Update about limits for free accounts!

Dear All,

On 1 September 2023, KoboToolbox is launching a new free Community Plan that includes 5,000 monthly submissions and 1 GB of file storage.

Any users with a free plan will enjoy a 6-month transition period with 10,000 submissions per month and 5 GB of file storage. After 1 March 2024, your account will be transitioned to the Community Plan, and the new limits will apply. If you currently have a paid plan with us, these changes will not affect you.

To monitor your submissions and storage, please visit the new usage section on the Global server or the EU server (depending on which one you use) in your account settings. If you need higher quotas for submissions or additional file storage, you can soon upgrade directly in your account settings. In the meantime, reach out to our support team if you want to learn more.

KoboToolbox Team

Dear Kal,
Thank you for the update. The usage section only allows us to check the number of submissions for the current month. How can we have access to historical use, to know the number of submissions each month since the account was created? Or the average number of submissions since the account was created?

@dianedetoeuf, why would you like to know the total submission history for an account? Could you kindly share us some use case for it?

As the new limit is 5,000 monthly submissions, I need to know if the account(s) I’m using have ever been above this limit, to plan if I should upgrade or not. I do not need to know the total, but how many were submitted per month since the account creation, or alternatively an average number.


Hi @Kal_Lam

Can you Please guide on how this limit will be calculated

say i develop a form and distribute to team members

  1. 5000 submission is for my form or from team members submission
  2. as team member is submitting data but it is submitting to my account so the storage limit will be applicable to my account ot team members account.

Cheers !


Hi @Kal_Lam just checking - will the support documentation e.g. Which Server Should I Use? — KoboToolbox documentation be updated to reflect the new limits and URLs? I just referred a colleague to that page but noticed it still needs the new info. Thanks!

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Thanks @nat! They will be - the changes are made and just waiting to be merged I believe. @delangem and team made the fixes recently. :raised_hands:


Thanks for the suggestion @dianedetoeuf! We are planning to add a view to see usage by project, but a historical overview for the account also makes sense. We can try to include this in a future update of the feature.

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Hi @caneeraj, the limit always applies to the owner of the project, not the team members collecting information on their behalf.


Hi @tinok , great to hear that the limit applies to the owner only. If I check the usage section of an account that has multiple projects being shared by other users, will the number of submissions and storage account only for the projects owned by this account, or include also the submissions/storage of the projects that are shared with this account?

Hi @Kal_Lam,

I would like to ask if it is possible to share more about the decision to constrain further the free monthly submission plan. I think it would be good to give more transparency to the community when possible. For example, are you encountering a lot of account abuse or misuse? or are you transitioning from a grant-based funding model to a more sustainable economic model for the institution? Are you doing this to be able to give better support and develop more features faster for the service? Or any other reasonable reasons that apply.

Also, is this decision going to impact what is included in the self-hosted version published in GitHub?



1 Like

Hi @dianedetoeuf, the usage section of your account will only ever include the submissions and storage that are related to your own projects, that is, projects where you are the owner. Any usage from projects being shared by other users will not be included in your account usage page and will not count against the limits.

We are putting together an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page where we answer all these common questions.

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Hi @fpichardom,
Great question. We lowered the limit from 10,000 to 5,000 on the global server because our analysis found that this is a good balance that allows us to keep maintaining the tool for free to about 95% of our nonprofit users, but also to have large organizations contribute towards the significant cost related to building and maintaining the tool.

We are a nonprofit organization and grants are important, but our goal is as sustainable, stable as possible while also having the funding necessary to invest in new features and secure infrastructure.

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Hi @tinok,

thanks for your response. Your points make sense, and I definitely want to see Kobotoolbox succeed. However, I feel that the new price changes are only aimed at large organizations, which might be the only ones that could afford such costs. This leaves me concerned for the small to medium-sized nonprofit users that outgrow the 5,000 limit. As a graduate student, most use cases have revolved around small data collection protections in the field, data processing, and lab workflows. Some of these will still stay within the 5,000 limit for free accounts, but there is a very steep difference between the free account and the paying plans. Going from free to $159/$129 monthly is striking. When I first heard about the changes, I thought there would be intermediate plans to accommodate more use cases. I feel that now the option if your needs are above 5,000, but you can’t afford to pay $159/$129 monthly would be to self-host from the kobotoolbox GitHub repository. I would hope that the repository version will be still continuously updated and maintained.