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Fix: WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory

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Do you see an allowed memory size exhausted error message in WordPress?

This is one of the most common WordPress errors, and you can easily fix it by increasing the PHP memory limit in WordPress.

In this article, we will show you how to fix the WordPress memory exhausted error by increasing the PHP memory limit.

Fix: WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory

What Is the WordPress Memory Exhausted Error?

The WordPress memory exhausted error is a message you might see if your website is struggling to perform tasks.

WordPress is built using PHP, a server-side programming language that needs memory to run.

Just like any other computer, web servers have a limited amount of memory to run multiple applications at the same time. WordPress hosting providers allocate specific memory sizes to different applications, including PHP.

When your WordPress code requires more memory than the default allocated memory, you will see this error message:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 2348617 bytes) in /home4/xxx/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line xxx

Memory exhausted error displayed on a WordPress site

Your WordPress site may be exhausting its server memory if it has:

  • A lot of images, videos, and other types of media
  • Plenty of unused WordPress plugins
  • Outgrown its hosting plan resources

By default, WordPress automatically tries to increase the PHP memory limit if it is less than 64MB. However, 64MB is often not high enough.

Having said that, let’s see how to easily increase the PHP memory limit in WordPress to avoid the memory exhausted error.

You can use the quick links below to navigate through the tutorial:

Note: Some of these methods require you to directly edit your WordPress files. We suggest backing up your website first to avoid further errors from appearing on your website.

Option 1: Editing the wp-config.php File

First, you need to edit the wp-config.php file on your WordPress site. This is one of the core WordPress files located in the root directory, usually named public_html.

You will need to use an FTP client like FileZilla or file manager in your web hosting control panel.

Next, you need to paste the following line in the wp-config.php file just before the one that says, That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging.

define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );

This code tells WordPress to increase the PHP memory limit to 256MB.

For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to find and edit the wp-config.php file.

Once you are done, you need to save your changes and upload your wp-config.php file back to your server.

You can now visit your WordPress site, and the memory exhausted error should have disappeared.

Option 2: Editing the .htaccess File

The next method is to edit the .htaccess file. This file is also located in the WordPress website’s root folder.

Here, you need to paste the following code before the line that says #END WORDPRESS.

php_value memory_limit 256M

Similar to the previous code, it will tell WordPress to increase the PHP memory limit to 256MB.p

After that, simply save your changes and upload the file back to your web server. You can now open your WordPress website again to see if the memory limit error has gone.

If you can’t find the .htaccess file, check out our guide on why the .htaccess file may be missing and how to find it.

Option 3: Checking Your php.ini File

If the above methods don’t work, you may want to look at your php.ini file.

php.ini is a file that controls your PHP settings, including the PHP version and PHP scripts. It’s not a WordPress core file, as your hosting provider usually manages it.

You can check its code to see your PHP memory usage limit. For more details, you can see our guide on how to find and edit the php.ini file.

However, because this is an advanced method, we recommend contacting your web hosting provider’s support team instead to see if they can increase the WordPress memory limit manually. Otherwise, this can result in further errors.

You can read our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support for more information.

Option 4: Upgrading Your WordPress Hosting

If you’re constantly encountering the memory exhausted error, it might be a sign that your website has outgrown its current hosting plan.

As your website attracts more visitors and adds more content, it requires more resources to function smoothly. Upgrading to a plan with a higher memory allocation can be a permanent solution.

Consider upgrading your WordPress hosting if:

  • You’ve tried the previous solutions and the error persists.
  • Your website has significantly grown in traffic or content.
  • You plan to add features or functionality that require more resources.

Bluehost offers affordable and reliable WordPress hosting plans that can scale with your website’s needs. They provide a user-friendly platform specifically optimized for WordPress, making it easy to manage your website.

