Identifying what's taking up space in cPanel

Checking what is using up your disk space

Login to cPanel and in the 'Files' section click on 'Disk Usage'. The order of things in cPanel may be different because you can set this, you can always use the 'Search' in the top-right to narrow down what's shown..

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Once the system has finished scanning your account, you will see a breakdown as follows:

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The main folders to look at are:

  1. public_html is where your main website is usually located. You may see folders for other website listed if you have more than one. You will need to speak to your web developer if this (or any other folders not labelled above) are where most of your disk space is used and you want to check if anything can be cleared.
  2. MySQL is the space taken up by any databases. As above, this is something you would need to contact your web developer about.
  3. Email Accounts are where space can usually be freed up, see below.
  4. Other Usage is usually the deleted items folder in your email accounts, but can be other files outside of the home directory owned by he user.

Breaking it down even further

Below this top-level illustration of what is taking up your disk space, if a tree view that you can navigate to drill down into which folders or email accounts are the worst offenders. Click the chevrons to the left of the folder names to expand and collapse the subfolders.

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Clearing space in email accounts

There are a few ways to do this. The first may not load if you are over quota already so try the second or third method in the case.

1. Clearing space with the 'Email Disk Usage' tool

From the cPanel 'Tools' homepage, click 'Email Disk Usage':

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In the tool you can choose an email account at the top to see a breakdown of how space is taken up. Clicking manage on a folder, then choosing an option and pressing 'Delete Permanently' will permanently delete any messages matching your chosen criteria. In cPanel 'Trash' refers to your deleted items.

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2. Clearing space in the 'Email Accounts' tool

From the cPanel 'Tools' homepage, click 'Email Accounts':

mceclip9.png In the tool click 'Manage' on the account you want to maintain:

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On the next page click 'Free up Email Storage' under 'I want to...':

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Then as above, you can see a breakdown of how space is taken up. Clicking manage on a folder, then choosing an option and pressing 'Delete Permanently' will permanently delete any messages matching your chosen criteria. In cPanel 'Trash' refers to your deleted items.

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3. Clearing up space in webmail (via cPanel)

From the cPanel 'Tools' homepage, click 'Email Accounts':

mceclip9.png In the tool click 'Check Email' on the account you want to maintain:

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This may take you straight into your preferred email client, or present a page where you can change that. In this article we use roundcube.

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In roundcube, you can navigate your emails and manually clear messages. Alternatively to empty an entire folder, click 'Settings' then 'Folders', choose the folder you want to empty, then click 'Empty' at the top-right. 

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You can also do this in the webmail view by choosing a folder, clicking the 3 dots, then choosing 'Empty':

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These last few steps are the exact same if you access webmail directly in your browser via [yourdomain.co.uk]/webmail.

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