How to fix Joomla error “There was an error uploading this file to the server”

How to fix Joomla error “There was an error uploading this file to the server”

In Joomla, ‘There was an error uploading this file to the server’ message is often seen by users while trying to upload a template, extension or any file such as backup, via the front-end interface.

For instance, when you try to install an Joomla extension using the feature ‘Extensions >> Extension Manager >> Install >> Install from Directory‘, this error message can cause the installation to fail.

What causes “There was an error uploading this file to the server” error in Joomla

Server owners who run Apache and PHP in their servers have certain restrictions and limits set for various parameters such as upload size and number of connections.

These restrictions on upload size and connection limits, especially in shared servers, are important to ensure that a single user account does not abuse the entire server resources.

A commonly set value for PHP upload size limit is 2 MB. This limit is set using the parameter ‘upload_max_filesize‘ in php.ini, which is the configuration file for PHP in the servers.

When users attempt to upload files above this limit via any PHP script, the file upload fails with the error message “There was an error uploading this file to the server“.

While exceeding the upload size limit is the major reason for this Joomla error, other causes such as wrong setting for the temp directory, incorrect ownership and permissions of folders or open_basedir restriction can also show the file upload error.

How to fix Joomla error “There was an error uploading this file to the server”

To fix this Joomla error during uploads or automatic installations, you need to follow a step-by-step procedure as we will see here:

1. Verify PHP upload size limit

The first aspect to verify is the upload size limit for PHP. To know the PHP settings for a website, create a phpinfo file in the directory with the content:


This file, when accessed in the browser, would show the PHP limits for the server and the domain. Check the values given for the parametersupload_max_filesize’ and post_max_size’.

The parameter post_max_size' is the maximum size for all upload data. Both these parameters should have values higher than the file you are trying to upload. So if they are lower than required, increase their values.

For cPanel users, the option ‘Software and Services -> PHP configuration’ will display the PHP limits for that website.


Joomla "There was an error uploading this file to the server”

Verify PHP upload size limit for the site


Another setting to check is Joomla’s maximum upload size that is set in the Media Manager’s settings and ensure that its given a high value.

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