Dynamics CRM – Attachment Size Limit Increase

With the latest update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (now Dynamics 365) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1 (on-premises), Microsoft has increased the maximum allowed attachment size in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online from its long standing limit of 32 MB to 128 MB (131,072 KB).

This limit increase may come as fantastic news for businesses who require the ability to store large attachments from time to time. This new limit will ensure – in most cases – that larger email attachments coming from your customers will be successfully received, and your business processes aren’t hindered when needing to attach any exceptionally large documents to your opportunities, cases, and service requests.

If you are using CRM portals, this limit increase becomes especially beneficial as customers seeking the convenience of online requests may (occasionally) need to submit a large document that can’t be easily trimmed or broken down into smaller files.

To take advantage of this increase, in Dynamics CRM, navigate to Settings > Administration > System Settings and change the Maximum file size value on the Email tab appropriately.

Now, with that being said, a very famous (and very cliché) Hollywood quote comes to mind: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Allowing the rare attachment of > 32 MB is one thing. Attempting to use your CRM as a storage server is another.

While this limit increase will surely come to many as a blessing, there is a price to pay – literally. Attachments are stored in the database – not the file system. With Dynamics CRM Online, plans only include the first 5 GB of database storage (and 128 MB/attachment can build up fast in a CRM, especially in CRMs with portals). Storage in Dynamics CRM comes at a premium (e.g. $9.99 USD/GB – see pricing), whereas SharePoint plans include at least 1 TB of storage and additional storage costs as little as $0.20 USD/GB (see pricing). (If you aren’t already aware, Dynamics CRM includes SharePoint integration, so you can attach and retrieve SharePoint documents in Dynamics CRM similar to how you do with notes.)

If you’re using CRM portals, another consideration for you is Azure Blob Storage, which can be useful when your portal is serving up large amounts of web content (images, downloads, etc.) and other customer-facing documents (e.g. case attachments) that don’t require frequent access by internal staff members. Azure Blob Storage can be very cost-effective (see pricing) and performant storage option.

Attachments in Dynamics CRM are best suited to conveniently store small, infrequently accessed documents that provide additional context and detail to a record in CRM. For documents that need to be shared frequently with multiple customers, or collaborated on by internal staff members, SharePoint is maybe a better option for you. In the case of CRM portal content, if your CRM is getting quite full, you might want to consider moving your content to Azure Blob Storage.