Archiving SharePoint Library to gain back more storage

Steel Contributor

Microsoft support has told me there is no such thing as an online archive option for SharePoint libraries and must instead move these files to a OneDrive account (which is absurd).  Exchange allows for unlimited online archiving with their various licenses so why is there nothing built-in with Microsoft to allow us to archive files that we rarely need to access, but will need to access on some occasions?  We need to retain this data for compliance reasons.  We do not want to set retention policies up as we have some libraries with projects spanning years that always need to be accessible but then once that project is done, we move to a different library.  This is the library we want to archive.


Is the only option third party?

13 Replies
Why not just create a different document library (or multiple libraries) for archived projects and move them there?
We do have a separate document library, however, we're getting close to our tenant's storage max. Doesn't make sense to pay Microsoft $$$$ to increase our live tenant collection for files we rarely access.
Take a look at AvePoint's offering, They have "archive/back up" tools that might fit here
Hi Mercedes

Onedrive gives you 1TB of storage per user at 4.20 per month, I think that's rather cheap, surely you could use 1 of these to house all the documentation?
If you have multiple users then you have that many times storage in TB's available!

Or else you need to take a hard look at what you are archiving, I have the same problem with my clients that they are basically hoarding documents that aren't needed. Compliance rules can be set and they are now being enforced, thankfully the timeframes of document retention has come down but the clients still retaining documents for over 7 years etc, these just have to be deleted.

I've also found that duplication of documents is a major factor in the size of the libraries, different users insisting on saving up mails containing the same documents multiple times!
So in this case we've had to streamline the process and ensure only one version of a document is saved or needed..

Just some other approaches to think about if you aren't prepared to pay for more storage.
Other option is offline storage for the archive but again I'm sure there's a cost to that too.
Keep in mind that the OneDrive storage is intended for personal business use. According to the contract it should not be used to store corporate data. Purchasing extra storage is always possible but optimising processes as markikav1955 proposed and housekeeping (e.g. remove obsolete versions) will help. I would be hesitant to move content offline unless it consumes lots of space and needs to be kept for a very long period of time.
Agree with all. Since we have 483,793 files and over 200,000 folders for 200 projects, it's very difficult to task someone to go out and start deleting. Not all users have the history of those projects and wouldn't know what to delete.

Also most of these were copied from our on-premise server that is now gone so there won't be any versioning on any of the files.

Maybe just start downloading to a reliable external drive might be the only option.

@luvsql I have been doing some deep diving on this very topic. I'm leading the effort to migrate some 8 terabytes worth of data over to SharePoint/Teams. The cost of storing that much data in SharePoint document libraries is eye watering to say the very least and much of that data is archival images which don't really belong in SharePoint in the first place. 


I'd love to see a way to migrate SharePoint document libraries over to an Azure Files tier (Hot/Cold/Archive). This way we could keep current work in the very accessible SharePoint document libraries and offload old data to a much less expensive silo to access as needed. In theory I could migrate data via sync shares between SharePoint and Azure Files Sync Server... But that seems rather clunky at best an requires pulling data down from SharePoint then shipping it back up to Azure by way of the corporate WAN/LAN. 


I'll have to look at the AvePoint solution which appears to accomplish exactly what I need using Azure Files as the archive destination. I just hope their solution isn't expensive. 


I'd have to think there is some way using Power Automate to create an automation that checks SP libraries for certain criteria and then migrates the data to an Azure File Share. I've asked around and the answer I've received thus far is no.

Let me know if you go with AvePoint and how it goes. I'm migrating 9 TB of data from Egnyte (which I HATE because of their shady business practices), to SPO using the migration tool. I then need a tool to archive everything older than 2 years to Azure Files/cold storage. thx!

@robotech Absolutely, I'd imagine the only real killer on my end with AvePoint is going to be cost. At least it sounds like the licensing model is total data rather per-user licensing. Their backup solution + archive also lets me tier down data and get rid of it in a better window of time and my data pack rats can still reference the backup after the data has been completely removed from the file life cycle.

@Ryan Lounsbury , can i ask whether you have started using Avepoint for archivng sharepoint online data?
can i have your feedback on their archiving solution as i am looking into solution for sharepoint online archiving.

Thank you!!



Even if is not best, OneDrive virtually can accommodate unlimited storage, you can configure a OneDrive account accessible only by web (I would disable OD4B sync), structured with different folders permissions ACL where data can be dumped by ICT.


You can publish in O365 SharePoint a feature link so any staff will have a reference that can be added to their favorite for easy archive access.


i know you have no automated process to archive data, but cost wise is almost zero.



@Chris_smith have you tried this new Office 365 Archive solution?  I own a small consulting business and just ran into Sharepoint running out of space.  I either need to save the files from older project Sharepoint sites internally or to some dedicated OneDrive account, and delete the Sharepoint sites or find another solution.  This one seems promising if it works seamlessly.  The information on it seems a bit unclear to me (I am a biologist, not an IT pro), and I expect it is something you learn by doing it.