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How to Fix the “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” Error in WordPress

the uploaded file only only partially uploaded wordpress

If you’re running a WordPress site, you might have encountered the “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” WordPress error. This error can mess up your workflow and make it challenging to manage content, which could slow down your site and frustrate your users. Understanding what causes this error and how to fix it efficiently is essential.

This guide covers why you might see this error when uploading files. We’ll look at file size limits, slow internet connections, troubleshooting techniques, how to fix system settings, sort out theme conflicts, and deal with problematic plugins. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid toolkit for fixing the “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” error.

In this article:

Common Causes of “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” WordPress Error

File Size Limits

One primary cause of this error is the file size limit set by your WordPress hosting environment or by WordPress itself. When the file you’re trying to upload exceeds these predefined limits, the upload process can terminate unexpectedly, leading to this error. First, check these limits to identify if they prevent your file uploads. If these limits are too low, you’ll need to expand or compress your images.

Internet Connection Issues

Another common issue is interruptions in your internet connection. If your connection is unstable or too slow, files may fail to upload completely. It’s surprisingly common, especially if you upload large files that require a stable and sustained connection to transfer completely.

Even minor interruptions in connectivity can stop the upload process, causing WordPress to throw a partial upload error. That means that a strong, stable internet connection before the upload can save you significant troubleshooting time later.

Plugin Issues

One of the most common issues most WordPress developers face is plugin issues. Plugins can easily become updated or even break randomly, and it’s not unheard of for them to cause errors, including this one.

Common Solutions for “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” WordPress Errors

Check and Increase File Size Limits

If this is related to file size limits, you’ll need to access your WordPress site’s settings for file uploads. These settings are accessible through several ways, each requiring a different level of technical knowledge:

  1. Editing the .htaccess File – This method involves adding a few simple lines of code to your .htaccess file, effectively increasing the maximum file size that can be uploaded.
  2. Updating php.ini – For those with access to their server’s php.ini file, modifying the upload_max_filesize and post_max_size values can provide a more permanent solution to file size limits.
  3. Utilizing WordPress Plugins – Numerous plugins can help you increase the upload limits with a user-friendly interface if you prefer not to edit files directly.

These methods ensure that you can adjust the environment to fit the demands of your content rather than letting default settings dictate your upload capabilities.

the uploaded file only only partially uploaded wordpress

Optimize Internet Stability

Ensuring a stable internet connection might involve speaking with your internet service provider to troubleshoot or upgrade your service for higher stability and speed. Additionally, consider using wired connections during uploads, as they typically offer greater stability than wireless connections.

Integrating Cloudinary can offer significant advantages for a more streamlined and error-minimized approach to file management in WordPress. Cloudinary’s robust infrastructure ensures optimized file storage, transformation, and delivery, which can help mitigate file size limits and internet stability issues by handling files more efficiently and reliably.

Update WordPress and Plugins

Keeping your WordPress and its plugins up-to-date affects your site’s functionality, including file uploads. Updates often contain fixes for bugs that might be causing file upload interruptions. Regular updates ensure that you are running the most stable software versions, including optimized processes for handling file uploads.

To update WordPress and plugins, access your WordPress dashboard, go to the updates section, and apply any available updates. Always back up your website before making any updates to avoid data loss if anything fails.

File Permissions

File permissions control who can read, write, and execute files on your server. If these permissions are too restrictive, WordPress might not have the rights to write files to the server during uploading.

To check and correct file permissions, connect to your server with an FTP client or through your hosting provider’s file manager. Typically, folders should have permissions set to 755, and files should be set at 644. Adjusting these permissions to meet these standards can resolve upload issues from permissions errors.

PHP Memory Limit

The PHP memory limit is another server-side setting that can cause the partial file upload error in WordPress. This setting determines how much memory a PHP script can consume and can be exhausted when uploading large files, especially if other scripts are running simultaneously.

Increasing the PHP memory limit can prevent this error. This adjustment is typically made in the php.ini file, where you can increase the memory_limit parameter. If you cannot modify the php.ini file directly, some hosting providers allow you to adjust this setting from an administrative panel, or you might need to contact your host to request an increase.

Integrating Cloudinary into your WordPress environment can dramatically streamline these technical adjustments. By offloading your file management to Cloudinary, you bypass several common constraints related to server configurations and file handling and leverage their optimized delivery network. This integration ensures files are managed more efficiently, reducing the load on your server and minimizing the chances of encountering upload errors.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Switch to a Default Theme

Themes can sometimes introduce unexpected issues due to poor coding or compatibility problems with the core WordPress software or other plugins. To rule out a theme-related issue, switch to one of the default WordPress themes, like Twenty Twenty-One. These themes are maintained by WordPress and are less likely to cause conflicts.

