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Fix: WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory

Are you seeing 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?

WordPress is written in PHP, which is a server-side programming language. Additionally, every website needs a WordPress hosting server for it to function properly.

Web servers are just like any other computer. They need a certain amount of memory to efficiently run multiple applications at the same time. Server administrators 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.

How to Increase the PHP Memory Limit in WordPress

There are several ways to increase the PHP memory limit. One is to edit the wp-config.php file, another is to tweak the .htaccess file, and the last method is to check the php.ini file.

Let’s go through each one:

Editing the wp-config.php File

First, you need to edit the wp-config.php file on your WordPress site. It is one of the core WordPress files located in your WordPress site’s 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.

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.

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.

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, along with our expert picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your site.

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460 CommentsLeave a Reply

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  2. Great article, i encountered this problem when i installed a new wordpress theme. While you have accurately told us how to solve this problem, i’m thinking what is the impact of having a website that runs on high php memory on web hosting resources, etc?

    Many thanks.

    • Hey Joshua,

      It depends. If you are on shared hosting and your website is continuously using more memory than it should, then your web host will automatically kill that particular process.

      Admin

  3. I always forget how to fix this error when I encounter it. Luckily I found your post, and it worked like a charm. Panic mode is now over. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the tut, good stuff!

    QUESTION: After increasing from the default 64M to 256M, my white screen disappeared and the site is up. Is there a reason to scale down the memory again?

    Cheers,
    Jos

  5. Today is the second time that I’ve needed to refer to this post (bad memory – much like my site).

    Great info, keep up the fantastic work.

  6. Hi!
    How can I mixed this error?
    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 176160768 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 78 bytes) in /home/brandkpl/public_html/wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 3146

  7. Hi there,

    Is there a way to increase the memory and make sure it stays that way when updating WP?

    Everything I update my site, I have to do it all over again…

    Thanks for your help!

  8. i also found that there could be a chance that in the root folder there will be a “maint” folder, although normally this will give you a screen saying its under maint which you will then know what to do.

    but in my instance the “Maint” in the root folder just showed the WSOD once it was removed i was back up and running.

  9. Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 229376 bytes)
    My Problem is this

  10. Nice one, i wonder I could increase the memory of instant wp aplication in order to successfully migrate my blog in blogger to wordpress.

  11. Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 78 bytes) in /home/xxxx/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1837

  12. Hi,
    i am getting this error, while importing demo and uploading plugin.
    i have already try out these methods. pls help.
    500 – Internal server error.
    There is a problem with the resource you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed.

  13. I increased the limit to 128M but the same problem. Then I increased it to 256M and now its working fine.

  14. Hi, this sounds like the issue I’m having with Prophoto – however I can’t login to the admin area – as I get a blank white screen – to make the changes you suggest, is there another way? Thanks so much

  15. Hey, I probably have a huge problem here.. but the only wp-config file I can find on my Air is wp-config-sample.php.

    total blank webpage situation – i doubt it’s memory since i don’t have more than a couple pages…

  16. It’s usually easier to get your web host to do this rather then doing it manually, if you screw something up you can make your website worse.

  17. “First open your wp-config.php which is located in the root WordPress directory. Then add the following line inside the main php tag:”

    I really have no idea what to click to find the wp-config.php or the root WordPress Directory. Is it in the Settings? :D Sorry. I just can’t figure out. :) Thanks.

  18. Thank you so much for this! Me and my office manager was about to pull our hair out because we couldn’t figure out how to increase the memory limit on a website we were working for a client. We actually increased the memory to ‘128M’ because ’64M’ was already there and it worked like a charm. Thanks!

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