A question arose in a SharePoint Governance committee on the issue of limiting file sizes in SharePoint 2007. Central Administration* allows a web-application level Maximum Upload Size. This setting is 50MB by default. If a user attempts to upload a document larger than the limit, the upload fails with an error message that the file is too large. The question was whether this limit would be enforced on documents created using the New option on a document library (as opposed to the Upload option), or in editing a document already housed in SharePoint, when those edits caused the document to exceed the size limit.
In other words, the committee wondered if the Maximum Upload Size would result in an overall file size limit, or if using a method other than the Upload option on a document library would allow a user to circumvent the limit. Testing by attempting to upload a large document, increasing the size of an existing document already in the library, and using the library’s New option to create a large document all resulted in the error message and a failure to save the document (or the new version of the existing document) to the library.
The Governance Committee was reassured that they need not create a separate rule regarding file size limits, as the Maximum Upload Size limit would enforce the file size limitation regardless of the method used to create or modify the document.
*Central Admin>Application Management>[In the SharePoint Web Application Management Section] Web Application General Settings. Note: Be sure you are looking at information for the correct web application, as this setting can be set separately for each web application. You can switch to a different web application by clicking the drop down arrow in the Web Application section of this screen.