DreamHost offers disk-related limitations (quotas) for email accounts on its servers. This allows you to control the amount of storage for each email address. By default, all new email addresses are limited to 200MB, but you can adjust or remove that limit in your panel.
If that limit is set for a mail user, you (or the owner/administrator of the account) may receive Disk Usage Warning email notices when a user account approaches, reaches, or exceeds those limits. Your users may also receive these messages in an effort to let you know what's going on, so that you can take appropriate actions to resolve the situation.
Viewing your disk quota statistics
You can view the disk usage statistics for all of your user accounts on the (Panel > 'Billing & Account' > 'Disk Usage') page.
- The panel statistics only update once per night so any changes you make during the day won't be reflected in the panel until the next day.
- Changes to your quota limit in the panel are not instantaneous. Those types of changes often take several hours to be pushed to the live servers.
- All usage under 10MB shows as < 10 MB.
When an email account reaches/exceeds its disk limit, it usually stops working and displays various errors when you access the mailbox (e.g., "IMAP connection dropped"). It also bounces incoming messages.
Panel and email warnings
Once your quota limit is reached, DreamHost sends the account owner an email with the following contents:
This is to notify you that you must take action to either delete mail or increase your quota limit. Additionally, the panel shows a warning next to the email address:
Again, the solution is to either delete mail or increase your quota limit.
When you've cleared out old email, the panel may take up to 24hrs to update. In that time, your email should function normally, but the panel may still show your user above quota.
If a disk limit is set, you may see the following errors when the quota is hit.
- Disk quota exceeded
- IMAP connection dropped
- insufficient disk space
- Unable to create file...
- Unable to delete file...
- touch: cannot touch...
- Bounced email
For example, the following bounce message was received when an email was sent to a DreamHost email with a quota limit set. Because there was not enough storage space left to accept the message, it was bounced back to the original sender:
- You may have the Inbox Archiver configured to move messages from your inbox to the "old-messages" folder. There may be so many messages in this folder that you are not able to index it to find out how many are in there. If this is the case, please contact support for assistance (either in chat or by submitting a support ticket).
- You haven't emptied or purged the "Trash" folder. Disk space is NOT necessarily recovered when messages are deleted. Messages are often moved to the "Trash" folder (or whatever folder your email client is configured to use for this purpose) so you can recover them if necessary.
- You attempted to send an email with an attachment to an address which does not have enough storage allocated to accept the email. In this case, a bounce is sent to the original sender.