Create a phprc file via FTP

If you find yourself in a situation that requires changes to your site, and your developer isn't available to help, DreamHost's skilled support team may be able to assist you for a small fee. You can find more information about supported services and associated costs in the DreamHost Professional Services article.


Every installation of PHP comes with default settings which are usually fine for most websites. Occasionally, the needs of a website make it necessary to adjust these PHP settings. Creating a php.ini (phprc) file is the solution to adjust the PHP settings for your website.

The standard term for a PHP configuration file is php.ini. However, DreamHost uses the term phprc file instead. This acts the same way – only the name is different. In this article, only the term phprc is used.

You can create a phprc file using an FTP client, or by logging into the server via SSH, however creating a phprc file is easier using an FTP client. This article uses Filezilla as the FTP client.

Adding a phprc file through Filezilla

  1. Log into your web server via FTP. Visit the following article for detailed instructions:
    Filezilla create file
  2. Confirm that you’re in your user's directory.
    You can see this in Filezilla in the ‘Remote site:’ field. It will say /home/username.
    Filezilla create file
  3. Click into the .php directory within the user's directory.

    Make sure you have connected using the FTP user that hosts the site. If you still do not see this directory in your client, make sure you have enabled hidden files in your FTP client:

    If you find this directory does not exist under your user, you can simply create the .php directory along with the nested subdirectories for any PHP versions you are using.

    Filezilla create file

    3.1 - Right-click in your username's directory. From the popout, select Create directory.

    Filezilla create file

    3.2 - Name it .php. Click into this new directory.

    Create .php directory

    3.3 - Create any subdirectories for the specific version of PHP you're creating a phprc file for.

  4. Click into the PHP directory that matches the version your site is running. Remember to first check which version of PHP your site is using.
  5. Right-click on the phprc file, and then choose View/Edit.

    If this is the first time you've opened this file on a Windows computer, you may see the following warning.

    Filezilla create file

    Check the box titled Always use selection for all unassociated files and click OK.

    Filezilla create file

    A default text editor opens for you to add your customizations

    When you originally open this file, you will notice the following lines of code added by DreamHost.

    ; {{{ The following lines were automatically added by DreamHost
    ; }}} That's all from DreamHost

    Your code should be placed below the DreamHost code block. Do not add any lines within the beginning and ending semicolons. 

    If you place your code within the semicolons, it will be overwritten by the server.

  6. Enter any of your customizations below that line.
    Filezilla create file
    When you try to save this file in Filezilla, the following pop-up box opens.
  7. Check the box that says Finish editing and delete local file, and then click the Yes button to save.

Killing off running PHP processes

After you've saved your changes, you should kill off all running PHP processes. This ensures your new settings are updated. View the following article for instructions on how to do this in your panel:

Confirming your changes

After you've edited the file and killed off all PHP processes, you should check to confirm the values have updated. You can do this by creating a phpinfo.php file.

If you do not see your changes have updated, try killing off your PHP processes again:


The phprc file you just created is used for any domains under this specific username that are also running the specific version of PHP you chose in step#6 when creating the directory.

For example, if the user has three domains where two are running PHP 8.2 and the third is running PHP 8.3, only the first two domains running 8.2 would be affected by the phprc file. You would need to create a separate phprc file for the PHP 8.3 site.

See also

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