Change the maximum upload size with PHP

Depending on how you host your website (or application) there are different ways to change the PHP settings. In particular, the most asked about problem, changing the maximum upload size.

There are 3 settings PHP uses that limit your uploading ability:

  • post_max_size
    This is the combined maximum size of all files sent on the form. If you have 2 file fields on your form, the total filesize of the 2 files must not exceed the post_max_size value.
  • upload_max_filesize
    This is the filesize limit of each individual file.
  • memory_limit
    PHP scripts have a memory limit, and generally speaking this can prevent some uploads from working. The limit should be set at a reasonable level, of course you won’t need 20mb for a simple ‘hello world’ script. Try slowly increasing this value if you find that uploads still aren’t working.

If you host your site remotely, you should check their documentation on how to change the PHP configuration settings. But if you’re not so inclined, and prefer a trial and error approach, here’s a summary of things to try:

Change php.ini directly

If you host your site on a server that you have access to, you can change your php.ini file directly. This is the easiest approach. Your php.ini file should exist in the PHP installation directory. Open it in your favorite text editor and search for these lines and change them:

memory_limit = 8M
post_max_size = 8M
upload_max_filesize = 2M

You may need to restart apache for the changes to take effect.

Changes to .htaccess

.htaccess files only apply to Apache webservers. They are files that append and change certain values that Apache uses and they are placed in the root folder (and all folders beneath will use those settings). If Apache uses PHP as a Module, then you can add values to the .htaccess file:

php_flag file_uploads On
php_value memory_limit 8M
php_value post_max_size 8M
php_value upload_max_filesize 2M

If you try this approach, and your webserver displays a 500 internal server error, then PHP is not running as a module and Apache didn’t like the php_value entries. You will need to remove your changes.

Upload a php.ini file

This generally works if the changes to .htaccess method doesn’t. Some web hosts that use apache, also use PHP as a CGI. Then also, most times, this allows changes to the PHP configuration using a custom php.ini file that you can upload. You don’t want to include every setting available to PHP in your file. Only include the ones you want to change, and don’t forget the heading [PHP]:

; Whether to allow HTTP file uploads.
file_uploads = On
; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (8MB)
memory_limit = 8M
; Maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept.
post_max_size = 8M
; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 2M

Still not working

In the event these techniques didn’t work for you, check with your host’s documentation.

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This entry was posted by jc on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 at 11:56 am and is filed under Linux, PHP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Luca says:

    your ajax file browser site is down, also could you make a remember login button please :)

  2. jc says:

    Yep that’s right. Production has fallen over. You can still download the latest version from:

    And sorry, I won’t be doing any more work on this application.

  3. Your Ajax File Browser is a great application. To show my thanks, I submitted a small patch that will add a “browse” button when adding or editing a share.

  4. maurits says:

    check my website i got a upload steem but i can only upload 2mb and i did change the php.ini but noting heppends help!!!!

  5. maurits says:


  6. Ali says:


    This application is awesome, easy to use and is exactly what I need. However it seems like for larger files the download cuts out after 60sec regardless of how much of the file has been downloaded. I think this has to do with the following in PHP.ini:

    max_execution_time = 60 ; Maximum execution time of each script, in seconds
    max_input_time = 60 ; Maximum amount of time each script may spend parsing request data

    I have tried changing these values and increasing them to 90sec, and higher, however it does not seem to solve the issue. Is AJAX File Browser still supported by any communities? is there anyone who can help with this program at this time or this project has been completely dropped?

    I appreciate your efforts

    Ali E.

  7. seo says:

    Very helpful tips, thank you for sharing!!

  8. rich says:

    thank you for everything…
    for the creation and the school…
    It’s working very fine here.

  9. cail says:

    very nice application
    really love it
    thanks for the great work!

  10. toerist says:

    Thanks for the great info.
    my E107 forum limiet is now set higher thanks to using the .htaccess file in the root folder.
    works great

  11. Eric says:

    Great fix, i’ve had troubles with this for a long time! tnx!

  12. thanks for usefull tutorials

  13. luis gonzalez says:

    Many many thanks for this awesome application, it’s just what I was looking for the hole week! Thanks for giving the love back!

    Muchas gracias y saludos desde México.

  14. Padook says:

    Thank you very much, that is exactly what I was looking for… (unfortunately the ini_set did not work)

  15. Paul Bennett says:

    Thanks for the .htaccess tip – I didn’t know you could configure php.ini settings there :)


  16. Thank you very much, that is exactly what I was looking for… (unfortunately the ini_set did not work)

  17. Thanks for the .htaccess tip – I didn’t know you could configure php.ini settings there :)

  18. Sapan says:

    Thanks your suggesstion works!!!

  19. joseph says:

    great tips man, helped me to solve some problem.

    thanx man