WordPress Can’t Add Plugin Freezes won’t unzip stuck at Unpacking

April 30, 2010 by
Filed under: WordPress 

Clearly I’m no WordPress Pro and I know very little php so when all of a sudden I could no longer install plugins through the admin console I was pretty frustrated.  I hate having to use FTP so I started searching for a solution.  Almost every post on plugin errors were different issues than mine but eventually I found a solution.  Hopefully it will help a few of you.  If so, please take the time to post and if you have a different fix please share it.

The issue for me started after updating to the newest WordPress version.  I could browse for and select a plugin but when I hit install it would begin to unzip and then stop.  It would never unpack. So there I would sit waiting, staring at a blank page.

I came to find that there are two potential ways to fix the issue.  One is related to a memory issue, the other seems to happen to those who use 1&1 as their host (or possibly those with an older version of php).  I decided to apply both fixes and have had no issues since.

One important note…  I am not responsible if you screw up your blog.  You should back it up first.  While I had no issues and it worked perfectly you do this at your own risk.

The Fixes:

First you will need to ftp into your site, you can’t fix the issue through the admin page.  If you don’t know how to do this call your host provider or start googleing.  If you need a good free ftp client filezilla is opensource and works well.  You can find the full or portable version at the following links.  Filezilla Full or Filezilla Portable

1&1 Fix – Old php4:

  1. FTP into your site
  2. Look for the .htaccess file
  3. Download to desktop
  4. Make a copy of it in case you f-up
  5. Open the file with notepad or A text editor (not word or other word processor)

Now you need to add the following lines to the very top:
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Don’t change anything else.

Your new .htaccess file should look something like this:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /wordpress/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /wordpress/index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

Hopefully it works with no issues.
If the php5 handle is not working for you then change it back to php4 by changing the .htacess file to this:

AddType x-mapp-php4 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php4 .php

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /wordpress/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /wordpress/index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

MEMORY FIX:

Many hosts only give you 32mb of memory which sometimes isn’t enough to handle plugins through the admin console.  There is a WordPress workaround but you need to modify the wp_settings.php file.  Here’s how:

  1. FTP into your site
  2. Look for the wp_settings.php file in the root directory
  3. Download to desktop
  4. Make a copy of it in case you f-up
  5. Open the file with notepad or A text editor (not word or other word processor)
  6. scroll down to line 13 and change WP_MEMORY_LIMIT from 32MB to 64MB

It should look like this:

if ( !defined(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’) )
define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘32M’);

change it to this:

if ( !defined(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’) )
define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’);

Save it and upload, you should now be able to go into your admin page and add your plugins.

Please send me a comment and let me know if it worked and while you are at it tell me about some good plugins.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Comments

36 Responses to “WordPress Can’t Add Plugin Freezes won’t unzip stuck at Unpacking”

  1. Jack says:

    I’ve got the same problem, but I’m on godaddy using IIS. Can’t seem to find a resolution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Jeff says:

    I was unaware of the 1&1 Internet problem (they are my host), but the fix you posted worked for me. Thank you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Paul B says:

    Thanks a million. What I had to do was to create a new .htaccess file, since I couldn’t see an existing one in my WP directory. All I did was I popped in the 2x lines:

    AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
    AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

    into a text file, and loaded to the ftp server, after which I removed the .txt extension. Worked like a charm! Thanks again!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Benjy says:

    Hi, The PHP bit worked for me too. Thanks.
    .-= Benjy´s last blog ..Discount Fire Supplies Twitter Page Design =-.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. paul says:

    Thanks I was using 1 and 1 hosting and I fixed my issue with the htaccess file.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Thank you so much!! I searched high and low for the solution to my client’s issue, and your simple fix for 1and1 did the trick! I really appreciate it. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Sean says:

    i tried all of the above and could not get plugins or themes to completely install,
    i started disabling plugins and found GZIP Enable was causing the installs to freeze @ Unpacking.

    hope this helps someone else.

    Sean
    .-= Sean´s last blog ..How to Achieve Calmness In Our Lives =-.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Manny says:

    Worked like a charm!
    My client also uses 1&1 and this fix helped.

    Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Christopher says:

    Thank you! This worked perfectly. I was almost ready to give up when I found your site. I really appreciate that you posted this!

