PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size? What does that mean?

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Occasionally, depending on your site, resources, and plugins and themes you may get a php error that says something like this:

PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 491520 bytes)

This is an indication that your memory in php.ini is not set high enough. You can define this in your php.ini file (usually found in /etc on linux systems - check your documentation for windows servers, which are currently unsupported by Wordfence).

Look through the file for a line like this: memory_limit = 128M

Keep in mind the 128M is probably different. That’s the amount of memory that php is allowed to consume. If you have 10 plugins and combined they consume more memory than you have allocated, you’re going to have problems. You can assign more by increasing this value. (Some of our personal sites have 256M allowed, but these are pretty big sites with a substantial number of hits and plugins). Make sure and restart httpd (apache) after making changes here.

We get a lot of support questions about this from Wordfence users who recently installed our plugin or who have growing websites. This issue is not a Wordfence error but simply indicates that you need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to increase your site memory. Usually your hosting provider will edit your php.ini file to increase the memory_limit parameter, and they may also have to increase your web server memory limit along with any operating system limits they have.

Disable plugins that affect database queries

Please note that when the scan is running Wordfence has to make a lot of database queries. If you are using plugins that affect all database queries such as Query Monitor, you may run out of PHP memory. If you have Query Monitor or any similar plugin installed, make sure it's deactivated while Wordfence scan is running.