SharePoint Online improves limits and makes it easier to restore documents

Mark Kashman (@mkashman) is a senior product manager on the SharePoint
marketing team.

Office 365 is growing rapidly and companies
are moving more of their social and collaboration needs to the cloud. Users are
uploading more documents to SkyDrive Pro, teams are building numerous team
sites to work with internal teams as well as with external customers and partners,
and companies are establishing their corporate intranet sites.  

Based on feedback
and reports on how customers use the service, we’ve made the following
improvements to SharePoint Online:

  • Improved file
    upload experience
    : increased file upload limit from 250MB to 2 GB and expanded support
    for a broader range of file types.
  • Increased Site
    collection and list lookup limits:
    increased site collection limit from 3,000 to
    10,000 and list lookup threshold to 12 lookups.
  • Improved self-restoration: increasing
    recycle bin retention duration and turning versioning on by default for new
    SkyDrive Pro libraries.

These updates will
be rolling out live worldwide over the coming weeks without interruption. Let’s
dive into the details.

Improved file upload

file upload limit to 2 GB

We just
significantly increased
the default SkyDrive Pro storage per user, from 7 GB to 25 GB
, with the
ability to further increase to 50 GB or 100 GB. To complement this, we’re also
increasing the per file upload limit, from 250 MB to 2 GB. Users will now be
able to upload and share larger files like CAD drawings, video files, larger
project documents and more-both to their personal SkyDrive Pro and to team site
document libraries. And it is possible to upload more than one file at a time
via drag and drop, the standard file upload dialog box or via SkyDrive
Pro Sync for Windows


Uploading large files
into SkyDrive Pro (applicable to team site document libraries as well); files
were dragged and dropped from the desktop into the Web interface.



and .dll are now acceptable file types

Online now accepts a broader range of file types, specifically .exe and .dll. This
value is already an option for SharePoint on-premises admins who can add or
remove blocked file types from central administration via the Blocked File Types page. For SharePoint
Online, our telemetry shows that customers want to store these files in the
cloud along with their other content. This
change will eliminate a number of sync failures customers have seen due to
unsupported file types.


Review the SharePoint
Online blocked file type list

Increased site collection and
list lookup limits


site collection limit to 10,000 site collections per tenant

Over the
next few weeks we will be increasing the number of site collections (groups of
websites organized into a hierarchy) each customer can create. Office 365 Enterprise
customers* can create up to 10,000 site collections from within their
SharePoint Online Admin center (If they want to create more than one site
collection at a time, they can do so using the SharePoint
Online Management Shell
); the previous site collection limit was 3,000/tenant.
This increase will enable greater flexibility for how you govern and allocate
your SharePoint Online investment across your company.

*Note: this
increase only applies to Office 365 Enterprise plans (including Education and
Government) – Office 365 Small Business and Midsize Business remain at a single
site collection and twenty site collections respectively.


lookup threshold increased to 12 relations

Customers use
SharePoint to create sophisticated business solutions that reflect the people,
processes and products of their business. These solutions often take
dependencies on information stored in disparate sets of data (or lists). The
sets of data are often managed by different people/groups. Thus, when you
combine lists’ information in a smart way, you achieve critical mapping and preserve
the integrity of your data. To improve the usability of list lookups in
SharePoint Online, we’re increasing the relationship threshold of list lookups
from 8 to 12 relations. This means you can now create more relational
dependencies, thus improving the depth and accuracy of your custom solution


Learn more about creating cross-list

Review the
list of all SharePoint
Online boundaries and limitations

Improved self-restoration

software boundary and limit increases, we’ve been working on improving methods
for customers to self-restore their environments, so they can achieve effective
lifecycle management of content and more quickly recover from accidental


Bin has been increased to 90 days

To help customers recover previous versions or deleted
documents, we’re increasing the time a file will remain in all available
recycle bins (at the site and the site collection level, including your
SkyDrive Pro). Previously, the recycle bin was emptied automatically every 30
days. Now customers will have 90 days to recover deleted documents, lists, list
items, sites, or even full site collections. 

A user’s SkyDrive Pro Recycle Bin accessed by
clicking the gear icon > Site contents

Review “Manage
the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site collection
,” article on

Review “Empty
the recycle bin or restore your files
” for SkyDrive Pro article on


of Office documents “On” by default in new SkyDrive Pro libraries

Office 365
will enable versioning by default on newly created SkyDrive Pro libraries, with
10 versions being retained. Versioning helps with deletion errors and
overwriting scenarios. It empowers users to self-restore. It also supports
managed work streams of documents, in which you require declaration of minor or
major revisions with the ease of restoring a known previous version. You can
also programmatically version documents as a step in an approval workflow or
when a document is checked in after edits are completed. 


can be enabled for existing SkyDrive Pro libraries and for team libraries and
lists, or turned off as required.


Review How
does versioning work in a list or library?

Learn how to
and configure versioning for a list or library

Learn how to
restore, or delete a previous version of a file or item


Internet Explorer 10 fix for “Open with Explorer
View” on Windows 7

We also want to highlight an
important related fix. Customers who use Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 and
have previously run into issues using the “Open with Explorer View” can now download a hotfix
from the Windows team (x86 & x64-based versions). Once the hotfix is in
place, you’ll be able to successfully open a SharePoint Online document library
in Explorer just like any other desktop folder on your Windows device, and then
drag and drop files between your desktop and SharePoint Online.


There’s a lot of growth in the
SharePoint Online stratosphere. We hope you take advantage of your Office in
the cloud-build solutions, upload business files, share and collaborate with
your peers-and discover the power of working better together.


— Mark
Kashman @mkashman




Q:  Which Office 365 plans will get
these SharePoint Online improvements?

A:  All above announcements apply to all Office 365
business plans – except the 10,000 site collection increase (only applicable to
Office 365 Enterprise plans (including Education and Government). 
Specifically, these plans are:  Office 365 Small Business (P1), Office 365
Small Business Premium (P2), Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise
E1, E3 and E4, Office 365 Education A2, A3 and A4, and Office 365
government G1, G3, and G4.


Q. Does this announcement apply to Office
365 Home Premium subscribers?

A. No. This article does not apply to Office 365 Home Premium offering, which combines the latest Office
applications with Skype and SkyDrive storage.


Q. Does this announcement apply to Office
365 dedicated subscribers?

A. No. The Office 365 dedicated plans are not receiving
this same update, because they are managed in a unique, isolated


Q: Doesn’t allowing EXEs and DLLs subject the server to
remote execution attacks?

A: No. SharePoint will not execute any arbitrary EXEs or
DLLs uploaded by a user to a team site or to their SkyDrive Pro.


Q: Doesn’t allowing EXEs and DLLs subject unknowing
users to potentially sync malicious files from a team site to their desktop?

A: There are multiple layers of defense that make such
an attack unlikely and mitigate its effectiveness:

1.       SharePoint will
only accept uploads from authenticated users reducing risks that an outside
attacker could post any malicious files.

2.       SharePoint has an
antivirus scanning engine built in to detect malicious files.

3.       If user’s attempt
to execute a malicious file in their synced folders, Outlook and Windows have
warning pop-up dialogs requesting consent from the user before the malicious
file can execute.

a.       Many users also
have antivirus scanning applications on their client computers and therefore
would detect and quarantine any malicious files.

Finally, should admins have cause to worry about these scenarios, they can
enable auditing to any document library to detect which end user initially
uploaded the malicious file.