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 !


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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.


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?

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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?




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.


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.


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.





I’m also curious to know if there are plans to introduce regional pricing or payment waivers for specific projects or countries. I am from the Dominican Republic, and the current prices would be too steep for local projects, even for small organizations, considering that the current monthly price is about equivalent to the minimum wage in the country. For example, it would not be feasible for projects regarding local flora and fauna and other biodiversity and conservation surveys (I’m mentioning these in particular because this is my area of expertise). This might limit local projects and restrict the usage to only projects with international funding.



Hey Fritz, great questions! We’re constantly keeping an eye on our pricing, and we’re open to making exceptions when it makes sense. Country-based pricing related to national GDP is one of the options we consider.

Just to clarify, we’ve always had a free tier available. The recent change announced in August is that we moved its limit from allowing 10,000 surveys a month to 5,000 surveys a month. We believe that both of these limits are pretty generous.

When you look at other (commercial) tools, they often transition from a free tier to something like a $20/month plan, and it keeps going up from there. We take pride in offering a substantial amount for free before nonprofits need to consider a paid account. Ultimately, we have significant costs hosting and maintaining KoboToolbox and even though we are a nonprofit, not all of these costs can reasonably be covered by grants and donors.

In our experience, most projects that involve collecting more than 5,000 submissions per month also come with significant expenses, like additional tablets/phones and logistics, which can add up. So, even in low-income countries where Kobo has been active for two decades and where KoboToolbox was initially created, these extra costs often outweigh the price of our professional plan.

Self-hosting is always an option, and we will never stop publishing our code as open source. I would caution that for some the labor costs of setting up, maintaining, and keeping secure a small server-- as well as data protection risks due to inexperience hosting a public server–is probably greater than our monthly plan. There are many organizations that have chosen this route.

I hope this helps clarify our pricing approach. If you have any more questions or need further details, feel free to ask!


Dear KOBO team,
I’d like to find out what happens if if an organisation exceeds the limit of 5000 submissions and how this is calculated. Let’s say they have an average number below 5000 submissions, but in one month when they do a bigger project monitoring, the limit is exceeded.
Are submissions blocked immediately if the 5001st submission is made until they pay? Or do you calculate a rolling average over a longer period of time, and if yes, what is the time frame?
Would they have to pay only for those months when the submissions exceed the limit, and could subscription be cancelled as soon as they are below the limit?

I’m asking because for small organisations in SubSaharan Africa the monthly subscription fee is really high and if there is a risk that they might have to pay it for an extended period, it would be better to look for alternative data collection tools.

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Hi @Clemens, thanks for this great question. We understand that budget constraints, particularly for small organizations in low-income countries, can make the cost of exceeding our 5,000-submission limit a critical concern.

Firstly, to clarify, submissions are not automatically blocked once you reach the 5001st submission at this time. We encourage organizations that anticipate exceeding the limit to contact us in advance so that we can discuss available options tailored to your specific circumstances. The usage page an different notifications make it easy to monitor this.

In terms of reducing costs for projects that straddle the submission limit, we propose that users upgrade only for those months when the submission limit is likely going to be exceeded. If the user returns to fewer than 5,000 submissions in subsequent months, they can immediately cancel the plan to revert to the free community tier.

It’s worth noting that our plans have been informed by consultations with various global organizations, including those from low-income countries. From these consultations, we’ve found that organizations exceeding 5,000 submissions per month generally have the financial capability to afford the upgrade, even if temporarily. However, we recognize that there are always exceptions and are committed to offering flexible solutions whenever possible.

As a nonprofit organization, our primary mission is to make data collection as widely accessible as possible for other nonprofits globally—especially those operating in humanitarian and related sectors. To achieve this, we have to strike a delicate balance: offering robust services at no cost while also maintaining a sustainable model for our organization. The fees we charge for exceeding certain usage limits are essential to this balance. These fees support the infrastructure, data security, and ongoing improvements that make KoboToolbox a reliable and useful tool. By being financially responsible, we’re able to continue offering our core services for free to the vast majority of users who depend on KoboToolbox for their data collection needs.

Hope this answers your question! :raised_hands: Let me know if I can answer anything else :pray:


Thank you @tinok for the detailed response. This information was very helpful for us to take the decision to continue using KOBO.

KOBO’s free services are invaluable, and your efforts to provide them for as many as possible highly appreciated!


My account has automatically been migrated to eu.kobotoolbox.org but this doesn’t work with my data collection app. However, the kc.humanitarianresponse.info continues to work perfectly. Do I have to do anything?

Also, my account setting is inactive. it cannot be opened.
any help?