How to resolve PHPMyAdmin Import Database Timeout Error

Many users come across this error and look for a solution to resolve the PHPMyAdmin Import Database timeout.

Here, we will see how we can resolve this error.

Before looking for an error, first, we will check the reasons for database import timeouts in PHPMyAdmin:

  1. Insufficient Script Execution Time: PHP scripts have a default execution time limit, which might be too short for large imports.
  1. Limited PHP Memory: If the import process exceeds the allocated PHP memory, it can lead to timeouts.
  1. Large Database File Size: Importing very large database files can take longer than the allowed time, even with adequate settings.
  1. Slow Network Connection: A slow or unstable network connection can significantly impact import speed, potentially causing timeouts.
  1. PHPMyAdmin Session Timeout: PHPMyAdmin has its session timeout, which might expire before a large import completes.
  1. Server-Side Limitations: In some cases, hosting providers might have additional server-side timeouts or restrictions that could affect imports.
  2. Database Server Issues: Occasionally, issues with the database server itself (e.g., high load, resource constraints) can also contribute to timeouts.

Here are the steps on how to resolve a database import timeout in PHPMyAdmin:

  1. Increase PHP Script Execution Time:
  • Locate php.ini: Access this file through your hosting control panel or via SSH.

  • Modify max_execution_time: Find the max_execution_timedirective and increase its value (e.g., to 300 seconds):

Ini, TOML: max_execution_time = 300

  • or PHP-FPM: After saving the change, restart your web server to apply the new setting.

  1. Increase PHP Memory Limit:
  • Modify memory_limit: In the same php.ini file, find the memory_limitdirective and increase it if necessary (e.g., to 512MB):

Ini, TOML: memory_limit = 512M

  • Restart the server: Restart Apache or PHP-FPM again.
  1. Increase PHPMyAdmin Session Timeout:
  • Edit Open the inc.phpfile in the PHPMyAdmin directory.
  • Add session_gc_maxlifetime: Add or modify the following line, setting a longer timeout value (e.g., 3600 seconds):

PHP: $cfg[‘LoginCookieValidity’] = 3600;

  1. Optimize Database File Size (if possible):
  • Compress: If you have control over the database file, consider compressing it before importing it to reduce its size.
  • Remove unnecessary data: If you can, remove unnecessary tables or data to reduce the file size.
  1. Import in Chunks:
  • Split the file: If the database file is very large, split it into smaller chunks using tools like splitor gsplit.
  • Import each chunk: Import each chunk separately in PHPMyAdmin.
  1. Use Command-Line Import:
  • Access via SSH: If you have SSH access to your server, use the command-line mysqlclient to import the database:


mysql -u username -p database_name < /path/to/backup.sql

  • Replace placeholders: Replace username, database_name, and /path/to/backup.sqlwith your actual values.

  1. Contact Hosting Provider:

If you’re unable to resolve the issue with these steps, reach out to your hosting provider for assistance. They may have specific settings or tools to address import timeouts.

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