Bloomberg Help Guide: Bloomberg datadownload limit

Getting started with Bloomberg


Please be judicious in downloading data to avoid hitting the limits for yourself and all other users.

All academic accounts have a downloading limit. This is strictly enforced by Bloomberg. They do not state what the explicit limits are, and there is no programmatic way of finding out ‘what the limits are or what proportion of your limits you have used’.  If we have reached our downloading limit users will see the error message when they try to download any additional data.

Bloomberg associates its data limits with paid licenses.  That means one Bloomberg license may have reached its monthly limit, but the other licenses may not have reached their limits. If a monthly downloading limit is reached, a student may switch to another Bloomberg terminal which has not reached its monthly limit. We have 5 Bloomberg terminals in the Business Library in Uris Hall; one terminal in Business Library at Manhattanville, and 2 terminals in Lehman Library. Columbia Business School Students have 5 terminals in  601 Kravis Hall and 5 terminals in  room 626 Geffen Hall. Journalism students have 1 workstation in Journalism school (Pulitzer Hall). 

Bloomberg recently changed its policy and no longer extends data limits for educational subscriptions. Once a monthly downloading limit is reached, we have to wait until the beginning of the next month before it resets. There is no way of knowing whether the monthly data limit has been reached until it has been exceeded

1. Monthly Downloading limit

The monthly limit comes from a proprietary model. This limit is based on unique securities and depends on the type of data being downloaded. For example some of the data on the system such as intra-day is valued a little bit higher than historical end of day for any given list of securities. Once a security is used once in a month, then it can be used again and will not count a second time towards the monthly limit. When we have reached our monthly downloading limit, users will see the #N/A Limit error message when they try to download

 # N/A Limit. The limit will be reset on the first of the next month.

# N/A Review 

2. Daily downloading limit

The daily limit is clearly stated in Google: The Daily API limit is 500,000 hits/per day. A “hit” is defined as one request for a single security/field pairing. Therefore, if you request static data for 5 fields and 10 securities, that will translate into a total of 50 hits. The best thing to do is to try to refresh just the portion of the spreadsheet that really needs to be refreshed and avoid refreshing it all or reopen it many times a day.  Bloomberg Help desk may advise you on how to create more efficient data queries to minimize the number of hits but they will NOT increase the data limit.

#N/A Daily Capacity 

3. Open fields:

The third limit consists of open fields. You can have no more than 3500 real time fields open at the same time. If you exceed this limit you will see “NA Limit” as an error message and you just need to delete some securities/ fields in order for the error message to disappear and to see the values.


Important note:

Do not download data on more securities and fields than you really need.

Use the Worksheet (W<GO>) function in the Bloomberg terminal, this is like a spreadsheet but without download limits.

Once you have the data you need, copy it then paste-as-values or save as CSV to make you don't download the same thing more than once.


Please keep in mind that more than 3 unsuccessful login attempts on Bloomberg will lock the station. If this happens, please use the “forgot your password” function within Bloomberg.