Disk quotas allow Windows administrators to control and limit the space users use on server and workstation file systems. Windows Server supports two types of disk quotas : File Server and NTFS Resource Manager quota. Although FSRM quotas are more flexible and practical, NTFS quotas can be used effectively in some cases. Limited e.g. B. the size of roaming profile folders (but not user profile drives) and home folders redirected to RDS hosts, personal user folders on FTP servers and IIS sites, and so on. This article shows you how to configure NTFS disk quotas for Windows users.

Understanding NTFS disk quotas under Windows

You can use Windows disk quotas to limit the maximum size of files and folders for each user, so they don’t use up all the disk space with their data. Disk quotas are available in the server and desktop versions of Windows.

Main features and limitations of NTFS quotas :

  • Quotas can only be applied to an entire volume formatted in NTFS (partition). This type of quota does not work on ReFS drives;
  • Quotas apply to all users who store their data on this partition. You cannot apply a quota to a group of users or to a single folder. In this case, it is preferable to use the FSRM;
  • The ownership of files and folders is determined by checking the Owner entry in the NTFS security descriptor ;
  • By default, Windows scans the partition with the disk quota enabled and calculates the total file size of each user once an hour;
  • NTFS compression takes into account the original file size (before compression).

There are the following scenarios for the use of NTFS disk quotas:

  • Disk usage monitoring – Display of statistics on disk space usage by users on the server ;
  • Monitoring and notification – in addition to the first scenario, when a quota is exceeded, an event is logged in the Event Viewer with information about the user name and quota usage;
  • Disk Usage Control – if the quota is exceeded, the user will not be able to save new files.

Enable disk quotas in Windows 10/Windowserver 2016

Let’s take the case of configuring NTFS quotas on a disk with user data on Windows Server 2016. In all previous versions of Windows (starting with Windows 2003) the NTFS disk quotas were configured in the same way.

Open the properties window of the drive where you want to enable quotas and go to the Quotas tab. Then click View Quota Settings:

View the quota settings in Windows

To enable the quota for this volume, select the Enable quota management check box.

Depending on the quota usage scenario, the following options can be activated:

  • Deny to users who have exceeded the disk space usage quota – Deny to users who have exceeded the disk space usage quota;
  • Limit disk space – set a limit on the total file size per user ;
  • Event log when the user exceeds the quota limit – the event log in the event viewer when the user exceeds the quota limit;
  • Event log when the user exceeds the alarm threshold – Event log when the quota limit is reached.

It is not recommended to immediately enable the Deny space option for users exceeding the quota limit. It is advisable to evaluate the current use of the storage by your users. In our example, we want to limit each user to 1 GB of disk space on the server.

Quota management on Windows 10/Server 2016

Save (apply) changes. After a certain amount of time (depending on the size of the disk and the number of files), Windows calculates the total amount of disk space used by each user.

Click on the Enter Quota button. You will see the resulting table of quotas and the current size of space used by each user (whose files are in the file system). Here you can see at a glance which users have already exceeded their disk quota.

Table of quota files on the RDS Windows Server 2016 host

The default setting is the same for all users. In the Quota Entries window, you can create, increase, or deactivate custom quota settings for a specific user.

To disable NTFS disk quotas for a specific user account, open the properties of the entry in the quota table and select the Do not limit disk usage check box.

It’s important. You must disable the quotas for NT ServiceTrustedInstaller and NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM system accounts, otherwise Windows may not work properly.

Do not limit the use of the player to embedded system accounts only.

In the Quota List window, you can export the quota settings and then import and apply them to another disk or computer.

To view a list of files that are counted in a user’s quota, select the Delete menu item.

Hard disk quota - hard disk space used

In this dialog box you can change (take possession of) the owner of a certain file, delete a file or move a file.

After you’ve assigned your flexible quotas in audit mode, you can enable the option to deny space to users who exceed the quota limit. This activates the hard disk quota mode. Now users cannot exceed their allocated storage space. Note that the disk size in a user session is now displayed based on the available disk quota. In this example, 876 MB of the 1 GB quota is free for my C: drive account.

ntfs disk quota per user session windows 10

If the quota is exceeded, the user will receive the following message:

On …. there is not enough space to copy this article. Delete or move files to make sure you have enough space.

Insufficient disk space - disc quota warning

At the same time, an event with ID 37 and the Ntfs source is recorded in the event viewer:

The user has exceeded the quota for volume C:.

Configuring Disk Quotas with Group Policy Settings

You can manage the disk quota settings on computers and servers in the domain using the group policy. The quota settings can be found in the GPO section: Computer configuration -> Administrative templates -> System -> Disk quota. To enable disk quotas as described above, specify the following settings in your GPO :

  • Turning on hard disk quotas : Activate
  • Introducing a quota limit for hard drives : Activate
  • Default limit and alert level : Enable (default quota limit/warning level: 1 GB).
  • An event log when the quota is exceeded: Activate
  • Apply the removable media policy: Enable (if you need to apply quotas to removable media, including USB sticks)

Setting up disk quotas using group policies

All that remains is to assign this GPO to the OU with the computers/servers where the disk quotas are to be applied, and wait for the group policy settings to be updated.

Disk quotas configured via a GPO are applied to all disks in the computer. You cannot define exceptions for specific users.

Disk Quota Management with Command/Power Shell

NTFS quotas can also be managed from the command line. The quota command fsutil is used for this.

To enable a soft quota for a disk, use the command

According to the E quota:

To enable NTFS disk quotas, enter :

The FSUTIL district, that zone E :

To disable disk quotas completely, use the command

disable fsutil quota control E :

To retrieve the current quota settings for the specified volume, run :

fsutil e quota requirement :

quota demand fsutil - get the current quotas from cmd

Get a list of users who have already exceeded their disk quota:

Violation of quotas

To change the quota thresholds for a specific user, use the command

fsutil quota change E: 2000000000 1000000 corpaabrams

The size of the quota is specified in bytes (2 GB in this example). The first value is the maximum size of user data on the hard disk (hard disk quota), the second is the limit above which alarms appear (alarm level).

Determine the disk quota refresh rate (in seconds) :

quote search behaviour

By default, reviews are updated once an hour.

There are no built-in PowerShell commands to manage NTFS disk quotas. However, they can be managed with the WMI class Win32_DiskQuota. The following PowerShell script shows z. B. Information about the current user quota.

$strCom = .
$colItems = get-wmiobject – class Win32_DiskQuota – rootCIMV2 namespace -computername $strCom
foreach ($objItem in $colItems) {
write quota usage: $objItem.DiskSpaceUsed
write host Hard Limit: $objItem.Limit
write host disk: $objItem.QuotaVolume
write host status: $objItem.Status
write host username: $objItem.User
write quota warning: $objItem.WarningLimit

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