If you use our Bluehost coupon code, then you can get up to 61% off your first purchase. Just click the button below to get it:

Bluehost offer for WPBeginner readers

How to Avoid Exhausting Your WordPress Memory

Now that you’ve fixed the WordPress memory exhausted error, here are some proactive steps to prevent it from happening again:

  • Deactivate unused plugins. Many plugins contribute to memory usage. Regularly review your installed plugins and deactivate any you’re not actively using to free up memory for essential tasks.
  • Optimize images. Large images can be memory hogs. Consider using a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer to automatically compress images before uploading them to your site.
  • Use a caching plugin. Caching plugins store website data, reducing the need for WordPress to regenerate it on every visit. This can significantly improve website performance and lower memory usage.

We hope this article helped you solve the WordPress memory exhausted error by increasing the PHP memory limit. You may also want to see our step-by-step beginner’s guide to troubleshooting WordPress errors and our expert picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

464 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. Vennh says

    This Worked for me.

    /**This is a test for memory*/
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

    Thank you for this wonderful share.

  3. Lu says

    Should the memory limit ever be higher than 64M? Most WP sites i’ve worked on the average page load never exceeds 40-5megs. The reason I ask, is I read that the WP_MEMORY_LIMIT defines the amount of memory WordPress can use per Apache thread. Which means that multiple threads will use more and more, and eventually swap to disk which is never good.

    Anybody an expert and can answer this?

  4. WPBeginner Staff says

    It seems like WordPress is either unable to create wp-config.php file or the file gets deleted after the install. Use ftp to make sure that there is a wp-config.php file present on your site. If not then try creating one by renaming the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php file. You will need to manually edit the file and provide your database information.

      • aiyeboy says

        if i locate it on an ftp, and i click on it, it brings it like a download file, pls help with a full guide on how to do it pls my site is going down everyday…

        • tony leon says

          don’t double click it. Either right click and select EDIT or highlight it and look for an EDIT button somewhere (maybe at the top if it’s Godaddy). Good Luck!

  5. LJ LaValle says

    I opened the wp-config.php file from my ftp directory.
    I was not sure how to completely enter the adjustment – I didn’t know basic coding for php, so I just copied the basic precursors shown for each entry and added as follows:

    /**This is a test for memory*/
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

    It worked!

  6. Doug says

    Thank you!!! This fixed a problem I created myself and saved having to pay someone at the hosting company to update the file.

  7. kim says

    I am getting this exact error but I am not sure how to get into do I get into wp-config.php which is located in the root WordPress directory as I don’t know where to find it. Yes I am a complete beginner. Can you help?

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 122880 bytes) in /home/crooked1/public_html/wp-includes/SimplePie/Sanitize.php on line 331

  8. mike .levine says

    Thank you so much!! For real.. you have been a lifesaver. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for your help.

  9. Timothy says

    Hi,

    I’ve tried to increase the limit to 64mb, and I got this warning until 5 times:

    ‘WARNING: Job restart due to inactivity for more than 5 minutes.’

    The database backup is stopped until 60s%, and the result is below when it tried to upload to Dropbox:

    ‘ERROR: Uploaded file size and local file size don’t match.’

    What’s wrong with it? I’m using Bluehost.

    Thanks!

    PS: I’m not a technical person, so give explanation in details :-)

  10. Thomas Cole says

    Been having a doozy of a time working on my site and I would sacrifice a MacBook at midnight to get my site working, one little line of code and we are back up. Thanks!

  11. Domestic Herald says

    THANK YOU so much!!!! This worked like a charm and took me less than a minute to implement.

  12. Jonni says

    Thank you so much!!!!
    I’m in the middle of a launch and all of a sudden I couldn’t update or create any web pages on the whole site because of a 500 Internal Server Error. (And of course this happened as soon as I discovered the Home page had a big problem.)

    Could get no help from support, am not a web developer.

    Yet I was STILL able to follow your instructions and Hallelujah! Miracle of Miracles! Everything works now.

    All this work driving traffic, getting new people to the site – almost wasted due to server error – but Disaster Averted! you saved the day.

    My sincerest gratitude.

    Again, can’t thank you enough.

  13. Casey Friday says

    Thanks so much! I was about to bitch to WooThemes that their $129 extension was breaking my site, but it turned out to be a memory issue. Cheers!

