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Why do I receive the error Invalid command RewriteEngine?

Are you seeing the error “Invalid command RewriteEngine”? Here’s how we fix it.

URL aka link modification often comes as an inevitable website feature.

At Bobcares, we always receive requests to fix such errors related to the rewrite module as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today, we’ll discuss a few common causes we’ve seen for this error to occur and how we fix them.


Why does the RewriteEngine error shows up?

We’ve seen this error occur mainly due to missing module, error in the configuration file and many more.

Among all these, the most common one we’ve seen is the missing module error.


Different causes for the error Invalid command RewriteEngine to occur

We have seen this error frequently occurring in customer’s servers and there are many reasons that we have experienced. Let’s now go through a few of them.


1. Error in the Web server configuration file

We all know that there are many important entries saved in the Apache or httpd configuration file. It is quite obvious that anything that is set incorrect in this file will lead to an error.

Thus, this is one of the common causes that we have seen due to which our customers receive this error.


2. Missing module results in Invalid command RewriteEngine

We often receive this error if we don’t have the mod_rewrite module installed on the server.

So, the first workaround we do is check for this module’s availability.


How we fix the error Invalid command RewriteEngine?

Till now we have discussed the different causes for this error to occur. Now, let’s see how our Support Engineers fix this error efficiently.


1. Configuration file problem

Recently, one of our customers approached us with the below error message.

AH00526: Syntax error Invalid command 'RewriteEngine', perhaps misspelled
or defined by a module not included in the server configuration

On seeing this error, our Support Engineers accessed the httpd.conf file and uncomment the below line.

LoadModule rewrite_module modules/

And then, we restarted the Apache using the command.

service httpd restart

But still, the error was showing up.

Then, we re-checked the httpd.conf file and found that the line AddModule mod_rewrite.c was commented. So we uncommented that line.

Finally, this fixed the error.


2. Mod_rewrite module missing

We received another customer who had the same error.

Our Support Engineers started troubleshooting the error by checking the mod_rewrite availability.

We saw that the module was not enabled on the server. So, we enabled it by running the below command

a2enmod rewrite
systemctl restart apache2

Thus, this fixed the error.


[Need any assistance in fixing errors related to the rewrite module? – We’ll help you]



Well today, we discussed the causes of the error Invalid command ‘RewriteEngine’. And we saw how our Support Engineers fix this error.


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