Enable Disk Quota in Microsoft Windows 7

Disk quota is the feature that was introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 2000 and is now carried forward to all the latest versions of Microsoft operating systems. Disk quota allows administrators of Windows computers to limit disk space usage. Quota can be applied globally, i.e. a single quota configuration can be made applicable to all user accounts of Windows operating system, or it can also be applied on a per user basis. In either case, when disk quota is applied, users cannot use the amount of disk space more than it is defined in the quota management.

When administrators enable and configure disk quota, the configuration becomes applicable only on non-administrator accounts. User accounts that belong to Administrators group remain unaffected from the quota configuration. In case quota has to be applied on any administrator account, administrative privileges must be revoked for that account by removing it from the Administrators group.

Types of Disk Quota Configurations

Disk quota can be configured in two different ways.

The first way to configure disk quota is to configure it only to display a notification that the users who exceed the quota limits would receive. This configuration does not restrict users from storing data on the drives even if the quota limit exceeds.

The second way to set disk quota is to configure it in such a way so that if users try to exceed quota limits, the operating system denies storing data on the disks. This is the most recommended and used configuration in quota management as it reduces the chances of hard disk drives from getting overpopulated with unwanted and users’ personal data.

Situations Where Disk Quota Can Be Applied

Administrators apply disk quota on the computers that are shared among multiple users. Disk quota can also be applied on the file servers where domain user profiles have been redirected so that users can store their data at a central location. Since administrators cannot control users and force them to use the disk space sensibly, they mostly configure disk quota on the file servers so that users cannot consume more disk space than it is in quota management.

Enabling and Configuring Disk Quota Management

In order to enable and configure disk quota on a Windows 7 computer, steps given below must be followed:

  1. Log on to Windows 7 computer with administrator account.
  2. Click Start, and from the displayed menu click Computer.
  3. From the opened window, right-click the desired drive partition on which disk quota has to be enabled and from the context menu click Properties.
  4. On the opened properties box, go to Quota tab and click Show Quota Settings button.
  5. On the displayed box, check Enable quota management checkbox to enable disk quota on the selected volume.
  6. To restrict users from saving data on the volume once they have reached their quota limits, check Deny disk space to users exceeding quota limit checkbox.
  7. Under Select the default quota limit for new users on this volume section, click to select Limit disk space to radio button and populate the enabled fields with the desired values.
  8. Choose the desired unit (in KB, MB, GB, etc.) from the unit drop-down list.

    Enable Disk Quota

  9. Once done, click OK and on the displayed warning box click OK to enable the disk quota on the volume.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.