When looking at your web hosting account’s stats, you may have noticed a resource labeled “Inodes” and wondered what they were or why there were so many used. With this blog post, we’ll go over what inodes are and how to remove them to lower your inode usage.
What are Inodes
When you access your cPanel account, on the left column you will see your account’s stats and usage. One important resource to watch is your inodes. An inode is any file, folder, or image on your web hosting account. This means anything located in your home directory (/home/username) is considered an inode. With x10Hosting there is a limit of 50,000 inodes, while x10Premium‘s entry plan has a limit of 300,000 inodes. If you’re using all of your web hosting account’s inode limit, you may see your websites slow down or show resource limit errors. If this happens, you should look into removing any inodes you are not using for your web hosting account.
Perhaps you only have one WordPress website hosted on your account. Where did all the inodes come from? How can you track down ones that you don’t need to make more space for future files? The first place to look will be your mail directory located in your home directory (/home/username/mail).
Quite often it is the mail directory that is taking up most of a web hosting account’s inodes. You can see in the above screenshot that the mail directory has over 100,000 inodes! Each email that you receive is saved as a file, and therefore counts as an inode. Any email that is deleted, but only moved to the trash folder, is an inode. Spam emails can take up a huge bulk of inodes here.
If you’re not using an email accounts with your web hosting account, feel free to completely remove this directory and create a new empty directory called Mail. If you’re using email accounts, go through each of them and empty out all of the trash folders and make sure to completely delete any spam emails. Most importantly, check the default email account, as there is a setting in cPanel which will forward emails for non-existing email address for one of your domains to the default email account. Generally, these emails are spam and can be deleted without any issues.
After you’ve cleaned up a bunch of files, and deleted emails and inodes, you may notice that the number of inodes shown on cPanel hasn’t changed. This is because cPanel hasn’t refreshed the inode stats. So if you’re not seeing a change when you know you should, wait a few minutes for cPanel to properly update the number of inodes used.
You can also check the tmp or the .trash directories located in your home directory, as both of these can house a large number of unwanted and unused inodes. If you see a directory labeled “public_html-BK” or something similar, it is likely that support created the directory as a backup during any requested restores. If your websites have been working well since the restoration, feel free to delete these backup directories.
If you’re still having issues with the inode usage for your account, feel free to open a support ticket with us and ask about it! We will show you your exact inode usage for any directory located on your web hosting account, and help delete unwanted files.