How to Fix The Uploaded File Exceeds the upload_max_filesize Directive in php.ini. Error in WordPress?


If you are a WordPress user and have ever uploaded an image or file, you may have encountered the error message "The Uploaded File Exceeds the upload_max_filesize Directive in php.ini." This error occurs when the file that is being uploaded exceeds the maximum upload size limit set by your server. This limit is set in the PHP configuration file (php.ini) and it can be a frustrating issue for website owners to deal with.

The Impact on Website Functionality

This error message can have several negative impacts on website functionality. When this error occurs, users cannot upload any files to their website unless they are within the allowed size limits.

This can be frustrating for both site owners and visitors, as it may prevent them from adding essential images or files that they need to use on their site. In addition, this error message can also lead to decreased traffic and user engagement since users will be hesitant to visit a site that has limited functionality due to large file sizes not being accepted.

Understanding the upload_max_filesize directive

WordPress is a powerful content management system that allows users to create and publish content with ease. However, sometimes issues arise that can impact website functionality and cause frustration for users. One such issue is the "The Uploaded File Exceeds the upload_max_filesize Directive in php.ini" error.

This error message appears when a file that exceeds the maximum allowed file size is uploaded to WordPress. In this section, we will define what the upload_max_filesize directive is and how it affects file uploads in WordPress.

The upload_max_filesize directive is a setting in PHP that determines the maximum size of files that can be uploaded to a server. This setting applies to all applications running on the server, including WordPress.

Define what the upload_max_filesize directive is and how it affects file uploads in WordPress

The upload_max_filesize directive affects how files are uploaded to WordPress by limiting their size. If this value is too low, it can prevent users from uploading larger files and media content such as images or videos.

Additionally, if your website requires users to submit large files such as PDF documents or audio recordings, having an appropriately adjusted value for this directive becomes critical. It's also important to note here that increasing this value too much could negatively impact overall website performance by potentially slowing down page load times and consuming server resources unnecessarily.

Explain how to locate and edit the php.ini file to adjust the upload_max_filesize directive

To locate and edit your php.ini file you'll first need access your hosting account's control panel or use an FTP client like FileZilla. Once in the control panel or FTP client, locate the root directory of your website where your WordPress files are stored.

From there, locate the php.ini file and open it. Once you have opened the php.ini file, search for "upload_max_filesize" using either CTRL + F or Command + F. The search should take you to a line that looks like this −

upload_max_filesize = 2M The value '2' represents the maximum size of your file in Megabytes (MB). To increase this value, simply change '2' to a higher number value such as '10' which would allow for a maximum upload limit of 10mb. Once finished editing this line, save and close the php.ini file.

Increasing the upload_max_filesize limit

Discuss Various Methods for Increasing the upload_max_filesize Limit

One common method to increase the upload_max_filesize limit is by editing the php.ini file. However, depending on your hosting provider, some may not allow access to this file. In such cases, it may be necessary to contact your web hosting provider to request assistance or permission to modify the php.ini file.

Another popular method is modifying .htaccess file. This approach is ideal for those who do not have access to edit php.ini or wp-config.php files.

Provide Step-By-Step Instructions for Each Method

Editing php.ini:

  • Log in to your cPanel account and scroll down until you find "Files".

  • Click on "File Manager" and navigate to public_html.

  • Locate the php.ini file and click on "Edit".

  • Find “upload_max_filesize” and define a new value greater than current size (e.g., 128M).

  • Save changes made and exit.

Modifying .htaccess:

  • Access FTP data from web hosting control panel.

  • Open up an FTP client such as FileZilla or Cyberduck

  • Navigate through directories until you find public_html.

  • Open up .htaccess with a text editor application like Notepad++.

  • Add “php_value upload_max_filesize 64M” at the bottom of your .htaccess file.

  • Save changes made and exit.

Editing wp-config.php:

  • Access FTP data from web hosting control panel.

  • Navigate through directories until you find public_html.

  • Open up wp-config.php with a text editor application like Notepad++.

  • Insert the following code − "define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');" (or the desired size in megabytes) just before the line that says “That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging.”

  • Save changes made and exit.

It's important to note that while increasing the upload_max_filesize limit can be useful, there may be restrictions set by your web hosting provider, which is why it is essential to reach out to them for assistance if unsure of how to proceed.

Testing file uploads after increasing limit

After making changes to increase the upload_max_filesize limit in WordPress, it is crucial to test if the changes were successful. Attempting to upload a large file is the best way to do this. You can create a dummy file or use an existing one.

Ensure that the file size is larger than the previous maximum size limit, which caused the "The Uploaded File Exceeds the upload_max_filesize Directive in php.ini" error message. Start by logging into your WordPress dashboard and navigating to Media > Add New.

Select the file you want to upload and click on "Upload." If you have successfully increased the maximum file size, then you should see a progress bar indicating that your file is being uploaded.

Discuss possible reasons why changes may not have worked and provide troubleshooting tips

There are several reasons why increasing the maximum upload size may not work even after making changes in php.ini or other files. For instance, if you have multiple instances of PHP running on different versions of PHP.ini files on your server, then updating one may not be enough since all instances need updating for it to take effect across all directories.

Another possible reason could be due to plugin conflicts or memory limits on your website host server. Some plugins may interfere with WordPress's default functionality leading to this issue despite having increased limits.


Fixing "The Uploaded File Exceeds the upload_max_filesize Directive in php.ini" error in WordPress requires a basic understanding of the upload_max_filesize directive and how it affects file uploads on websites. It's important to identify the cause of this error as soon as possible and take steps to fix it to avoid negative impacts on website functionality.

We have discussed various methods for increasing the upload_max_filesize limit, including editing php.ini, .htaccess, and wp-config.php files. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages that must be considered based on individual website requirements.

Regular monitoring of website functionality is crucial to avoid future issues related to file uploads and other website features. It's recommended to perform regular backups of websites that can be quickly restored in case of any issues or errors.

Updated on: 05-Jun-2023


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