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How to change the maximum upload file size in PHP
How to change the maximum upload file size in PHP
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

Handling file uploads is a common task for many web applications. But often, there's a restriction on the size of files that can be uploaded, governed by PHP's configuration. For developers and web administrators, understanding how to adjust the maximum upload file size can be crucial. This article delves into the steps to modify this limit, ensuring you can cater to your application's specific needs.

Every PHP-driven website or application has a preset limit for uploaded files. While this limit is sufficient for many scenarios, there are times when larger file uploads are necessary. This guide aims to provide a detailed walkthrough on the various methods to modify the default upload size, while also emphasizing the precautions and best practices to adopt when dealing with large file transfers.

Understanding PHP’s Default File Upload Size:

By default, PHP restricts file uploads to a relatively modest size. This is governed by directives like upload_max_filesize and post_max_size in the PHP configuration. For many applications, especially those with a shared hosting environment, these default values are set to prevent excessive resource usage.

Methods to Change the Maximum Upload File Size:

  • php.ini Configuration: The primary method involves editing the php.ini file, which is PHP's main configuration file. By locating and modifying the values of upload_max_filesize and post_max_size, you can set your desired maximum upload limits.

  • .htaccess Method: For those on shared hosting without access to php.ini, the .htaccess file offers a way to override default configurations. By adding lines like php_value upload_max_filesize 50M, you can adjust the limits.

  • PHP Code Customization: While not a recommended approach for a permanent solution, you can use the ini_set() function in your PHP scripts to temporarily override certain configurations.

Implications of Increasing Upload Limits:

  • Raising the file upload size can have implications. Larger files require more memory and can strain server resources, especially on shared hosting environments. It's essential to ensure that the server is equipped to handle

  • increased loads.

Best Practices for Handling Large File Uploads:

  • Progress Bars: Implement progress bars to give users feedback on the upload process.

  • Timeout Settings: Adjust the max_input_time and max_execution_time settings to accommodate larger uploads, ensuring they don't time out.

  • Security: Larger file uploads can pose security risks. Ensure that uploaded files are scanned for malware and validate all uploads to prevent potential security breaches.


Adjusting the maximum upload file size in PHP is a straightforward task, but it comes with its own set of challenges. By understanding the methods available and the potential implications, web administrators can make informed decisions. By balancing the needs of the application with server capabilities and security considerations, you can provide a robust and user-friendly file upload experience.

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