Enforcing the 5 GB file upload limit for Free workspaces

Published:Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Free teams feature a 5 GB limit on file uploads. However, as in the Wild Wild West of yore, the limit wasn't enforced. As of March 5, 2019, we're starting to enforce the file upload limit more firmly: only the last 5 GB of files will be visible to Free teams. In APIs that return file uploads, older files beyond the limit will be shown as 'tombstoned,' with redacted information and a "hidden_by_limit" field.

What's changing

For Free teams only, the 5 GB file upload limit will be enforced. Expect tombstoned files in 3 sets of API endpoints:

  1. conversations.history, pins.list, and stars.list
  2. search.all and search.files
  3. files.list; files.info; files.revokePublicURL; files.sharedPublicURL

A redacted (or "tombstoned") file will be identified by the field "mode": "hidden_by_limit". For example, the conversations.history method might return the following:

   "ok": "true",
   "messages": [
            "type": "message",
            "text": "",
            "files": [
                    "id": "FEKKRPL9G",
                    "mode": "hidden_by_limit",
   "has_more": false,
   "pin_count": 0

Deleting or revoking tombstoned files

In order to gather information on tombstoned files, so that you can delete or revoke them, pass the show_files_hidden_by_limit parameter to files.list. While the returned files will still be redacted, you'll gain the id of the files so that you can delete or revoke them.

files.delete works as expected on tombstoned files. Also, the files.revokePublicURL method will still work, even on tombstoned files. However, the response will contain the tombstoned version of the file, not the full version.

How do I prepare?

Expect and prepare your app for tombstoned files by checking for "mode": "hidden_by_limit" on files that you wish to manipulate.

When does this happen?

As of March 5, 2019. If you have a comment or concern, please let us know.