Blog Menu

I write and curate content for Bluehost. I hope this blog post is helpful.
Are you looking at creating a blog, website or an online store? Bluehost has something for everyone. Get started today.

If you’ve ever come across the frustrating message saying “The link you followed has expired” while trying to upload something on your website, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you navigate through this pesky error and get your WordPress site back on track.

So, what exactly is this error? 

This error usually pops up when you’re trying to upload files, plugins, or themes that are too large for your server to handle. But don’t worry, we’re going to break it down into simple steps to fix it. By the end of this journey, you’ll not only have solved this error but also gained a better understanding of how WordPress works. 

wordpress link expired error

This error in WordPress is typically triggered by one of two issues:

1. File size limitations 

WordPress has certain default limits in place for file uploads. These limits are imposed for security reasons and to prevent the server from being overwhelmed by excessively large files. When you attempt to upload a theme or plugin file that is larger than the maximum allowed file size, WordPress will display the “The link you have followed has expired” error. 

2. Improper server settings 

This error can also occur due to specific limitations set by your hosting provider on your server. These restrictions could be related to PHP memory limit, upload size limit, or execution time limit. If these values are set too low, it can lead to the aforementioned error when you try to upload large files or when a script takes a long time to execute.

To resolve this error, you would need to adjust these limitations either within WordPress itself or by altering the server settings. 

It’s always advisable to proceed with caution when making changes to your server settings and consider consulting with your hosting provider or a professional if you’re unsure.

There are four main strategies to rectify this WordPress error. However, before diving into them, it’s crucial to perform some preliminary troubleshooting and data gathering:

  • Assess the size of the upload versus the file: If you encounter this error after trying to upload a file, take note of the file’s size. Then, cross-check it with your site’s existing maximum upload limit.
  • Secure your WordPress site with a backup: Since many of the solutions discussed here involve direct modifications to your site’s code, it’s crucial to create a backup of your site to avoid potential complications, data loss, or additional errors.

Most of the solutions to this problem involve adjusting a few values in your website’s core files manually. These values include:

  • upload_max_filesize: This determines the maximum file size your website will accept for uploading.
  • max_post_size: This specifies the maximum file size for each blog post on your website. If this limit is too low, increasing the file size limit won’t make any difference.
  • max_execution_time: This sets the maximum time your website should spend attempting to upload a file.

If you decide to increase the upload_max_filesize value, you’ll also need to adjust the max_execution_time value. It’s logical to assume that larger files will take more time to upload.

Suggested settings:

The recommended settings for these values are as follows:

  • upload_max_filesize: 64 MB
  • max_post_size: 64 MB
  • max_execution_time: 300

Should you frequently upload videos or ultra-high-resolution images, you may consider setting a higher file size limit. However, it’s generally advisable to keep the limit under 100 MB for optimal performance.

Avoiding excessive limits:

While finding a solution to the ‘Link Expired’ error is important, it’s equally crucial to avoid setting excessively high values. The best practice is to keep these values as minimal as possible, only increasing them to the extent required to resolve the problem.

Arbitrarily allowing extremely large file uploads and extended execution times can lead to complications, such as:

  • Significant slowdown of your site during the processing of a large upload.
  • Overloading the backend of your site, particularly if multiple users are managing it simultaneously.
  • Providing hackers with more opportunities to upload malicious code or larger malware, posing security risks.

Although permitting large file uploads might not impact everyone, it’s essential to consider these potential issues. You’ll want to strike a balance between allowing larger uploads and maintaining your site’s performance and security.

If you’ve tried the methods outlined above and continue to experience the same error, it could indicate an issue with your web host. They may have imposed restrictions on the upload values from their end. In such cases, reaching out to your web hosting provider about the issue is the next step.

Depending on the situation, you might need to upgrade your hosting plan to one that accommodates larger file sizes or consider switching to a different web host that offers more resources.

However, before exploring these options, let’s try some quick fixes that could potentially resolve the issue.

Fixing “The link you followed has expired” WordPress Error can be accomplished in a few different ways, each addressing the potential causes of the issue. Here are a few methods:

1. Increase the maximum file upload size in WordPress:

If the file you’re trying to upload exceeds the maximum upload limit, it can trigger the error. To increase the limit:

– Go to the admin dashboard of your WordPress site.

