By Tim Miller
Last updated on

If you have been using WordPress, you know how easy it is to install a plugin. Just find a plugin and then install it by clicking “Install Now.” If there is a new version for your existing plugin, your WordPress admin panel informs you about the new version.

For some reason, when I upgraded my TinyMCE plugin, it would get stuck at “Unpacking the package” message and then hangs there. It didn’t give me an error message or continue with the upgrade. It was stuck. Now what?

The next thing I did was try installing a different plugin that I have never installed before. What happened? I got the same message. It was stuck at the “Unpacking the package” message.

It might have been a bad upgrade of the plugin. I have seen suggestions to delete the contents of the wp-content/upgrade and wp-content/uploads directories. I did do that but no luck. The same problem.

PHP Memory Limit Allowed

What does installing a plugin have to do with a PHP memory limit allowed? Apparently, a lot.

When you install a plugin, a certain amount of memory has to be allocated. If your hosting provider does not give you enough memory for your PHP application, it cannot run.

On many ISPs, you may be given only 32MB memory limit to host your site if you have a fairly small site.

Update PHP.INI File

This issue is similar to what I have encountered when upgrading WordPress to version 3.01. I received a fatal error and a lot of headaches.

In this situation, the fix is to update your php.ini file in your wp-admin directory. If this file does not exist, create one and add these two lines.

upload_max_filesize = 64M
post_max_size = 64M

Once you make the change, you should be able to install or upgrade your plugin again. If not, then you may need to contact your hosting provider and verify that they have indeed, increase your PHP memory limit to 64 MB.

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