Course File Size - How big is too Big

Oct 11, 2013


I have a questions that I have not found the answer to. How big of a .story or produced course is too big. I want to create all encompassing training that would probably exceed 200MB with video's and other bits (if this would work ok). I'm finding that the software is a bit sluggish after about a 80MB .story file size (running a dual quad core w/ 8MB RAM). Will my course "break" when used if I exceed some magic file size?

I'd rather place video's in the course and not host them on YouTube or something like that. Imbedding the video's adds a lot of volume to the course, but is this ok?

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.

18 Replies
Dennis Hall

Hi Vaughan:

I helped out someone that had a Story file of 1GB.

I regularly create files of around 300MB.

Don't worry if you story is around 200MB.

Embedding videos is the most integrated solution and my preference as well.

I hope you mean (in your post) your PC is a dual processor, quad core with 8MB or processor RAM, else your PC is very old.

If your story file is sluggish when you edit it, that may be due to the fact that Sotryline is a 32 bit program and you are running Windows in 64 bit mode.

The real test is to run the published file and see if it is sluggish. Running it from your LMS or web server will prove the platform has enough resources to run your course smoothly. If it is sluggish running on the server, get a server technician to increase your session_data cache size for the LMS users.

Best Regards,

Dennis Hall

Vaughan Martin


You are correct about my computer it is a 8GB not MB. It's monster fast but Storyline will bog it down. Mind you I am also running about 6 other processor rich programs in tandem.

I believe I only installed the 64bit version so I think I'll just need to live with the lag or update with more RAM to see if that will speed me up more.

In any case, thanks for the input on file size. I was hoping I could make files up to a GB. I want to make my e-courses in one software as a stand alone "program". I'm using Moodle as my LMS but my users won't appreciate the confusion Moodle can cause when there are too many chapters or sections separated apart.

So far my tests in Moodle with larger files have gone ok. I did need to increase the upload limit and timeout limits, but after that the courses seemed to work ok with no glitches. Fingers are crossed though, I hate glitches.

Thanks Dennis,

Dennis Hall

Hi Vaughan:

I worked with one client who had a 1.3 GB story and it made SL crawl, but did publish OK.

I found that reducing the slide lengths (timeline) everywhere possible did make the course run much smoother understanding the LMS will preload everything it can in the course and making each file smaller allows for better performance. This is especially apparent with the Flash output since SL loads a SWF for the page, and other SWFs for most objects on the page.

I am in line with your Moodle grief when you have many SCORM packages uploaded to assemble a course. It could be presented to the learner is a much better way. I have used the Grid view one time (a Moodle template) and it helped, but still did not solve learners path through the courses.

Best Regards,

Dennis Hall

Vaughan Martin

Thanks Dennis,

This is a relief. The users of my courses would not appreciate having to learn how to use Moodle. I would make it as simplified as possible, but there is a-lot of functionality with Moodle and I'm sure many of my users would get frustrated.

For the courses I create, it is much better if I can hold everything in one package. It is also more logical from a work flow perspective. Having one course fully contained in one SCORM. I only wish Moodle would track more than one Result Variable.

I am upgrading to Moodle 2.5.2, the latest and that version can handle TinCan. I don't know much about TinCan but I'm hoping for more tracking functions. I'll find out next week I guess.

In any case, thanks for your insight Dennis. Knowing that there are working courses at the 1GB size gives me comfort. One of my next e-courses I have planned may get that big. Its presently a long live course so It may prove to be quite big in e-world...

Mary Ann Kowalczyk (Hagemann)

I have a course that is 1.3GB due to multiple videos. I have not even added audio yet. This scares me.  It takes about 20-30 minutes to publish as it is. It is definitely not fun to publish multiple times at that size.  I am working on saving my video files at a lower quality so the publishing won't take so long.  Then I will have to re-import them. Hopefully that will help.  I tried publishing with the low video quality option from the publish page, but it still took just as long to publish. I just pray and hope my file does not get too big that it won't open anymore.  Can this happen?  I am working in Storyline 2.

Christie Pollick

Hi, Mary Ann -- 

As mentioned in this thread, "size limits are not set in stone, but with larger files you'll probably experience some delays, etc. It might be best to break the course into different portions while you're modifying the file. When you're ready to publish, you can import the other sections and then publish the course as a whole.

It really depends on what your machine, operating system, etc. can handle. It sounds like the course is extremely large. Depending on your machine, you may be fine. However, if you start to notice lagging, you might want to break it up until you're ready to distribute the course."

Hope that helps! :)

Frances Jones

Hi Mary Ann, I am just about to embark on a very large branching scenario, which the user needs to play in one go. Did you have any update on how your project progressed?  What was the end file size?  Did you find that Storyline coped in regards to functionality?  Would love any tips you might have.  Many thanks Frances    

Mary Ann Kowalczyk (Hagemann)

Most of the courses ended up being less than 200MB but there was one that
another coworker created that was 382MB. What I found was to include the
smallest version of videos in the best quality. Some of our videos were HD
but that was really not necessary, So I converted them to a smaller version
but with similar quality. Also, if you cut the beginning and end of a
video within Storyline, it doesn't get smaller. It stays the same size and
it only shows the part you included in the trim. It did take a while to
save the files and publish them. I would say that in my experience, keep
the files under 150MB if you can. Also, if you are uploading them to a
SharePoint site you may have a 50MB size limitation. Let me know if you
have any more questions! I'm glad to help!

Manjunath eCoursys

Hi there,

 When working with one of our clients, course size grew to 1.2GB size.  Luckily for us, it had around 25 independent modules (progressive lessons, non-interlinked), we split them to into 25 story files & interlinked them into one big course through main menu. It worked to our advantage in multiple ways.  We published some simple tips on this in our website blog. See if it makes sense to your requirement -    

 Tips for building large interactive course using Articulate Storyline

Frances Jones

Thanks so much Mary Ann and Manjunath.  The link to your page, Manjunath, is incredibly useful, so many great tips.  Thanks for sharing.    I will have to investigate the possibility of breaking my project up into distinct sections, which will be interesting, as it is a choose your own adventure game, with complex interconnected branches!   Hmm, lots to consider.  Thanks again.

Deniz Yürür

I just lived same situation. Multiple times i couldn't published my course. I cleaned my cache files and fixed registry files with a tool like CCleaner and closed all of the softwares that use RAM. Then i realized that the folder i use was in Local Drive D: which has not much free space. So i changed the published folder to Local Drive C:... So i'm not sure about the solution but it works for me after multiple tries. I think when you have a big Storyline file than it should be much better to use a Local Drive with more space and have more RAM...

Teresa Vanderpost

This was an interesting read I just came by.  I am having issues with a vendor file that needs to go into our LMS but it is 167 MB and our LMS should take 100 MB but I usually get an error after 75 MB.  I thought they had a ton of videos but they don't and just web objects, so I discovered it is massive due to the quality of alot of in the end I convinced our organization to just link to their module on their server....than at least if they update it we will always have current.  And they did create a certificate at the end so our folks can print it and scan to manager, not as good as the LMS but saves me a big headache :)

Jeniffer Brubaker

Most of the replies on this are several years old so I am wondering if there is any update on the file size for the latest version of Storyline 360.  I am at one GB right now on a course and just found out I need to add quite a bit more content.  Will I be okay or do I need to break up the course into two?  Thanks for your help!