I have a client on a hosting plan with insufficient space for the website and a backup. At this stage, they can't be persuaded to upgrade or move to another web hosting company.

What can I do to reduce the disk space used by Joomla?

Are there any standard extensions that use a lot of disk space and that can be safely removed?

Are there any log files that can grow big over time and that can be safely deleted or reset somehow?

  • 1
    you might consider putting the backup on amazon s3 or another really cheap mass-space host. that could save you some serious space pending on the size of that. also I remove assets like images from the backup to prevent it from being larger than necessary. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 23:23
  • 1
    If you use a tool like Akeeba Backup, you can split the backup into smaller pieces and shift off the hosting immediately to be able to backup the site without having double the disk space. Commented May 3, 2014 at 4:08
  • Answering my own question nearly 8 years later: also see the answer at joomla.stackexchange.com/a/23278/120 which suggests how to get a list of orphaned images which could then be deleted. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 3:35

8 Answers 8


Some tips,

  • You can remove unused extensions.
  • You can remove or clear the log files. Many extensions create their own log files too (like paypal,Virtuemart, etc)
  • If your site is not installed with Image compression, try that.(JPEG tran or PNG out will reduce much space in your gallery medias).
  • Check the files and folders of development time. Developers create folder backups and/or file backups which you can remove too.
  • Backups should not be kept on the same server. Use some Clouds for that like Google drive plugins for Joomla or something similar.

Hope its helps..


This answer depends on 2 things being true, but if its not applicable to your problem, it might be useful for others.

  1. If you use git, remove the .git folder, this can be MASSIVE at times, (we had a 1mb site have a 4 gb .git folder before).

  2. If you use Akeeba, remove old backups, if its an old site I believe at some point Akeeba backup had the backups stored in a folder in the root directory, then moved to inside its own component folder later, we have noticed old backups in the original root one that had a few GB's of backups that were no longer needed.

  1. Check if you are using very big images that can be resized.
  2. Check for unused images and delete these.
  3. Review log files and delete them if appropriate.

A default Joomla (V3) environment, is 21 MB. The only significant candidate for removal might be the hathor administrator template, and the sample images. Possibly the tinymce editor, but most implementations are likely will want that. Note that anything anything that is removed might return when you perform a regular maintenance update.

Here's an expanded tree showing the larger directories in a default environment.

  • / - 21 MB
  • /administrator - 6 MB
    • /administrator/components - 3 MB
    • /administrator/language - 1 MB
    • /administrator/templates - 2 MB
    • /administrator/templates/hathor - 1 MB
    • /administrator/templates/isis - 1 MB
  • /components - 1 MB
  • /images - 1 MB
  • /libraries - 6 MB
    • /libraries/cms - 1 MB
    • /libraries/fof - 1 MB
    • /libraries/joomla - 3 MB
  • /media - 5 MB
    • /media/editors - 2 MB
      • /media/editors/tinymce - 1 MB
    • /media/jui - 2 MB
    • /media/system - 1 MB
  • /plugins - 1 MB
  • /templates - 1 MB

There are other directories that might grow that could be removed.

  • /cache
  • /logs
  • /tmp

And then there are development directories, but these are only found in a source checkout.

  • /.git
  • /build
  • /tests

Also examine the SQL database and sort by size. There are times when the session table gets messed up and just grows without ever clearing. Under 1Mb is typical. I discovered one that was 600Mb. The table can be safely truncated and any online users will just have to login again.

  1. Remove unused templates
  2. Remove unused images (which came by default with Joomla)
  • 2
    Could you make your answer a bit more specific, for example with templates you mean and where he will found the images the he can remove? Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 8:37
  • Remove:

    • index.html of each folder
    • administrator/templates/hathor unless used
    • templates/beez3 unless used
    • media/editors/tinymce when other editor in use
  • Clean <DocumentRoot>/<joomla>/tmp, look for install_# folders left after installation

  • Make sure database only contains the tables in use.

  • 3
    index.html removing is a bad idea I think
    – Jobin
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 9:34
  • the tmp/ folder is a must clean folder! many extensions leave their bones there and it occupies space.
    – jackJoe
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 10:09
  • @Jobin Jose: Why do you think that?
    – sovainfo
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 10:18
  • @JackJoe: corrected the path to tmp. I meant the Joomla tmp, not the system tmp. Noticed extracted extension zips that should have been removed after installation. Nice to see the history but not the way it is intended.
    – sovainfo
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 10:22
  • 1
    @sovainfo First of all the index.html that provides Joomla is file size is "0" Another things is it mainly used in assets folders to prevent direct access of assets,(You can also do it with htaccess but why you need to give this loads to Server).That's why I think its bad idea
    – Jobin
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 10:26

Remove all your old backups then have future backups transferred offsite. Akeeba backup can be used to automatically backup to Dropbox or similar.

Review the content of your images and media directories to check that you, or your client, have not added very large assets. As already pointed out, Joomla's default install is pretty light but that doesn't mean someone hasn't uploaded some 10Mb images or a 200Mb pdf.

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