How to Find and Remove Large Files on cPanel Hosting

how to remove large files from cpanel

Most web hosts limit the amount of storage they’ll allow an individual hosting account. When you begin to run into these hosting disk space limits, your best bet is to find and remove large files from your hosting account that you’re no longer using. This week’s video tutorial explains how to find and remove large files from a cPanel hosting account. We focus specifically on the cPanel software suite because it’s an extremely common choice of hosting interface, especially for shared hosts.

The video tutorial is below. The hosting account in this specific case is through SiteGround, but the steps outlined in the video will work for removing large files from any cPanel host.

And here’s a text guide to the same process of finding and removing large files from your hosting account.

How to Locate and Remove Large Files on cPanel Hosting

  1. You’ll need to log into your hosting panel and get the cPanel in front of you.
  2. From there, you’ll look for the “Disk Space Usage” application.
  3. Once loaded, you’ll want to scroll down, as the folder-level view at the top isn’t informational enough. Under the larger gray box, you’ll want change the “Sort directories by” option in a smaller gray box. You’ll select the “Disk usage” radio button.
  4. Once you’ve selected that, you can drill-down into the largest folders (and files they contain) by clicking into the folder hierarchy using the plus (+) icon.
  5. The biggest files on your cPanel hosting will be at the top. When you decide you want to remove the files, you’ll click the link to the folder. That will open up the file browser.
  6. In the cPanel file browser, select the file or files that are too large. If you want, there’s a helpful “Select All” on the bar at the top. After you do, you’ll click “Delete” (with a large red “X” icon) along the top bar. You will be prompted to confirm deletion, if it’s not in error, click “Yes”. The files will be gone!

And that’s how you delete large files on cPanel hosting. Enjoy an inbox free from “Storage capacity exceeded” nag messages!

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Vasily Chuply
April 9, 2020 4:46 am

FINALLY. An article that actually helps. All the other cPanel and file manager articles do not show how to drill down, which is exactly what we all want to find the directory sizes. Thank you.

March 22, 2019 5:49 pm

Very helpful! I’d be nervous to delete something that I might need or might break my site, can you provide a list of directories that would be safe to delete files from?

Fred Meyer
March 27, 2019 10:53 am
Reply to  Brian

Hi Brian,

Good question! That varies a huge amount by WordPress install itself, so it’s probably best handled by a developer who knows what he or she is looking at. For example, many of the largest files are backup files, but knowing whether you can safely delete those files or whether they’re actually in use comes down to how your site is hosted and configured.