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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.

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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

465 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. Joshua says

    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.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      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.


  3. Nicole says

    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. Jos Schuurmans says

    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?


  5. Chris says

    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. Arjuna says

    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. Kay says

    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. Fazzy says

    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. Nitin Yadav says

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

  10. kandra says

    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. Laxmanrao says

    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. Neha Srivastava says

    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. Taim says

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

  14. Emily says

    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. ginger says

    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. Jeff Moyer says

    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. Blogger says

    “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. Brittany Goldsby says

    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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