All students, faculty, and staff in Engineering are given quotas for home directories, incoming email, and printing. This article serves as a guide for understanding and maintaining your quota.

Disk Usage

Disk and email quotas have 'soft' and 'hard' limits. The 'soft' limit is the amount that you should try to stay below. You are allowed to exceed the soft limit for a "grace period" you will be sent email reminders telling you how long you have until your grace period expires. Once your grace period expires, you will not be able to write any more files to your home area. In no case will you be able to exceed the hard limit for any amount of time.

For help on managing your disk usage visit:


Disk Quotas
Advisory limit
Hard limit


Incoming mail quotas have a soft limit and a hard limit. As you approach the soft limit, you will be sent automated email warnings that you are reaching or have exceed your quota and that you need to reduce the size of your inbox. A larger 'hard' limit is then in effect for a grace period of one month. If you do not drop back down below the soft limit within a month, or if you exceed the hard limit your email account will become unusable. It's important to note that your email quota is only affected by what's in your inbox. Mail stored in other folders and kept in your home directory affects your Disk Quota.



Email Quotas
Soft limit
Hard limit


There is a 500 page printing quota per term. The printers that count against this quota are:

  • Dearborn 115
  • Kearney 302
  • Kearney Atrium
  • Kelley 1130
  • Various graduate office printers unless on special project arrangements

You can check the status of your print quota in engineering PaperCut:

Each currently enrolled student taking a class in the College of Engineering is allotted a print quota of 500 pages per academic term. This quota is for use only in College of Engineering labs and does not apply to other areas of campus. If your printing goes over 500 pages over the course of a given term, your OSU student account will be charged $0.10 per page. The sum of your printing will be charged at the end of each term.

A page is defined as a printed side of paper. If you print a one page document, it counts as one page. If you print a two page document in duplex, it prints two sides of a sheet of paper, so it counts as two pages.


A program is run nightly that checks home directory and email quotas. It mails a person if they have exceeded their quota.


Checking Usage

You can check your assorted quotas by choosing 'Login to ENGR' on the TEACH web site.

How to Reduce Your Email Usage

  • To minimize the size of your email inbox, create/use other mail folders. The quota for email is on the "inbox" only.
  • Make sure that messages marked for deletion are actually being removed or purged. Some mailers will not actually remove messages until you 'Empty Trash', 'Purge' or 'Compress Folder'.
  • Most popular mailers will also have a configuration setting that will remove the deleted messages at the end of each session. We suggest that you turn this setting on.
  • Check for large attachments in your email. Even with a small number of emails, you can be using a lot of space. All mail programs should offer a way to see the size of each email message.

How to Reduce Your Disk Usage

  • Common problems for people exceeding home directory (Z: drive) quota are 'core' files and not emptying the 'Trash' in the Unix window manager.
  • 'Core' files are created when a unix program crashes. If you don't have a need to debug the program, remove any core files in your account.
  • Also, when you drag a file into the 'trash' icon, it doesn't really remove the file, it just marks it for removal. To actually destroy the files, you will have to empty the trash . The specific directions vary by operating system.
  • In unix, you can use the 'compress' and 'gzip' programs to compress large files. In Windows, you can use pkzip, winzip, or other available compression programs.
  • In Windows it's important to store files on your Z: drive and not on your desktop. The desktop is part of your profile which gets stored on your Z: drive. The larger your profile is the longer it takes to load and the more prone it is to becoming corrupt.

For more help on how to manage your disk usage visit: