Quick fix for ‘552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded’ error

Email errors can be a nuisance, especially when you have to send an urgent mail. Mail delivery issues form a major category of errors reported by server owners.

As part of our Outsourced Tech Support for web hosting providers, we resolve such errors all day long.

One such error is ‘552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded’. Today, we’ll see what causes this error and how we fix it.


4 reasons for “552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded” error

Error 552 usually shows up in the bounce mail that the sender receives while attempting to send mail to a recipient mail account.

SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<mail@domain.com>:
552-5.2.2 The email account that you tried to reach is over quota.


The error message indicates that the quota of the recipient account is full and mail could not be delivered to that account.

Every email account has a fixed data storage space allotted to it, referred to as the ‘quota’. This quota limit is set when an email account is created.


Set mail account quota


If you are the recipient and senders complain that they get 552 error when sending mails to you, it means your mail account quota is full. This leads to mail delivery failure.

“552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded” happens due to these 4 major reasons:

1. Email attachments

If an email account receives a lot of emails with large attachments, it can eventually fill up the email account of a user. This can lead to email delivery failures.

2. Trash folders

Many email clients have a setting that the deleted mails will remain in the Trash folder until they are purge deleted. This results in the Trash folder getting filled up.

Trash folder also adds on to the quota of an email account. But many users overlook this aspect, causing trash to get piled up and quota to exceed.

3. Email forwarders

Some users set up one or more email forwarders from their email accounts. If any of those forwarded email accounts exceed their quota, mails can get bounced from those accounts.

4. Mail server restrictions

Every mail server has certain restrictions on the mail delivery settings. This is to avoid a single user or spammer from abusing the server resources.

The restrictions include limit on mail account size, mail attachment size, message content size, etc. If any of these limits exceed in a mail that is sent, it leads to 552 error.


How to fix “552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded” error

When a mail account is facing issues receiving mails due to 552 error, we follow a step by step approach to fix it.

  1. We first review the email quota and see if it has exceeded.
  2. Disk usage of the email sub-folders are examined and problem folder is identified.
  3. Trash folder and emails with huge attachments are deleted to clear space.
  4. Email client is configured so as not to store mails in server, unless necessary.
  5. In certain cases, the quota of the email account is increased for email delivery to succeed.



Mails that are bounced with “552 5.2.2 user quota exceeded” error have to be resent to the recipient after the quota issue is fixed. Today, we have discussed the causes and fixes for 552 email error due to quota issues.



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