more than 5,000 files can be uploaded in a single folder
  • No more than 100 gigabytes can be stored in a single site collection
  • No more than 30 million items total in a document library including all documents and folders

In addition, SkyDrive Pro has its own limitations:

  • No more than 25 gigabytes in a single Sky Drive personal site (although this can be increased to up to 100 GB if you have room in your bulk quota pool)

Synchronization Limits

There are specific limits on how many files can be synchronized at one time:

  • You can sync up to 20,000 items in your SkyDrive Pro library, including folders and files.

  • You can sync up to 5,000 items in other SharePoint libraries, including folders and files. These are the libraries you find in various SharePoint sites, such as team sites and community sites.

File Structure Limitations

There are some specific file name and directory name limitations for Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro:

  • Filenames must be less than 128 characters
  • Folder names must be less than 256 characters
  • Folder name / File name combinations must be less than 260 characters.

If you have files/folders that are beyond this limit, you will receive an error when you try to synchronize that file/folder.

Invalid Characters

You are not allowed to upload files with the following characters:

/:* ? ” < > | # { } % ~ &

Invalid File Types

There are some restrictions on the file types you can upload.  These include:

  • When will the file structure limitations be dealt with? I have tons of files which fail to comply to it and simply cannot use all the space I purchased on the OneDrive, which is absurd!

  • Ayman Ibrahim

    Why aren’t the character limitations the same with windows? This is such a horrible inconsistency.

  • George Carlisle

    I think you need to update this page

  • Lisa Santos

    Will these restrictions be in place for the new release of ODFB for mac this quarter?

  • Andy Higgins

    The latest restrictions are published here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2933738
    and they are still an issue IMHO, so our customer’s frustrations are still valid