If your Exchange server is running out of disk space and you would like to free-up some of that space, I would suggest looking into the System Volume Information folder in whichever drive your Exchange instance and database are located.

The System Volume Information folder is hidden and is considered a Windows Protected File – to view the folder and its size, you can simply use TreeSize Portable. If the folder is abnormally  large, then proceed to the next steps.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT delete the files manually. This can cause system corruption. There is a proper way of deleting these files and it doesn’t take too long. Continue below:

Note. The instructions given in this article are applicable to other Windows versions as well: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2016 / 2012 R2.


To view the contents of the folder, you have to assign yourself as the directory owner and grant your account the NTFS permissions to access it. You can grant your account permissions to access the folder with the command:

icacls "C:\System Volume Information" /grant username:F /t

Replace username with your username – I would suggest you use your administrator account to avoid errors caused dependencies.


Let’s see what is stored in this directory by running PowerShell as administrator. Display the statistics of using shadow copies:

vssadmin list shadowstorage

If the Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space is UNBOUNDED, it means the SVI folder will use as much space as it wants and could potentially use up all of the free space on your drives. Let’s change that:

You can reduce the disk usage limit by VSS to 2 GB using the vssadmin command. 

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[drive letter]: /For=[drive letter]: /MaxSize=2GB

The last command will immediately reduce the used-up space in the SVI folder. You can verify by checking the drives in File Explorer and verify the Maximum Shadow Copy Storage Space is setup to the MaxSize you specified with the last command using the first vssadmin command above.




Categories: Technology