    - Christopher

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank You for a good article!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Germán says:

    The 1&1 ‘fix’ completely destroyed my WP Plugins section. Now whenever I go to ‘Add New’ I get an unformatted white screen that doesn’t let me do a thing. If I go back to the former .htaccess file the mess wont be fixed. I think I have to reinstall WP. And there is no such line as

    define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘32M’);

    in my wp_settings.php file. Therefore none of these methods solves the Plugins problem at least for me, but actually they mess up the WP Plugins section :(
    Germán´s last [type] ..☫ Wikileaks disinformation

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Kendra says:

    Works like a charm! All I had to do was add those first two php lines to my .htaccess file and it worked. I’ve been pulling my hair out for hours over this and that was insanely simple. I have 1&1 so when I saw that you mentioned them I knew this was going to be the fix.

    Thank you so much! EXTREMELY HAPPY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you for bothering to come back to your forum question and giving this link!! I don’t think I would have ever figured it out otherwise. :-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Melissa says:

    I just want you to know that I just said outloud that I love you. I was at a total loss. Thankfully Kendra posted this link on her question in the forum and seeing that this was 1&1 specific I got excited since I figured those idjits were probably the issue. Like Paul B above (THANK YOU for your comment which finished the puzzle for me!), I had no .htaccess file at all which is what was causing all of my problems (it also just said “Loading…” on many sections in my dashboard). I did have one in a “logs” folder in the main directory, so I just copied it, uploaded it to my Word Press folder and then copied and pasted what you said it should look like. and BAM all is right with the world. Again, I love you. :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Nicky says:

    OMG thank you very much for your post. :-) without this I was sure I had wasted a lot of money!!! ..

    just for refernece for N00bs…and idiots like me… who spent ages looking for a file named ***.htaccess …. the file is just called .htaccess and can only reside on your server with that name, not on a PC, as your PC will force your to give it a name! … so you need to make a text file called .htaccess.txt on your desktop or something…

    then copy

    AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
    AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /wordpress/
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /wordpress/index.php [L]

    # END WordPress

    then uploade the .htaccess.txt to your webserver wordpress folder… then rename the file and just delete the .txt … so you should see file .htaccess

    :-)

    job is a good one.

    once again.. thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Moblox says:

    WP 3.0x doesnt have the define(‘MEMORY LIMIT’, ’64M’); in file wp-settings.php

    The memory fix gonna be like this:
    - Go to wp-includes/default-constants.php
    - Locate the line said
    function wp_initial_constants(); bla bla bla.. and change the 32M to 64M
    - That’s that!

    NB: 1&1 trick change my blogs page n dashboard php file into .txt-like files :/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. [...] However, you will want to insert the php5 related entries in your .htaccess file as described in some of my other 1and1 related posts and here. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. eric says:

    you &@&#$%$# rule!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. Misty says:

    THANK YOU!!! I couldn’t find a fix for this anywhere and it was driving me nuts. The .htaccess fix was all it took to fix my issue, didn’t even have to do the memory fix :) Again, thank you so much!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. marty says:

    Fixing the memory limitation on 1and1 did not do it for me. I had to be sure and add these to the .htaccess

    AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
    AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

    Also, be sure and create a php.ini file in the root directory. Here’s the contents I used.

    upload_max_filesize = 64M
    post_max_size = 64M
    memory_limit = 64M

    The way to see what the server thinks its php settings are is to create a phpino.php file in the root directory.

    The phpinfo.php file just needs to look like this:

    Then just call up your http://www.mydomain.com/phpinfo.php and you get a long list to see that you are in fact making the changes as the server sees it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. HoP says:

    Hi1

    I also have the problem where WP i stuck at unpacking, i’m new to this so sry for the dumb questions.
    I’m on a Windows webhotel and not a linux webhotel – so i don’t have at .htaccess file right?
    It seems like i have 64M already (looked in the wp-settings.php file). What should i do to fix this problem? It’s sooo frustrating….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Thomas Raven says:

    Thank you so very much! The 1and1 issue has been plaguing me for weeks. Hopefully this issue will get addressed in the next version of WP which I will now be able to upgrade automatically! W00T!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Fantastic. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    “Follow the grain in your own wood.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  25. [...] WordPress Can’t Add Plugin Freezes won’t unzip stuck at Unpacking | Look for the wp_settings.php file in the root directory scroll down to line 13 and change WP_MEMORY_LIMIT from 32MB to 64MB Many hosts only give you 32mb of memory which sometimes isn’t enough to handle plugins through the admin console. There is a WordPress workaround but you need to modify the wp_settings.php file. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Beatrice says:

    Hello Everyone,
    I have made both of the changed listed above, re .htaccess and also the php-setting, plus the additional suggestion of editing the php.ini file. Im still am not able to load plug ins into wordpress. Could anyone please help? Its the same error, it does not go past Unpacking the package…
    Thank you

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. mehdi says:

    its not work when i add the code the all web site appear on php code plz help

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  32. Horatius says:

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    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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