  14. Adrian says

    On line 36/37 of wordpress, wp-config.php you must type:

    /** Memory Limit */
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

    For me this problem is solve thi way. You can change 64M with what value you want.

    • Adam Singer says

      This comment is sooo key!

      You have to add define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’ ); just before the unique key and salts are defined, otherwise the change doesn’t take effect. Thanks!!!

      • omniafausta says

        yesssss thanks, I was wondering why it didn’t work for me. It was because so far no one told me WHERE in the wp-config i had to add this line. THANKS!!!

    • Rosie Taylor says

      Thank you for clarifying this step. Now I know why it never just changing the other line for the value didn’t work before. This saved me big time for a client tonight!

  15. Titel says

    Hello,
    Today I had a problem with wordpress: after I logged appeared “white screen of death”. We went into cpanel and inserted “define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M ‘)’ in wp-config.php and everything went very well.
    Thanks a lot WPBeginner.

  16. Hamza Ahmed says

    Thanks a lot, i work very hard with every method i found on internet, but i filled , my problem occur during word-press installation i pasted this code in mid and increase its value to 128 mb , now its works fine, thanks a lot again.

  17. Jeff Danforth says

    My host provides 64MB, and wants a hefty kicker to increase the php memory limit – so I’m inclined to be “green” and reduce my memory use.

    HOW might I determine what plugins or other things to remove to stay under 64MB
    A) php memory consumption, e.g. which plugins are being greedy
    B) have I got a memory leak issue, e.g. any plugins being nasty

    Thank you for this forum, by the way – I am truly a beginner, but excited about WP (grrr, if I can make it jump its hoops right)

  18. Daniel says

    Didn’t work for me, but I’m not sure what it means to be “inside the main php tag”. I opened the file in Dreamweaver and did a search. The word “main” doesn’t appear anywhere on the page. So I put the code in line 2, just after the “<php". Tried it at 64 and 128. Thanks.

  19. Deepanshu says

    Thanks for the help.
    But 64M was already default for me and of course it wasn’t sufficient so I changed it to 96M and I think u should mention this as well.

  20. Jan says

    Nice but nothing works – use rackspace cloud – tried 32 – 64 – 128 – 256- 512 – 1024Mb MU site i can’t go more up and only in admin i can’t get access after a plugin from wpmudev so guess i have to delete that and try something pro.

  21. pathik says

    its really work,, i had problem of internam server,,, when add new plugine,,, i just increse memomry limit
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);
    in wp-admin and problem solved..

    tthnaks a lot

  22. Joke van de Fliert says

    thanks! for me the provider had to change a setting to increase the memory limit, but that did fix it!

  23. Jennifer Ortiz says

    Thanks a million for this! I got the error message right after the WordPress install–I never even had a chance to add a plug-in.:

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted…

    All seems to be working fine now.

  24. Timothy Jacobs says

    I have tried to do this, but it has not solved the problem.  I am on 1&1 hosting and I have tried all the changes, but I still get this error whenever uploading a semi-large picture:
     
    Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 29884416) (tried to allocate 4096 bytes) in /homepages/21/d258522816/htdocs/TBJFilms/WP/wp-includes/media.php on line 1010
     
    What is your suggestion?

  25. aidilgoh says

    Tried placing this at the end of the wp-config.php and didnt work.

    However, placing it on top right after the <?php tag worked. Hooray!

    • Ahmad Zaruq Spain says

      Yes, I used the
      1error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set(‘display_errors’, 1);
      2
      3define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);I found in a post next to this one and was getting an error by using define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128M’); on the last line of my php-config file. Thanks to this comment I placed it right below <?php tag at the top and now the error report is no longer :) I just hope my site doesn't keep crashing on every new plugin install, going to check that now. Thanks to all you geeks out there!

  26. PatrickTyrus says

    this was a great help, but as you noted it could easily be a plugin, or as someone mentioned it could be a memory leak.

