I have installed OneDrive for Business to sync with a SharePoint Online document library.

The local folder has 6,331 files, 672 folders.

It looks like I am hitting the upload limit by getting the error:

We can't sync this library because it's too large. The library has too many items.

Can someone please tell me what the best practice is here? The storage used is well within the limit.

3 Answers 3


Note: There are limitations related to syncing libraries to your computer with OneDrive for Business:

  1. You can sync up to 20,000 items in your OneDrive for Business library, including folders and files.
  2. You can sync up to 5,000 items in other SharePoint libraries, including folders and files.
  3. In any library, you can download files up to 2 GB.
  • 1
    5,000 items seems way too low for a business wanting to share files and folders. Is there a workaround? Should I be doing something different?
    – Ash
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 5:09
  • This is out of date now. Perhaps you could update it?
    – Xonatron
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:25
  • I added a solution that points to the direct Microsoft documentation on limitations.
    – Xonatron
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:33

As Hardik states 5,000 items is the maximum number of items you can sync on a team site document library. This is a limitation of the sync tool.

Typical workarounds involve splitting out your files and folders in to separate document libraries, almost treating a document library like a root level folder. This will help to keep the numbers of files and folders down.

Furthermore, you may not need to sync all the files. Perhaps only current project files are necessary for syncing so ensure that library is below the sync limit, whereas your static infrequently used files can be placed in a library over the 5,000 limit and just access the files online or through Windows File Explorer.

Windows File Explorer is not impacted by the sync limit. Here's how to use it with document libraries: https://support.office.com

Its also possible to map your document libraries to network drives so it feels like you are working with a local file server. See http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2616712, or if you would like to make those mappings permanent try a drive mapping tool like Zee Drive (disclosure; its a commercial tool my company develops).

Microsoft announced they have a next gen sync client due for release end of 2015. Whilst it has been confirmed this will remove the 20,000 item sync limit for your personal OneDrive for Business, it has yet to be confirmed if that will also remove the 5,000 item sync limit for team site libraries. If it does, then the sync limit should hopefully be a thing of the past.


The official OneDrive (business and personal) limitations from Microsoft:

Number of items that can be synced Applies to: OneDrive for Business icon

Although SharePoint Online can store 30 million documents per library, for optimum performance we recommend syncing no more than 300,000 files across all document libraries. Performance issues can occur if you have 300,000 items or more across all libraries that you are syncing, even if you are not syncing all items within those libraries.


If you are uploading, downloading, or moving a large number of files at once, you may need to wait an extended period of time before the sync process can complete. The desktop app showing “syncing” icon or displaying "processing changes" during this period is not necessarily an indication of a problem. You can always click the OneDrive taskbar icon to see the status of content that is in the process of syncing. To help reduce sync times, we recommend reviewing and possibly modifying your bandwidth settings before starting your upload or download. You can also read how to Choose which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer.

There are other SharePoint Online limits on viewing a document library using the web that may affect how you structure your files in OneDrive.

Please follow the source link for more information on limitations, such as file sizes, etc.

To directly answer your question about best practices, I am not sure. I am struggling with less than 300,000 files on my OneDrive for Business, so I am archiving old files into a single compressed file. I am still in the process of doing this. It is hard as OneDrive needs to work in order for me to download and compress the files. That said, I would say -- for now -- it is best practice to archive older files. I do not have this issue at home with OneDrive Personal.

Source: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/invalid-file-names-and-file-types-in-onedrive-onedrive-for-business-and-sharepoint-64883a5d-228e-48f5-b3d2-eb39e07630fa

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