OneNote in Teams and other temporary changes

Microsoft has announced some more temporary changes and slow-down in their Office 365 hosted services for Teams, SharePoint and Streams.

As usual, Microsoft makes these announcements quietly and without much detail.  Will Microsoft figure out that with customers scrambling to adjust, it’s time for Redmond to be fully open and honest?  Probably not, but we can only hope.

In short, it’s more cutbacks in the speed of updating or refreshing live data. Many people won’t even notice.  With one exception, the changes involve cutting back or slowing service but one change means a cutting off of an existing feature (albeit with a workaround).

Reduced video playback

As we mentioned last week, Microsoft cloud servers slow down includes some reduction in the video resolution.  That’s something that Netflix and Youtube have also done.

That reduction has now been extended to Sharepoint and Stream too.

Changing video resolution for streaming video (including conferencing) is also something you can do to help yourself.  Switching to standard defintion (like 720p) will reduce your bandwidth use, make dropouts less likely and speed up the internet for anyone sharing it.

OneNote cutbacks

Microsoft has cut off full write access to some OneNote users.

“OneNote in Teams will be read-only for commercial tenants, excluding EDU. “

EDU means Education license users.

However the same OneNote shared notebooks can be edited via OneNote online, the browser based interface.

Attachment sync

Similar to the Office collaboration cutbacks announced last week, shared OneNote attachments will be synced at a slower refresh rate than usual.   No word on exactly how much slower.

OneNote Download size

This is the important one, which could be why it gets a very brief mention in the email to administrators.

Here’s the full details as supplied by Microsoft.

” Awareness of a temporary adjustment for file attachments in OneNote

To best support OneNote customers worldwide during these unprecedented times, we’re making a temporary adjustment to the download limit of file attachments in OneNote. We do not expect this change to impact most users, but we wanted to make you aware and share best practices.

We’ll restrict the download of file attachments to 100MB. Most OneNote clients limit file uploads to 50MB, so this shouldn’t impact most attachments, but there are scenarios that permit larger files that will no longer successfully download without one of the following workarounds:

  1. Attach as a cloud file — This is the best way to ensure that others can access the file without restrictions. If you have access to the file, upload the attachment to SharePoint Online first and then link to the attachment from within the Notebook. (If you are using OneNote for Windows 10, you can do this in one step by using Insert > File > Upload to OneDrive and insert link.) Attaching as a cloud file lets others with access to the notebook view your attachment without any size restrictions. If you don’t have access to the original file, use either of the two workarounds listed below to obtain the file, and then attach it as a cloud file.
  2. Open your notebook in OneNote for the web (go to and then click the purple Sign in button) and save the attachment by right-clicking the attached file and then clicking Save As.
  3. Use OneNote 2016 or another desktop version of OneNote to download the attachment.  “

Microsoft’s announcment in full

Here’s the Microsoft announcement. We say ‘in full’ with tongue in cheek <sigh>.

We are sharing a few other temporary changes you can expect.


  • OneNote in Teams will be read-only for commercial tenants, excluding EDU. Users can go to OneNote for the web for editing.
  • Download size and sync frequency of file attachments has been changed.
  • You can find details on these and other OneNote related updates as 
    (  note: despite that text, the linked Microsoft page only talks about the new download size limit,, nothing about any other changes.)


  • We are rescheduling specific backend operations to regional evening and weekend business hours. Impacted capabilities include migrationDLP and delays in file management after uploading a new file, video or image.
  • Reduced video resolution for playback videos.


  • People timeline has been disabled for newly uploaded videos. Pre-existing videos will not be impacted.

  • Meeting recording video resolution adjusted to 720p “

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