Understanding Salesforce Storage Types and Allocations

Learn about the different types of Salesforce storage, what happens when you run out of space, and how to increase available storage.
November 5, 2019

Many organizations don't realize that Salesforce puts a cap on the storage of files and data within all Salesforce instances. And unless you have monitoring systems or protocols in place, you may not know you're near the cap until it starts to affect your business workflow.

In this post...

What happens when you run out of storage in Salesforce?

Salesforce will send your administrator a warning email when you hit the storage cap that says you need to either:

  1. Clean up your instance by deleting files and/or data
  2. Purchase more storage.

If nothing is done to lower the amount of files and/or data storage or to increase storage size, records will no longer be able to update and processes will break down until the problem is fixed.

Compounding the issue is the fact that file and data storage are updated asynchronously, so new records are not immediately reflected in storage. In layman terms, this means you could unintentionally blow past your storage limit when a large amount of data is uploaded and not immediately realize it.

What are the Salesforce Storage Types?

Salesforce storage is divided into 2 categories - file storage and data storage. File storage is allocated space to store files (e.g., attachments, user photos, and documents). Data storage is allocated space used to store records (e.g., Accounts, Opportunities and Cases).

Here is the full list for each storage type.

1) File storage:

  • Files in attachments
  • Files home
  • Salesforce CRM Content
  • Chatter files, this includes user photos
  • Documents tab
  • Custom file filed on Knowledge articles
  • Site.com assets

2) Data storage:

  • Accounts
  • Article types (format: “[Article Type Name]”)
  • Article type translations (format: “[Article Type Name] Version”)
  • Campaigns
  • Campaign Members
  • Cases
  • Case Teams
  • Contacts
  • Contracts
  • Custom objects
  • Email messages
  • Events
  • Forecast items
  • Google docs
  • Ideas
  • Leads
  • List Email
  • Notes
  • Opportunities
  • Opportunity Splits
  • Orders
  • Quotes
  • Quote Template Rich Text Data
  • Solutions
  • Tags: Unique tags
  • Tasks
  • All objects tied to Field Service Lightning enablement

How much Salesforce storage do I have?

The amount of storage you get for each storage type depends on the Salesforce edition that your organization uses and how many users you have (see the table below for a breakdown).

For example, say you have the Enterprise edition with 20 users, you get 10GB of data storage with an additional 20MB per user (10.4GB total) and 10GB of file storage with an additional 2GB per user (50GB total).

Contact Manager 10 GB 20 MB 10 GB 612 MB
Group 10 GB 20 MB 10 GB 612 MB
Professional 10 GB 20 MB 10 GB 612 MB
Enterprise 10 GB 20 MB 10 GB 2 GB
Performance 10 GB 120 MB
20 MB for Lightning Platform Starter user licenses
10 GB 2 GB
Unlimited 10 GB 120 MB
20 MB for Lightning Platform Starter user licenses
10 GB 2 GB
Developer 5 MB N/A 20 MB N/A
Personal 20 MB (approximately 10,000 records) N/A 20 MB N/A
Essentials 10 GB N/A 1 GB N/A

* Chart reflects amounts as of 10/2019.
* https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=overview_storage.htm&type=5

How do I see my storage usage in Salesforce?

To see your organization's storage usage, navigate to Setup and type “storage” in the Quick Find box. Click Storage Usage to view the Limit, Amount Used, Percentage Used, and usage breakdowns of each storage type. It will also provide you with the Top Users of each type.

After gathering information on your Salesforce storage usage, you will have a much clearer idea of where you may need to increase storage space.

How do I increase my Salesforce storage space?

There are a number of ways to increase the available storage space in your org.

1) You can manually remove unnecessary files and/or data using tools like Salesforce's Mass Delete Records function (type “delete” in Setup Quick Find box), Salesforce Data Loader, Dataloader.io, or any similar data migration tool.

2) When deleting is not an option, you can leverage apps on the App Exchange to clean up files and/or data. Apps, such as Task Archiver, can move tasks to files or delete tasks that meet user-defined criteria, to help free up data storage for your Salesforce instance.

3) Your last resort options are to purchase extra storage from Salesforce or upgrade your Salesforce edition, which can be quite expensive.

Having a good business workflow and process is key to having a well-maintained instance and staying ahead before issues arise.

If you need help cleaning up your data and files in Salesforce, send us a quick message and we'll get started right away.

Need help? Get On-Demand access to our team of Certified Salesforce Experts whenever you need it.