Account Suspension Versus Bandwidth Limiting and Account Termination

Last modified: November 30, 2022


This document explains the differences between account suspension, bandwidth limiting, and account termination. This document also describes why you might terminate an account or suspend an account.

Account suspension


The system does not automatically initiate account suspension.

When you suspend an account, the system imposes several limitations that remain in place until you unsuspend the account. You may wish to suspend an account for the following reasons:

  • A user fails to comply with your terms of service.
  • A user did not pay their bill for service.

Suspend or unsuspend an account

To suspend or unsuspend an account, use one of the following methods:

  • WHM’s Manage Account Suspension interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Manage Account Suspension).
  • From the command line, run either of the following scripts:
    • /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/suspendacct — Suspends an account
    • /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/unsuspendacct — Unsuspends an account.

If you suspend an account, the following statements are true:

  • The account’s cpuser file contains the SUSPENDED=1 flag.
  • Apache’s /usr/local/apache/conf/includes/account_suspensions.conf file contains a Virtual Host include for the user. This file contains a RedirectMatch directive that redirects website traffic for the user’s account to an account suspension page. This directive resembles the following example:
    <Directory "/home/cptest">
    AllowOverride none
    RedirectMatch ^/(?!cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi).* /cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi
  • The system prepends the account’s password hash in the /etc/shadow and /etc/proftpd/username files with two exclamation points (!!).
  • The /var/cpanel/suspended/user file contains a reason for suspension or the account’s previous shell location.
  • The system places *LOCKED* entries around the password entries in the mail user’s /home/user/etc/ file. For example:
  • The system allows email delivery and forwarding in addition to DNS queries.
  • The system will not suspend any of the account’s Amazon RDS remote databases.

For more information about the effects of account suspension, read our What Happens When You Suspend an Account documentation.

Bandwidth limiting

The system can automatically initiate temporary limits on accounts that exceed the monthly bandwidth limit. The system removes the limits the first time that it processes bandwidth statistics each month. At that time, the account no longer exceeds the limit.


The system only imposes bandwidth limiting on an account’s Apache services. Users can still access FTP, Mail, and DAV services, even if their account exceeds the monthly bandwidth limit.

If the system imposes account limitations due to bandwidth limiting, the following statements are true:

  • The system only imposes account limitations on services that users access via the http or https method.
  • The Disk Used value exceeds the Disk Limit setting in WHM’s View Bandwidth Usage interface (WHM » Home » Account Information » View Bandwidth Usage).
  • The /var/cpanel/bwlimited/ directory contains ./user and ./domain files that correspond to the account.

Remove bandwidth limitations

To remove these limitations, use one of the following methods to raise the monthly bandwidth limit:

  • Increase the bandwidth limit for a single user in WHM’s Limit Bandwidth Usage interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Limit Bandwidth Usage).
  • Increase the Monthly Bandwidth Limit setting for all of a package’s users in WHM’s Edit a Package interface (WHM » Home » Packages » Edit a Package).
  • Increase the Monthly Bandwidth Limit setting for a single user in WHM’s Modify an Account interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Modify an Account).

    Changes to this setting may trigger a package conflict. For more information, read our Modify an Account documentation.

  • To remove the limitations for all of the accounts on your server with exceeded monthly bandwidth limits, use WHM’s Unsuspend Bandwidth Exceeders interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Unsuspend Bandwidth Exceeders).

Account termination

When you terminate an account, the system permanently deletes all of its data from the server. You may wish to terminate an account for the following reasons:

  • You moved an account from one server to another server and all of the first server’s information properly transferred..
  • A user has not paid their bill for service for a significant period of time.### Terminate an account

To terminate an account, use one of the following methods:

  • WHM’s Terminate Accounts interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Terminate Accounts).
  • Run the /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/removeacct script via the command line as the root user.

If you terminate an account, the following statements are true:

  • You cannot immediately recreate the account, because the system must remove the account’s MySQL® users.
  • The system deletes the account’s DNS zones by default.

You can choose to keep the account’s DNS zone. This is useful, for example, when you need to move the account to a different server that belongs in the same DNS cluster.

Additional Documentation