How to edit php.ini file to increase memory limit

Today my blog was down for some time due to a memory issue in php.ini file in my server. I have never seen this error before and i don’t know what went wrong. I quickly searched on Google and found that this error is caused by insufficient memory allocation in php.ini file. A standard server (linux box) setup comes with 8M memory and we need to increase this to avoid these types of errors.


Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 8192 bytes) in /home/teknobit/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 59

I managed to increase the memory in php.ini to overcome this, i will write here how i did it hoping that it may be useful for somebody.

For those of you who use shared hosting the quick solution would be to add a line in .htaccess file located at your root folder.
php_value memory_limit 24M
here 24M is an example and most of the times this is enough to get your site back, contact your host support if this doesnt work.

First step for this is to locate your php.ini file in the server and to see what is the memory limit (this is shown in the error message). Create a file with the below code and name it something like “test.php”

<!--?php phpinfo(); ?-->

Upload this file to your site root and point your browser to this file, now it will show the phpinfo of the server, in this you will find “Configuration File (php.ini) Path: /usr/local/lib/php.ini”, this is your php.ini location. You can find the memory limit also in this page “memory_limit: 8M”

If you know shell then you can use putty, SSH client, login to putty and locate the file php.ini and edit the memory limit, below commands may be useful; found here

Log in as root.
Type the following and hit enter: vi /usr/local/lib/php.ini
Now that you’re in vi, hit escape a few times then type the following
and hit enter: /memory_limit
That basically does a “find” in the file you’re editing.
Press the “i” key. This puts you in “insert” mode, which basically
allows you to edit things.
Change the current setting (probably 8M) to 16M.
Press escape, then type :wq and hit enter. That says “save the file
and quit.”

I dont know shell commands so the easiest way for me to do this is using penguiNet, (Update: Use WinSCP, this is free tool) its a windows SSH client, you can use shell commands or use the ftp like interface to navigate to the php.ini file. Login to server with root account and download the file, edit it and upload it again. Remember to backup the original file, if you make a mess you can use the original file.

In php.ini search for this line “memory_limit = 8M”, replace the 8M with your desired value like 16M, 24M etc. Save the file and upload it to the server. Now you need to restart Apache for the changes to effect, this can be done through WHM, if you dont have WHM installed use these command
/etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd restart

Refresh the browser, your site should work normally.

By using the same procedure you can also increase the file upload limit size, in this case search for the line “upload_max_filesize = 2M” in php.ini and change the value to your desired value. The dafault upload limit in php is 2MB.


  1. kynan says

    This totally solved my problem uploading large files from to my wordpress blog… thanks for the great info, super helpful.

  2. says

    If you are in a shared account i guess you can not edit php.ini file because the changes will be effected to all the accounts on the shared server. If this is the case you should contact your host.
    Try to add the values to .htaccess file and see if that helps

  3. LAS (Leon) says

    Thanks for this tutorial!
    This was a great help and like you i’m not too familiar with SSH commands, i managed to update my PHP ini file and now my upload limit has been increased.
    Many thanks..!

  4. says

    Can u please tell me how do i locate the php.ini file in the server ?

    I have a shared hosting on HostGator and they are using cpanel ! I aksed them to help me but they said they dont support 3rdpart scripts :(

  5. Anonymous Proxy Server says

    I’m trying to access php.ini for improving my proxies but not being able to access it coz im using shared hosting! :(

  6. uday says

    i’ve tried to send mail from my website but it is giving me this error

    Warning: mail() [function.mail]: “sendmail_from” not set in php.ini or custom “From:” header missing in C:\Program Files\xampp\htdocs\mailto.php

    m really stuck here and would really appreciate your guidance

    thank you in advance

  7. IT Outsourcing says

    This article is great I love to read it and very helpful for my project

  8. Lab says

    Hi I tried to change the setting using filezilla but no use.

    Is there any way to change the settings using ini_set

  9. says

    add this line to .htaccess

    php_value memory_limit 16M

    change last ’16M’ to whatever value you want. Some time this may not work depending on httpd.conf settings, in that case talk to your webhost.

  10. Vince says

    I’ve tried to add php_value memory_limit 24M to my .htaccess on my root, however that completely crashes my site and I get a 500 error… any other suggestions besides contacting the host?


  11. mdowsett says

    I have a VPS so I have ssh access of course. My php.ini file says it’s read only and won’t save the changes….this doesn’t seem right.

    Any suggestions?

    PS – the ESC step doesn’t work for me…maybe it’s not necessary.

  12. says

    try changing the permissions, you can use chown command for that, once you are done change it back.
    or use winscp to login and then edit the file in your computer

  13. says

    im trying to get this to work, so i can use more plugins from wordpress. Im actually using my friends account ( he works for a hosting site )

    He told me, Im not allowed to edit my php.ini file and he said, they wont change my php.ini file either (unless i get a better plan)

    So my question is, how do i increase memory with out messing with the php.ini file. Or am i screwed?

  14. mdowsett says

    you may be able to add this line to you .htaccess file:

    php_value memory_limit 24M

    You’re probably only at 8M or 16M now.

    If that doesn’t work, you’re SOL

  15. Mariojulio says

    Hey guys, I’m trying to find a way to change some values in the php.ini. that I need to install a tool created in php.
    I’ve found something on the internet, and they say that I have to create a new php.ini with the specific values that I need to change, but my question is, in what directory do I have to load my php.ini with the specific values?????
    (I’m in a shared hosting by the way and I don’t have access to shell or any adminstrativve option =( )

  16. Bryan says

    I have successfully altered the php.ini file but wordpress is still only allowing 2MB uploads. please advise.

  17. Chris says

    Thank you! I was in the same boat, needing to edit my php.ini and this made the task very easy to accomplish.

  18. says

    Its very easy to edit php.ini by finding its location using phpinfo() function .But Is there is any way to update that value dynamically using ini_set() function?
    i tried it but doesnt work for max_upload_filesize attribute.i think we cannot do this for that attribute.

  19. sudhakaran says

    Hi, i ve tried to connect Mssql server 2008 database thru ODBC connection from my Cake PHP site. i didnt get all the field name char from Mssql server table due to some of them are little bit big size. for ex. i can get only 23 char out of 25 in field name. is there any option to set in php.ini file for increase the filed name size for getting full length?


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