Limitations of SharePoint Online

Number of items that can be synced

  • You can sync up to 20,000 items in your OneDrive for Business library. This includes folders and files.
  • You can sync up to 5,000 items in a SharePoint library. This includes folders and files. These are the libraries that you find on various SharePoint sites, such as team sites and community sites, libraries that other people created, or that you created from your Sites page. This also includes syncing other people's OneDrive personal sites that you may have access to. You can sync multiple SharePoint libraries.

Size limit for syncing files

In any SharePoint library, you can sync files of up to 2 gigabytes (GB).

Character limit for files and folders

These limits apply to files and folders that you add to a synced library folder for uploading to SharePoint.

  • In SharePoint Online, file names can have up to 256 characters.
  • Folder names can have up to 250 characters.
  • Folder name and file name combinations can have up to 250 characters.

Invalid characters

The following characters in file names aren't supported when you sync OneDrive for Business with SharePoint Online:


Additionally, a file name that begins with a tilde (~) isn't supported.

Unsupported folder name

When you sync OneDrive for Business with SharePoint Online, a folder named "forms" isn't supported at the root level for a list or library. This occurs because "forms" is a hidden default folder that's used to store templates and forms for the library.

Blocked file types for SharePoint Online

You can't upload files that have a *.tmp or *.ds_store extension, and you can't upload desktop.ini, thumbs.db, or ehthumbs.db files.Additionally here is the list of blocked file types cannot be changed for a SharePoint Online site.

  • ashx             ASP.NET Web handler file.
  • asmx            ASP.NET Web Services source file
  • asp               Active Server Pages
  • aspq             Active Server Pages
  • axd               ASP.NET source file
  • cshtm           ASP.NET web page
  • chtml            ASP.NET web page
  • json              JavaScript Object Notation file
  • rem               Blackberry Encrypted Data file
  • shtm             HTML file that contains server-side directives
  • shtml            HTML file that contains server-side directives
  • soap             Simple Object Access Protocol file
  • stm               HTML file that contains server-side directives
  • svc                Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service file
  • vbhtm            ASP.NET Razor web page
  • vbhtml           ASP.NET Razor web page
  • xamlx            Visual Studio Workflow service file


Open files can't be synced

Any file that’s currently open by an application (for example, an Excel .xlsx file) can't be synced by OneDrive for Business.

To sync the file, close any application where the file is currently being used, and then sync the file.

SharePoint Online Site Collection

When you buy a package of SharePoint online as mentioned above, you will get a Site collection with sites/subsites hierarchy. It’s designed numbers of site collection, sites/subsites for your package:

  • Small Business: a single Team Site Collection.
  • Midsize Business plans: limits 20 Team Site Collections.
  • Enterprise, Education, and Government: limits to 10,000 Team Site Collections.

In all options, just single Public Web Site Collection can be created, 1TB for My sites, 2000 site/subsite per site collection

Development Limits

Sandbox Solutions was designed to allow SharePoint developer can customize/develop on Office365/SharePoint Online. Some important limitation you have to consider when go with online solution

  • No access to file/folder. It mean you can not use IO API commands
  • Only be deployed at a site collection level scope (not farm scope)
  • No access to web.config
  • PDF Documents cannot be opened in the browser
  • Restrictions to access security
  • Cannot overuse system resources
  • Limited Server Object model

File retention

90 day recycle bin retention duration with turning versioning on by default for new OneDrive Pro libraries.


Microsoft offer 3 packages with differences storage capability

  • SharePoint Online for Office 365 Small Business
  • SharePoint Online for Office 365 Midsize Business
  • SharePoint Online for Office 365 Enterprise, Education, and Government

But in generally, let’s make a simple calculation for 10 users which suitable for these 3 packages

Team site storage = 10GB + 0.5GB per user
Public web site storage = 5GB
OneDrive for Business = 10 x 1TB = 10TB (Microsoft just upgrade OneDrive for business from 25GB to 1TB. And please keep in mind that OneDrive will be used for individual people, that mean you can not share it to any team site)
Maximum file size you can upload to SharePoint Online can be configured is 2GB per file.

Overall subscription limit: 25TB

For more info please go to:

Limits for site elements in SharePoint Online

There are also limits for site elements of a SharePoint Online site. Here are some examples:

  • List and Library limits Different types of columns have different limitations. For example, you can have up to 276 columns in a list for columns that contain a single line of text.
  • Page limits You can add up to 25 Web Parts to a single wiki or web page.
  • Security limits Different security features have different limits. For example, a single user can belong to no more than 5,000 security groups.