Bandwidth limit exceeded error: how can I fix it?

Bandwidth limit exceeded error is often the most common web errors seen on cPanel powered websites. It happen often in the last days of the month, when lot of websites reach their bandwith limits.

What does Bandwidth limit exceeded error mean?

It means your website reached it’s bandwidth limit. The result is a suspension of the entire website, it doesn’t allow you to receive any website traffic at all.

How can I fix Bandwidth limit exceeded error?

If you have access to cPanel only, you need to contact your web hosting provider, and ask them if they can upgrade you to a new web hosting plan with more bandwidth than the one you are using.

Or wait until you reach the new month, as the bandwidth limit exceeded error will be cleared out once the next month begins.

If you have access to WHM control panel, then go to: WHM >> Account Functions >> Limit Bandwidth Usage.

From there you will be able to set a new limit with more bandwidth, as you see on the screenshot below:

Limit bandwidth usage function, the fastest way to fix bandwidth limit exceeded error
Limit bandwidth usage function on WHM panel, the fastest way to fix bandwidth limit exceeded error

What are the reasons that causes your website to use so much bandwidth?

Web Crawlers & Spiders: like Google, often cause too much bandwidth usage, we’ve seen this in a few customer websites. While investigating the top bandwidth consuming IPs we’ve found to be from Google Search Spider, who’s indexing your website.

Web Traffic: this means that anyone who is visiting your website is using your web hosting plan bandwidth, when your server serves images, text and multimedia, it is transmitted to your visitor.

From cPanel control panel you can take a look at Webalizer or AWStats to find out wether this is happening as a constant month to month, of if this is because a special time of year where you get more website visitors.

Email Attachments: when you use big file attachments on your email boxes, this can cause a huge bandwidth usage. Instead, try using Google Drive or Dropbox, you’ll save tons of GB by using this services.

Hacked Email Boxes: are often used to send spam from your server, this can also consume lof of GB of bandwidth if the server administrators don’t catch the bad guys at time. Make sure you are using strong passwords on your email boxes and cPanel main account to avoid this kind of issues.

Web attacks: can use lot of resources, DOS and DDOS can harm not only your website bandwidth, but also the entire server until it is properly mitigated.


As you see, bandwidth limit exceeded error can be caused by many factors, natural organic traffic pikes, but also from illegal 3rd party users who can exploit and harm your website with spam or attacks.

Before upgrading to a new web hosting plan, ask your web hosting provider if the bandwidth limit issue is not cause by any illegal attacks, in that case they may be able to provide you temporary bandwidth until the problem is solved, altough this depens entirely on your web hosting providers, not every company does it.

Further reading:


About the Author: Esteban Borges

Experienced Sr. Linux SysAdmin and Web Technologist, passionate about building tools, automating processes, fixing server issues, troubleshooting, securing and optimizing high traffic websites.

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