How to Set Disk Quota Limits in Windows 7/8/10

If you’re in IT, you’ve probably dealt with many users who are always filling up the disk space on shared servers, right?  In Windows 7, 8 and 10, there is a way for admins to set disk quota limits per user so that no user will be able to fill up the disk.

Disk quotas can be used to monitor and control hard disk space usage. In Windows 7, 8 and 10, this quota management feature is retained. You can also use this feature on your Windows home PC too.

Set Disk Quota Limits

To begin assigning quotas, right click a drive in Explorer then choose the Properties menu. Under the Quota tab, click the button Show Quota Settings.

Check the Enable Quota Management box as well as Deny disk space to users exceeding their quota limit.  Click the Limit disk space to radio button and enter a value for the max space a user can use. In the example below, I set the space limit to 10GB and the warning level to 8GB.  If you want to track when users exceed the limit, check the log event boxes.

Finally, click the OK or Apply button to activate the changes. You’ll get a warning dialog telling you that it may take a few minutes for Windows to scan the drive so that it can update disk usage statistics.

Click OK and you should see the traffic light turn green once the quota limits have been activated.

Remember that this is set per hard disk partition, so if you want to limit other drives, you will need to do the same steps above for each drive.  It would have been nice if there was a tool to set the space quota for each user across the whole computer, but unfortunately there isn’t.

Also, if you want to set quota limits on a per user basis, then you have to click on the Quota Entries button. This is really useful if you have kids or other people using your computer and you want to restrict their hard drive usage, but not your own. You’ll see an entry for each user on the system and you can edit the limits by user.

Overall, though, no one really uses Disk Quotas anymore because hard drives have gotten so large in size. Also, Microsoft has other tools now for IT admins for managing hard drive space for servers. However, if you really want to use it, it’s still there and works! Enjoy!