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Dropbox Quota FAQ

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Why has MIT's Dropbox service changed from unlimited storage to this quota?

Dropbox changed its terms of service for Dropbox for Business, and eliminated the unlimited storage plan. Under the new subscription plan, the cost to MIT is proportional to the storage used. The quota system allows MIT to control costs and equitably provide the service while still allowing individual community members the flexibility to easily increase their use of the service if they have an academic, research, or business need to do so.

The default MIT Dropbox plan offers 200GB of storage for free. Additional plans are available at a cost. See: How do I obtain more MIT Dropbox storage space?

When did quotas go into effect?

Quotas were effective as effective of October 1, 2018. Starting in July 2018, quotas were enabled in “non-enforcing” mode, which showed users near or over their usage the same warnings they see now that quotas are fully in effect.

What is my default Dropbox quota be?

200 GB

How do I know if I’m over the storage limit?

Users will receive an email message from Dropbox when they are at or near their space limit. In addition, users over the storage limit will see a banner when they log into the Dropbox web client or mobile client, and will receive notifications if they’re using the Dropbox desktop application.

I am over the limit, what do I do?

There was an initial grace period from July 2018 through October 1st, 2018, during which your use of Dropbox was not be affected by being over quota, although notifications and reminders were still sent. After quotas were enforced on October 1st, 2018, there is no grace period upon going over quota. However, users will begin receiving notifications upon reaching 90% of their quota, and should users go over quota they will continue to be able to access files in their Dropbox, but will not be able to upload new files nor synchronize their Dropbox folder to new devices until under quota.

Do I have to manually move my data?

If you are at or over quota, you’ll need to move files out of your Dropbox, or request additional space (see How do I pay for additional Dropbox storage?). You can do easily move files out of your Dropbox by dragging files out of the Dropbox folder and onto the local storage of your computer, or by deleting them. If you are storing files in your Dropbox to have an online backup, remember that you can also back up non-Dropbox files on your computer using the Crashplan cloud backup service which is available to all MIT students, faculty, and staff.

Learn how to manage your Dropbox storage in this article.. Also, please note that leaving a shared folder will only help if that folder was shared with you by someone outside of MIT, as folders shared between one MIT Dropbox user and another MIT Dropbox user only count agains the quota of the owner, not both users.

What happens if I go over quota after October 1st? Will my files be automatically deleted/lost?

Your files will not be deleted, but you will be unable to sync your files and folders or add any more files.

Do files and folders shared with me count towards my quota?

The following items count towards your quota:

  • Any files or folders stored in a team member's Dropbox Business account count toward storage limits
  • Shared folders owned by a non-member of the organization (MIT) but shared with an MIT Dropbox member count toward that member’s space limit; this is most relevant if you are invited to a folder shared by someone outside of MIT
  • Shared folders owned by an MIT Dropbox member only count towards that member’s storage limit; they do not count towards the storage limit of other MIT Dropbox members the folder is shared with

The following items do not count towards your quota:

  • Files stored in Team folders set up for a DLC, team, or organization; Team folders are shared spaces owned by the team, and files in them count towards the Team folder quota, also 200 GB
  • Files and folders shared with you by other MIT Dropbox members do not count against your storage limit

Do shared/team folders count towards my quota?

Shared folders count towards the quota of the owner of the shared folder. Team folders count towards the team folder quota, not your personal quota. Team folder quota issues will be raised with the department, lab, or center administrators of the team folder.

Is there a limit to the number of files and folders I can have?

There is no limit to the number of files and folders you can have, as long as you are within your overall storage space limit. Dropbox notes that users with more than 300,000 files in their Dropbox account may experience performance issues. See How many files can I store in my Dropbox?

How do I pay for additional Dropbox storage?

Extra storage will be payable via an MIT cost object only and must be requested and approved by someone at the Institute with spending authorization on that cost object. Additional space cannot be paid for via payroll deduction, Bursar’s bill, credit card, or other personal payment methods. For details see:

What are the costs of the MIT Dropbox storage plans?

  • 200GB: Free, the default MIT Dropbox plan
  • 1TB: $500/year with a 1 year commitment
  • 5TB: $2,500/year with a 1 year commitment
  • 10TB: $5,000/year with a 1 year commitment

For more information, see: How do I obtain more MIT Dropbox storage space?

How much total Dropbox space does MIT actually have?

Once the new plan is in effect in Fall 2018, our total storage allocation included with our ~20,000 user license will be ~2 petabytes, with the option to purchase additional storage on top of our per-user allocation as needed at $500 per terabyte.

Where can I get help managing storage or finding the right storage solution?

General help managing your Dropbox and storage use

IS&T Service Desk

The IS&T Service Desk can help you with advice and assistance in managing your use of Dropbox, file and computer backup, and other tools for managing your personal storage and file sharing with your colleagues. You can contact the Service Desk at:

Email servicedesk@mit.edu (24x7x365)
Call 617-253-1101 (24x7x365)
Visit Atlas Service Center, Bldg. E17-106 (M-F 8AM - 5PM)

Finding the right long-term storage solution for your group, department, lab, or center

The IS&T Community Partnerships team is available to work with your group to help you explore available options and decide on the most effective and usable storage solutions for your research and academic data. Please contact Oliver Thomas to start the conversation.

Individuals and groups can also review the Data Storage and Collaboration Options.

See also

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

October 01, 2018

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