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552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded – 5 Common causes & how it’s fixed

At Bobcares, we provide 24/7 expert support, monitoring and preventive maintenance to all our customers.

And as part of our service, we sometimes have to fix numerous issues coming from various client, all in a day.

552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded‘ is one such issue that we often resolve for our clients.


What does “552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded” mean?

What if while uploading your file, you see that you’ve already used up all your allocated space?

Or, what if you have space available, but the file is so large that if uploaded, it would exceed your disk space quota?

In such cases, FTP server sends you the ‘552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded‘ message. This means that you have either reached or exceeded your disk space quota.


What causes “552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded” error?

When customers contact us with this issue, we look for the various reasons that could be using up all the disk space.

And in our experience, the 5 most common causes for space hogs have been :


1. Backups

Many a times, customers have to restore backup archives to get a file. And we have seen that there’s usually a tendency to forget about removing the full archive.

There have been instances where we’ve deleted uncompressed archives which had been occupying over 70% of the space.

And then, we’ve come across situations where VPS owners store backup on the same disk. In such cases, these backup archives and uncompressed files take up a huge amount of disk space.

So, we delete these files to resolve the issue. And as a preventive measure, we set up disk space alerts and fix space issues before they lead to service failure.


2. Old application backups and database dumps

We have seen that web users sometimes store old copies of web apps in their document root.

Also, website developers usually take a backup before they upgrade an app. And we’ve seen that in some accounts, there maybe several months worth of database dumps that take as much as 50% of the disk space.

In such situations we clear these backups  to reclaim the space.


3. Unused media files

When we check for probable causes for the space limitation, we sometimes run into a lot of unused media files stored by the site.

These are usually several versions of the same video, audio or image file. Media files as such take a lot of space. These are files which are never accessed for months or even years.

Deleting them frees up the space for other uses.


4. Spams

Sometimes a user may be flooded with hundreds of unsolicited email or spams a day.

A single spam may not take up a large space. But, once they start accumulating, their combined consumption may reach hundreds of MBs or GBs of space.

We have seen that this is usually the case for customers who opt to use the Spam quarantine feature but sometimes forget about the spams. In such situations, we recommend automatic deletion of spam mails.

We also set up mail directory expiry settings. With this option, clients can review the spam mails if they want. And any spam that’s older than 30 days gets deleted automatically.


5. Trash

Most often deleted files end up in ‘Trash’ folders. In such cases, the deleted file’s disk space is still in use.

So, when we check and find that the ‘Trash’ folder contents are the major space users, we purge the ‘Trash’ folder to free up the disk space.



552 Transfer aborted, Disk quota exceeded‘ is a common warning message for the disk quota limitation. Today we have seen the 5 common causes for this problem and how our Hosting Support Engineers fix it at Bobcares.


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Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.