How to Increase PHP Max Input Vars Limit in WordPress

The “PHP Max Input Vars” variable max_input_vars was introduced in PHP as a security measure to limit the maximum number of POST variables sent. It represents the number of variables your server can use to run a function.

If you get the error “Increase PHP Max Input Vars Limit” in WordPress, you must increase the PHP max_input_vars value.

This post explains how to change the maximum number of PHP script input variables for your web hosting account to meet specific application needs.

This error can cause non-specific issues like losing all theme settings, or the widgets may disappear when the WordPress settings are saved. Also, other plugins may stop working or not work as expected anymore.

There are many different methods to increase PHP Max Input Vars in WordPress. However, this entirely depends on the hosting provider you are using.

Remember that you may not have specific permissions to increase the maximum PHP input variable limit. Therefore, contact your hosting provider beforehand and ask them to grant you the necessary permissions.

How to Increase PHP Max Input Vars Limit?

You can increase the PHP Max Input Vars Limit by adding lines to the .htaccess file, php.ini, or wp-config.php.

Here we explain all methods.

Edit the .htaccess File.

The first method to increase the Max input var limitation is editing the .htaccess file. Before making any changes to the file, ensure you get a backup of your site or at least of this file.

Usually, this file is in the root directory of your host. Open the file with your file manager or FTP client.

Increase Max Input Vars in .htaccess
Increase Max Input Vars in .htaccess

It could be because most hosting providers hide the (.) files if you can’t locate it. Therefore, look for the option Show Hidden Files in your file editor and enable it.

Open the .htaccess file in an editor and add the following code to it:

php_value max_input_vars 2000

If you are using Suhosin, add the following to the file instead:

php_value suhosin.request.max_vars 2000
php_value suhosin.post.max_vars 2000

The recommended value is 2000 for PHP input vars. If you need more, you could always increase it to match your needs.

Edit the PHP.ini File.

The following method to increase the PHP max input vars limit in WordPress is editing the php.ini file.

This file is also in the root directory of your host, where you have installed WordPress.
If you can’t find it, create a new empty php.ini file.

In either case, open the file in an editor and add the following code to it:

max_input_vars = 2000

Don’t forget to save the changes and reboot your server once to use the newly added data.

Edit the wp-config.php File.

This method requires you to log in to your hosting panel or FTP.
Go to File Manager and look for the wp-config.php file.

Open the file in an editor and add the following code to it:

@ini_set( 'max_input_vars' , 2000 );

Finally, save the changes.

You can replace 2000 with any value you require. However, we recommend 2000 or higher.
If you use any value below 2000, it could throw the Max Input Vars error.

How to Increase the Max Input Vars Limit in PHP5?

If you use a host that still uses PHP5, like GoDaddy or Bluehost, you need to edit php5.ini and user.ini files.

So, if you use a host that still uses PHP5, you need to create the files mentioned above. After creating them, copy and paste the following code to both:

max_input_vars = 2000
suhosin.get.max_vars = 2000
suhosin.post.max_vars = 2000
suhosin.request.max_vars = 2000

Again, you can replace 2000 with the value your website needs.

However, if your host still uses PHP5, you should immediately contact them to update that PHP version as it is not supported anymore. At the time of writing of this article, the latest version is PHP 8.2.6. That’s a recommended PHP version.

Possible Server-Side Issues

If you tried each of the methods above and still get the max input vars error, you need to contact the hosting provider and ask them to fix the issue.

For instance, another copy of the php.ini file in the host could overwrite your local settings.

This article explained every possible method to increase WordPress’s PHP max input vars limit. Follow the steps above only if you are familiar with working with server files. Otherwise, contact your hosting provider, ask them to help you, or contact our support team.