If Journal is enabled on an MSMQ private queue, with a storage limit (eg, 100 kilobytes), what happens when that limit is exceeded? And can you configure this behaviour?


  • Can messages still be written to the queue?
  • Will those messages be written to the journal?
  • What happens to old messages already written to the journal?

People seem to imply that setting a limit is one solution to the risk of the journal growing and exceeding server resources, but I haven't discovered anyone explaining what happens when the limit is exceeded.

In our own (very limited) test, it seemed like messages simply stopped being written to the journal. (ie, when the Journal queue reached it's limit, old messages remained in the journal, but for all future messages, the journal was effectively turned off).


Yes, journaling will cease to work for new journal messages. Journal messages should be processed just like any other message so they shouldn't be allowed to accumulate.

  • OK, so would you say that when people suggest setting a journal limit to prevent it exceeding resources, that isn't so much a strategy for managing the journal, but more a safety valve to stop the journal taking down the server? – Andrew M Dec 16 '14 at 9:48
  • Exactly. The server needs to stay up if the journal-processing application has failed. – John Breakwell Dec 17 '14 at 10:43

I found reports that full journal can even block receiving messages, not just moving them to journal:


However that might happened because MSMQ reached some other quota at that point, perhaps its global storage limit for all queues, and not just because of journal. I couldn't reproduce it just by limiting journal only. But it's anyway good idea not to let journal grow too much.

Btw. we made commercial tool which can periodically backup and empty journal, among other things - QueueMonitor

  • Yes... indeed I just had it happen and it was blocking incoming messages as well. – Beth Whitezel Apr 21 '16 at 19:27

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