– Navigate to “Media” and then “Add New.” Here, you’ll see the maximum file upload size.

– To increase this, you would need to edit the functions.php file of your theme. You can do this by navigating to “Appearance,” then “Theme Editor,” and finally “Theme Functions” (functions.php).

Add the following code to the file:


@ini_set( ‘upload_max_size’, ’64M’ );

@ini_set( ‘post_max_size’, ’64M’ );

@ini_set( ‘max_execution_time’, ‘300’ );


This code increases the upload size to 64MB and the maximum execution time to 300 seconds. Save the changes and try to upload the file again.

2. Modify your .htaccess file:

If the first method doesn’t work, you can increase the PHP limit by modifying the .htaccess file. 

– Access your WordPress site’s root directory using an FTP client or file manager in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

– Locate the .htaccess file. Open it and add the following code:


php_value upload_max_filesize 64M

php_value post_max_size 64M

php_value max_execution_time 300

php_value max_input_time 300


Remember to save your changes and then try uploading your file again.

3. Change PHP limits in the php.ini file:

If the methods above don’t work, you can try editing the php.ini file. This file controls many aspects of PHP’s functionality.

– Access the root directory of your WordPress site.

– Find the php.ini file. If it isn’t there, create a new one.

– Open the file and add the following lines:


upload_max_filesize = 64M

post_max_size = 64M

max_execution_time = 300


Save your changes and check if the problem is resolved.

4. Contact your hosting provider:

If none of the methods above work, it’s time to get in touch with your hosting provider. They can increase these limits for you and offer further troubleshooting assistance.

Please note: Always back up your WordPress site before making any changes to the code. If you’re unsure about any of these steps, consider hiring a WordPress professional to avoid any potential mishaps.

Take control of your WordPress website today

While encountering the “The link you followed has expired” error in WordPress can be frustrating, rest assured that it’s a common issue with a variety of feasible solutions. 

By understanding the root causes and following the step-by-step methods outlined in this guide, you can successfully troubleshoot and resolve this error. The key is to find a balance between allowing larger file uploads and maintaining optimal site performance and security. 

Do not hesitate to reach out to your hosting provider if you continue to face this issue after attempting these solutions. They can offer further guidance and possibly adjust your server settings to accommodate your needs. 

Finally, always remember to back up your site before making any changes to your code. This way, you can ensure the safety of your data and easily revert to an older version if anything goes wrong. 

We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey to fix your WordPress site. 

1. How do I fix a link that expires?

Fixing an expired link can be done in various ways depending on the context. If you’re dealing with the “The link you followed has expired” error in WordPress, you can increase the maximum file upload size, modify your .htaccess file, change PHP limits in the php.ini file, or contact your hosting provider. For other platforms or situations, you may need to regenerate the link or contact the person who originally shared the link with you.

2. Why does it keep saying the link has expired?

The message “The link has expired” often appears when you’re trying to upload a file that exceeds the default upload limit set by your WordPress hosting provider. It can also occur due to improper server settings. The system triggers this message as a protective measure to prevent strain on the server.

3. How do I access expired links?

Accessing expired links can be challenging as these links are usually time-bound or session-bound. If the link is from a reputable source, you might try reaching out to the person or organization that originally sent you the link. If it’s a web page that’s no longer available, you can try using the Wayback Machine or Google’s cached pages to view an older version of the page.

4. How do I fix a broken link on my website?

Fixing a broken link on your website involves identifying it first. You can use tools like Google Search Console, Broken Link Checker for WordPress, or online services like Dead Link Checker. Once identified, you can either correct the link if it was input incorrectly, replace it with a new valid link, or remove it altogether if it’s no longer necessary.

5. Why does the error occur when installing a theme or plugin?

The error “The link you followed has expired” typically occurs when installing a theme or plugin in WordPress due to file size restrictions. WordPress and its hosting providers set default limits on file upload sizes for security reasons and to maintain server performance. If the theme or plugin file exceeds this limit, WordPress will display this error. It can also happen due to server settings not being configured correctly.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines

Write A Comment