What Happens When You Suspend an Account
Valid for versions 94 through the latest version
Last modified: March 30, 2022
This document describes the actions that the system performs when you suspend an account.
To suspend or unsuspend an account, use WHM’s Manage Account Suspension interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Manage Account Suspension).
Effects of suspension
The following table describes the actions that the system performs when you suspend an account and the limitations that result from these actions:
In the following section,
user represents the account’s username.
Adds suspended flags
The system adds the
SUSPENDTIME=epochdate flags to the account’s
/var/cpanel/users/cpuser file, where
epochdate represents the Unix time at which you suspended the account.
As a result, the appropriate WHM interfaces sets the account to
suspended and list the reason for suspension.
Locks reseller control
If you select the Prevent resellers from unsuspending checkbox when you suspend the account, the system touches the
As a result, the appropriate WHM interfaces sets the account to locked. The system does not allow resellers to unsuspend the account.
If you select this option when you suspend an account, the system only allows the
root user to unsuspend the account.
Stops all user processes
The system stops all of the processes that that account owns.
As a result, the system stops any functions that the cPanel account currently performs as the logged-in user. The following list includes some of the effects that this action may cause:
The system forcibly logs the user out of a current session.
The system stops the user’s cron jobs.
Locks mailing lists
The system creates a
suspended.lists directory in Mailman and moves the files for each of the account’s mailing lists to this directory.
As a result, the account’s mailing lists no longer function.
Locks Web Disk
The system adds a
*LOCKED* string to the
/home/homedir/etc/webdav/shadow password files for all account’s Web Desk users. In this example,
homedir is the cPanel account’s home directory name.
As a result, the account’s Web Disk accounts no longer function.
Locks email passwords
The system adds a
*LOCKED* string to the
/home/homedir/etc/domain/shadow password files for all of the account’s email users. In this example,
homedir is the cPanel account’s home directory name and
domain is the email users’ domain.
As a result, the account’s email users cannot download mail.
The system continues to deliver mail to the account.
Incoming and outgoing email
The system no longer allows the account’s users to send email through the mail server. Also, the mail server will force all mail currently in the outbound message queue from that account’s users to fail. As a result, the account’s email users cannot send mail, and any mail they had in the mail server queue will fail.
Email Delivery Behavior
When the server delivers an email message, Exim evaluates and executes code supplied by the cPanel account. If an administrator suspends the cPanel account, you may not want the system to process user-supplied code in filters, forwarders, pipes, and redirection lists. You may choose from several configuration options to determine how the system processes email deliveries for suspended accounts.
You can configure what action EXIM should perform when the server receives an email message for a suspended account in WHM’s Exim Configuration Manager interface (WHM » Home » Service Configuration » Exim Configuration Manager). You can use one of the following settings:
|Deliver messages normally||This setting accepts the email message and delivers it via normal delivery logic. This includes any forwarders, or piped scripts that the account user may have set up. This option is potentially risky, as these handlers could be used by a suspended user to retain access to account resources.|
|Accept and discard messages||This setting accepts the email message, but immediately discards it, and ceases further processing.|
|Reject messages at SMTP time||This setting rejects the email message, and returns a permanent error code to the sending mail server. Compliant mail servers will stop any further attempts to deliver the message.
This setting’s behavior is the same as setting the Receiving Incoming Mail option to Suspend for an email address in cPanel’s Manage Email Accounts interface (cPanel » Home » Email » Manage Email Accounts).
|Accept and queue messages||This setting accepts the email message and places it in the local Exim queue temporarily. Exim will attempt delivery of the message periodically until the account is unsuspended or the message in the queue expires. By default, Exim reattempts delivery for queued messages for four days and eight hours then notifies the original sender that it could not deliver the message. This is the default setting.|
Updates the Apache configuration files
The system updates Apache’s
httpd.conf file with a Virtual Host include file for the user.
The system creates the include file at the following location:
This include file contains a
RedirectMatchrule that redirects website traffic to the default template for suspended accounts.Note:
httpd.confinclude files originate from the following lines in Apache’s
1 2 3
[% IF file_test('f', '/usr/local/apache/conf/includes/account_suspensions.conf') -%] Include "/usr/local/apache/conf/includes/account_suspensions.conf" [% END -%]
As a result, visitors cannot access the account’s websites. Instead, the system displays an account suspended message.
To edit the message that appears for a suspended account’s sites, use WHM’s Web Template Editor interface (WHM » Home » Account Functions » Web Template Editor).
Locks the shadow password
The system uses the
passwd -l command to lock the account’s
/etc/shadow password file. This command prepends the account’s passwords with two exclamation marks (
The following list includes some of the effects that this action causes:
The user cannot log in to their cPanel account.
The account’s database users cannot log in to their databases.
The suspended account’s password cannot change.
Modifies permissions of ftp directory
The system modifies the permissions of the user’s
public_ftp directory to
The system then creates the
/etc/proftpd/user.suspended file and locks the account’s FTP passwords in the
/etc/proftpd/user password files. Finally, the system prepends the account’s FTP passwords with two exclamation marks (
As a result, The account’s FTP users cannot log in to the FTP server.
Also, the system cannot back up the user’s
public_ftp directory because of the restrictive file permissions.
Changes MySQL user passwords
The system changes all of the MySQL users’ passwords. As a result, MySQL users cannot access their databases.
When you suspend a cPanel account, the system will not suspend any of the account’s Amazon RDS™ remote databases.