    And as others have pointed out, there are memory settings for a reason, some hosts will cut your services if you try to circumvent them.

    Is there a way to check on what’s eating memory?

    I’ll be searching, but this is something that should be listed under related posts, or as a note and link at the end regarding one of the “numerous solutions for it”. Going for the “simplest one” might get you through the day, but is may not be a good long term solution as it may cover up the real problem and delay the inevitable.

    • Alexis O'Neill says

      Worked for me!! I changed my site language to Spanish and I guess that used up the memory. Added the simple line recommended in the post and voilá!! Back in my admin mode. The really helpful part was “Don’t panic!” because my anxiety level was rising fast.
      Thanks ever so much.

    • Kiu Karakas says

      define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);
      not solved
      define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘164M’);
      solved
      THANKS

  27. wpbeginner says

    @shally1584 There is no = << in our code. So are you sure that you are pasting our code as an independent function and not as part of something else.

  28. shally1584 says

    hi.i tried to adjust memory limit and got this error

    ‘Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘=’ in /home/amanerdm/public_html/beaverealty.com/wp-config.php on line 62′

    pls help fix this.thanx.

  29. Luna says

    Thank you for this post… I had a couple of category / archive query pages that were throwing this error after I upgraded to WordPress 3.1. I was just about to re-write the queries until I found your post in a Google search.

    You saved me a lot of work and headaches :)

  30. Kdb says

    I ended up having to switch hosting companies because I couldn’t get my current one to increase the memory from 32MB to, well, anything more. Pretty sad. Took a bit of hassle to transfer three WordPress sites (and multiple other sites), but it was worth it. My current host offers 128MB and my sites are working SO much better. I can actually add plug-ins.

  31. Richard says

    Hello
    I tried the fix by adding the line immediately after the opening >php tag (line 1)
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

    It did not work for me BUT
    I placed the line with comments for my own use on (as it happens) line 22 and it worked.

    I am testing this procedure on a test WP site using Twentyten 1.2 Theme

    /home/par*****/public_html/wp-config.php

    Line 22 /** WP memory limit Note it does not work when placed immediately after line 1 */
    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’64M’);

  32. Chris says

    This trick doesn’t work for me ever since WP 3.

    what I found worked was to create a PHP.INI file in the wp-admin folder with the line:

    memory_limit = 128M

    (or whatever you want to make it)

  33. kdb says

    I tried this, but my host limits it to 32 megs. Can anyone recommend a good host for WP, because I’m going to have to change. Thanks!

  34. Eyl says

    I have done the trick but seems like nothing happened. The error keep showing so can you suggest other solutions?

  35. Seth Merrick says

    Great article. A brand new plugin that may soon find its way on to this list is Cobalt WP Boost.

    Check it out here:
    http://frugaltheme.com/about/cobalt-wp-boost-plugin/

    It allows blog owners to raise their WordPress Memory Limits with a couple of mouse clicks, as well as showing at-a-glance memory usage information. WordPress keeps its internal memory limit at 32MB, which is fine for a small-time blog; but if you’re trying to add any robust plugins for social networking or ecommerce applications, 32M will not suffice. This problem can only be expected to worsen with the release of 3.0 which, judging from the beta release, will consume a lot more memory itself without upping the 32MB limit.

  36. W^L+ says

    Just remember that if the problem is a memory leak (either in PHP itself or in some library that is used by a plugin), this will merely delay the occurence.

    Before you change the memory limits, you should ensure that you’re using the most up-to-date versions of any plugins. Be sure you are running the newest version of WP. If your host offers multiple versions of PHP, be sure you’re using version 5.

    Your hosting service may have preset limits on memory usage. If your editing causes you to exceed those limits, your service may be suspended or canceled without warning.

  37. wparena says

    I think the better way is to put this limit in wp-setting.php file where this memory limit already described as 32M, just changed that value to 64M.

  38. Chad McCullough says

    I think that this might fix an issue I’ve been having with my site. I just can’t figure out where the main php table is in the wp-confip.php to place the line.

    Thanks!

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