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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.

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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. Ifedayo says

    Thank you, this was helpful! All problem has been solved by carefully following this step-by-step instructions. Keep up the good work :)

  3. Doy says


    Thank you for this awesome website. I got this in the error log after adding this code.
    [26-Apr-2022 02:45:31 UTC] PHP Warning: Use of undefined constant ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’ – assumed ‘‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’’ (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /wp-config.php on line x

    Is this a problem? Should I remove the code?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That would only be an error for future versions of PHP. This solution should only be a temporary fix and your hosting provider should be able to assist with the root cause of the issue.


  4. Alison Taylor says

    Thank you! You folks rock. This solved my problem. WPBeginner is my go-to website for learning new things about WordPress, even though I’m not a beginner.

  5. J h says

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

    How again do you upload the file back to your server?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would need to use FTP or your host’s file manager again and there should be the option to upload and replace the file :)


  6. Daniel says

    The changes are not having effects. We are still with 40MB and the site does not accept the changes. What should I do?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      As we state at the end of the article, if our recommendations do not work, please reach out to your hosting provider as they may have set a limit that would override what you as a user can set.


  7. Liviu says

    Really worked.

    I had white screen when I wanted to create a new post on PC browser. But worked on my phone.


  8. John Harries says

    Thank you for providing a straight forward solution to an error which occurred when I tried to update the php version from 7.1 to 7.4

  9. Mart says

    Fantastic, thank you soooo much for this, simple straight talk.. excellent.. first problem solved … now got to learn more

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It can mean the site can take longer to notice issues if some arise but shouldn’t cause a major issue in general.


  10. Mujahid Siyal says

    I added the code problem is gone but a text “WP_MEMORY_LIMIT” has appeared in the top corner of logo. So what should I do about that?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to ensure you added the code snippet correctly as it is likely showing that code thinking it is text.


  11. David says

    “First you need to edit the wp-config.php file on your WordPress site. It is located in your WordPress site’s root folder, and you will need to use an FTP client or file manager in your web hosting control panel.”

    Simple! What does that mean? It is gobbledegook to me.

  12. Katerina says

    I’m new in WordPress and I’m trying to figure out, for a couple of days, why suddenly I get an error 500 and can’t save my edits. This helped solve my problem. Thank you so much!

  13. Arpita Hunka says

    This solution is not working for me, my website is hosted at AWS server and I have all the access, I have tried to set memory_limit in php.ini, wp-config and .htaccess. but still getting issue when accessing backend pages.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to the support for your hosting for what other options you have available with AWS


  14. Benthe Kuijpers says

    Thanks so much! Was so worried when I had this fatal error, but this fix is just a piece of cake! :-)

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If our recommendations are not working, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist


  15. Ivan says

    Hi, I had the memory exhausted message and I increased the wp memory limit to 12mb and it worked. Then a few days later I had the same error, so I had to increase the wp memory limit to 256mb and the message kept showing. I am currently on 1024mb, which seems excessive for a small website of 4 pages and a blog post of 15,000 words. Any suggestions how to resolve the issue or what might be causing it?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they can normally assist in finding the root of the issue for your specific site.


  16. Gk Guru says

    My website has been hacked. Which is showing the homepage blank. In which the script has been injected, as well as the entire WordPress files. Database file is also affected.

    Please suggest any solution for this. What do i have to do next steps.

  17. Jayant singh rawat says

    Hey. My website is doing well. but whenever i tried to edit any post my server memory and I/O exhaust

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you reach out to your hosting provider they should be able to help prevent this error going forward


  18. Ricardo M says

    It worked!! thanks a lot, I should say that if you are using control panel you can access and edit the file config,php within the same platform no need to dowload the file for editing.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It depends on the hosting provider as not all have a file manager that they offer but thanks for sharing :)


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