How to view, change, manage your mailbox quota in Plesk

To check on the current storage usage of your mailboxes and adjust their quota (if it was lowered from defaults) follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Plesk
  2. Choose the Mail tab on the left. Here you will see a list of all email addresses along with their capacity and current size.
  3. Click on any given email account if you wish to adjust the quota
  4. Under “Mailbox” you may specify a size, however you cannot increase it beyond the maximum hard limit for your hosting plan. Our quota hard limits are shown below in the “Mail Hard Limits per Plan” section. If you require more mail storage, please see the “Solutions” section below.

TIP: When viewing your list of mailboxes at step 2 above, if you spot any mail accounts you are not currently using, it’s best to remove them now. This will help free up space and prevent potential abuse of stale email accounts in the future.

Mail Hard Limits per Plan

Please note that the maximum possible quota / storage limit per mail account is as follows as of Jul 2021:

  • Helium Hosting: 1 Mailbox @ 100MB
  • Carbon Hosting: 25 Mailboxes @ 2GB each
  • Titanium Hosting: Unlimited Mailboxes @ 5GB each
  • Premium Mail: The storage limit you ordered.
  • Exchange Mail: Either 50GB (most common) or 300GB per account, if you ordered the larger capacity option.

Why is mail storage limited for shared hosting?

These are hard limits per account in order to ensure the websites hosted with us can take advantage of super-high performance input/output (I/O) on high-performance solid state drives (SSDs). Using SSDs means excellent website speed, but it also means we have to take our storage limitations very seriously, as SSDs are more limited in capacity than traditional hard drives.

Furthermore, the more email messages that are stored on disk, the longer backups and migrations of the server and its websites will take as managing large quantities of small files is far slower than managing small quantities of large files, even if the total file size is the same. This means that in order to best optimize for website hosting functionality, we need to limit the quantity of messages that can be stored for email hosting. But this is exactly why we also offer Microsoft Exchange hosting: it provides far more mail storage and uses disks and storage systems that are better optimized for managing numerous small mail files.

Solutions: reduce storage usage or upgrade

Here’s a few options to help resolve a full mailbox:

  1. Delete messages using your mail app or webmail. You can opt to delete older messages or those with large attachments, like videos, photos, and other attachments like PDFs. Removing messages with attachments will help the most as old messages without attachments are likely to take up very little storage space, and you can always copy any attachments you wish to save to a folder your computer, prior to removing them. If you wish to use your mail app to do this, you’ll need to consult their help guides to learn how, or you can use the following steps to learn how to do this with Websavers webmail.
    1. Log in to webmail
    2. Click on any given mail folder where you store lots of messages (this can only be done per-folder)
    3. In the search box at the top of the message listing, enter size:5M to see all message in the mail folder that are 5MB and larger. Or to see only older messages, enter date:/YYYY.MM.DD replacing YYYY.MM.DD with the year month and day of the most recent messages you wish to see. For example date:/2020.07.06 will show all messages received before July 6 2020.
    4. Delete all that you can.
    5. Once you’re done removing, you must click on the Trash folder, then the “Clear Folder” option at the top of the Trash messages list to empty the trash, removing them permanently.
  2. Archive older messages to your computer, then remove them from the server. This guide will help you learn how.
  3. Aggressive Spam Filtering: if this is a mailbox that you rarely use, and is filling up with spam, set the spam filter to delete spam, with the score threshold set to 1. This way it minimizes the amount of illegitimate email being stored in the mailbox.
  4. Upgrade your hosting plan: if you’re currently on our Helium or Carbon hosting plans, upgrading to the next plan up will allow you a larger maximum per-mailbox limit as listed above. Note: Titanium mailboxes at 5GB max each are the upper limit for hosting your mail on our shared hosting plans. If you cannot reduce your mail storage lower than 5GB, moving to Exchange hosting is your best bet:
  5. Move mail to Microsoft Exchange Hosting to get 50GB per mailbox for $9.99 per mailbox monthly or $99.99 / year.
  6. You may review all mail hosting options for comparison here.

If you opted for options 1 or 2 or both, you must wait for the mail app (or webmail) to update the server after emptying the trash or moving the messages. With larger numbers of messages, this can take an hour or two!

How to update mailbox storage counts in Plesk

To see the updated mailbox usage in Plesk, follow steps 1 and 2 at the top of this post so you are looking at the list of mail accounts. Check the box to the left of the account where you believe you have reduced its server storage, then click the box called “Refresh Usage Stats” at the top of the page. The new storage usage will now be showing.

If you do not see a reduction in server storage for the mail account, it is because either you haven’t cleared up enough emails with larger attachments OR you haven’t waited long enough for the mail app to sync with the server. Check back 24 hours later to ensure sufficient time to sync.

Plesk Quota Settings Video Walkthrough

If you prefer to watch, the video below will walks you through managing the mailbox quota in Plesk 10+ (this may differ from your version of Plesk). Whether you need to increase or decrease your quota, this video will show you how.

The following video will walk you through changing your mailbox quota in Plesk 9. If you’re running into mailbox limits or would like to keep your mailboxes limited lower than the default, check out the video below.

If you have any questions about the above video, or anything dealing with mailbox quotas with Plesk, open a support ticket or feel free to connect with us on Twitter.

About Jordan Schelew

Jordan has been working with computers, security, and network systems since the 90s and is a managing partner at Websavers Inc. As a founder of the company, he's been in the web tech space for over 15 years.

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