The PHP settings defined in your php.ini file are not recursive. What this means is that they do not modify settings in any child folders (which are subdirectories of the current directory).

Still confused, here's an example.

Let's say you have a php.ini file in your public_html folder. That php.ini file has the PHP memory_limit set to 256M. Only scripts that run directly in your public_html folder will have the memory_limit set to 256M. If you have a folder named public_html/employees, that "employees" folder will not be affected by the public_html/php.ini file, it would only be affected by a php.ini file located in its own folder, public_html/employees

If you have many folders, creating a php.ini file for each folder would be quite tedious. What you can do is update your .htaccess to tell the server that the public_html/php.ini file should apply not only to public_html, but to any folders within that folder (such as public_html/employees or public_html/about-us).

Updating your suPHP_ConfigPath value in your .htaccess file

Making your php.ini file affect all child folders as well is referred to as making the file "recursive". To make your public_html/php.ini file recursive, edit (or create the file if it doesn't exist) your public_html/.htaccess file and add the following code:

suPHP_ConfigPath /home/username/public_html

This line you entered is specifying the directory where the php.ini is located that you want to make recursive. Be sure to replace username with your cPanel username.

This change is immediate, so you should see the update right away.

Testing your changes

After saving the changes, be sure to create a phpinfo page in one of your subdirectories and test the results. When looking at your phpinfo page, the "Loaded Configuration File" should reflect the php.ini file that you wanted to make recursive.

Important! If you add the recursive path to your php.ini and you get an error like the following, it is because the PHP version is not being rendered correctly.

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'Zend_Db_Adapter_Exception' with
message 'The PDO extension is required for this adapter but the
extension is not loaded' in
Stack trace: #0
Zend_Db_Adapter_Pdo_Abstract->setFetchMode(2) #1
Zend_Db_Adapter_Abstract->__construct(Array) #2
Zend_Db::factory('pdo_mysql', Array) #3
Enlight_Components_Db::factory('pdo_mysql', Array) #4 [internal
function]: Shopware_Bootstrap->initDb() #5
call_user_func(Array) #6
Enlight_Bootstrap->loadResource('Db') #7 /home/userna5/public_html/
on line 342 

AddHandler in htaccessThis is common with those who are using the PHP version switcher. To fix this error, check your .htaccess file in your home directory. Make sure the correct AddHandler is in the .htaccess and is not commented out. In the image to the right, the php 5.4 AddHandler is shown. If you are unable the fix this error please contact tech support and we can look at it for you.

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Menu limit still on 1000 items after increased max_input_vars to 6000
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2012-10-25 9:51 am
What if you are using FastCGI, not suPHP?
9,968 Points
2012-10-25 11:53 am
Hello 3abnwebmaster, thanks for the great question.

It didn't look like we had any information published on this particular topic, so I've gone ahead and created a new article for you explaining the process here:

Custom php.ini file per user with FastCGI

Please let us know if you have any further questions at all.

- Jacob
2012-10-25 12:17 pm
Thanks, that article was helpful. I came to this article from another one,, in the section with the subtitle, "I made changes to the php.ini file, however I do not see the changes!" Perhaps you would want to add some copy there, to direct people to this article if they use suPHP, and to the other article if they use FastCGI.
n/a Points
2014-06-12 2:03 am

Thanks, this article helped me solve a loss of menus (dropped entries > ~80) in WordPress.  This is a documented limitation.  I changed the max_input_vars to 5000 but did not see the effect until I made php.ini recursive.

n/a Points
2014-09-04 3:50 pm
Thanks very much
n/a Points
2014-09-22 4:24 am

This does not work anymore with opencart. It will not send order emails.

Renamiong the php.ini to something else like php.ini.OLD solves the order email issue but it makes the backend solw and the site unstable.

23,972 Points
2014-09-22 7:17 am
Hello Sam,

The php.ini file is not made to work specifically with any CMS or program. It is simply a file where you are able to modify php settings for your account if the program or CMS you are running needs them. Simply, it is a way you can make changes that would otherwise need to be made on the server.

You may want to contact Live Support so they can provide you a copy of the most current server version of php.ini. Then you are able to go in and make any changes OpenCart may need.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M

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