To switch themes, navigate to the Appearance section of your WordPress dashboard, activate a default theme, and then try to upload the file again. If the upload succeeds without error, the problem is likely related to your regular theme. Consider contacting the theme developer for support or looking for updates to address the issue.

Disable Plugins

Plugins enhance WordPress’s functionality but can also conflict with each other or WordPress itself, leading to errors. To see if a plugin is causing the upload issue, temporarily disable all plugins from the Plugins section of your WordPress dashboard. After deactivating them, attempt to upload the file again.

If this resolves the issue, re-enable the plugins individually, testing the upload process each time. This method will help you identify the specific plugin causing the problem. Once identified, you can replace it with an alternative or contact the plugin developer for possible solutions or updates.

Server Configuration

Server configuration issues can also lead to partial uploads. It’s essential to check that your server is optimally configured for WordPress operations. This includes verifying settings such as:

  • Execution Time – The maximum time a script is allowed to run before the server terminates it. If file uploads take longer than this time, they will fail. Increasing the ‘max_execution_time’ setting in your php.ini file can resolve this issue.
  • Input Time – The time in which a script is supposed to get input, including file upload time. Extending this limit via the max_input_time setting in your php.ini file can help accommodate larger file uploads.
  • Server Resource Limits – Ensure your server has sufficient CPU and RAM to handle operations, especially if it runs a high-traffic site. Resource limitations can lead to various issues, including upload failures.

For those unfamiliar with these settings or without direct access to server configurations, it’s best to consult with your hosting provider or server administrator. They can provide the necessary insights or make the changes on your behalf.

Integrating a solution like Cloudinary can improve your WordPress site’s capabilities and minimize dependency on server-side configurations. By managing file uploads through Cloudinary, you offload the heavy lifting from your server to their cloud platform, which is optimized for efficiently handling large volumes and diverse file types. This not only resolves the immediate issues of file uploads but also enhances your site’s performance and scalability.

Leveraging Cloudinary for WordPress File Management

Integrating Cloudinary with WordPress allows you to tap into advanced features like automatic image optimization, responsive delivery, and cloud storage. These features ensure your media files load faster and consume less bandwidth, which is crucial for maintaining user engagement and SEO rankings.

  • Automatic Optimization – Cloudinary automatically compresses images without losing quality, ensuring that your website remains fast and responsive. This is particularly beneficial if your site is rich in visual content, which can significantly slow load times if not properly optimized.
  • Responsive Delivery – Cloudinary dynamically adjusts image sizes based on the user’s device, enhancing the browsing experience with responsive images. This responsiveness is key to accommodating the wide variety of devices used to access websites today, from smartphones to large desktop monitors.
  • Cloud Storage – By storing files in the cloud, you reduce the load on your own servers. This can be particularly advantageous during traffic spikes, as Cloudinary’s robust infrastructure can handle increased loads without a hitch.

Thanks to the Cloudinary WordPress plugin, integrating Cloudinary with WordPress is straightforward. Once set up, file management becomes significantly more efficient, freeing up resources and reducing the need for manual intervention.

Wrapping Up

We’ve reviewed various solutions to fix the “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” WordPress error, from simple options like checking your file size limits and internet connection to more complex fixes involving server settings and plugin issues.

We also discussed how using Cloudinary can make managing images and videos much easier. Cloudinary automates much of the heavy lifting when optimizing and delivering your media, which takes the stress off your server and speeds up your site. This is especially useful if your site has many images and videos.

Whether you configure server settings yourself or use Cloudinary, the aim is the same: to make your WordPress site work better. Implementing these fixes and improvements will help you solve your current upload issues and make your site more capable of handling whatever you throw in the future.

Unlock the full potential of your digital content with Cloudinary’s advanced editing and optimization tools. Sign up for free today!


What causes the “Uploaded File Was Only Partially Uploaded” WordPress error?

This error typically arises from issues like exceeding file size limits, internet connection instability, server configuration limits, and sometimes due to theme or plugin conflicts.

How can I increase the file size limit in WordPress?

You can increase the file size limit by adjusting server settings in the php.ini file, using a WordPress plugin that facilitates these changes, or editing the .htaccess file.

Can plugin conflicts cause file upload errors?

Yes, plugins can conflict with each other or with the core WordPress software, leading to various issues, including upload errors. Disabling and reactivating all plugins one at a time can help identify the offending plugin.

Is Cloudinary free to use?

Cloudinary offers a free tier that includes a generous amount of storage and bandwidth, which is often sufficient for small—to medium-sized websites. Paid plans are available for larger sites or those requiring advanced features.

How does Cloudinary improve website performance?

Cloudinary optimizes and resizes images and videos automatically, stores them in the cloud, and delivers them via a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This reduces your server’s load and ensures fast content delivery worldwide.

Last updated: May 16, 2024