How to Fix the "Currently Unable To Handle This Request" Error
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How to Fix the “Currently Unable To Handle This Request” Error

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Running into the 500 – Internal Server Error is not an unusual complication. In fact, the 'currently unable to handle this request' is among the most common issues encountered.

At first, it may not be easy to identify the reason for the error. This article presents some possible causes and tips on how to fix the problem.

Possible Causes

 

There is no direct answer to what could be the cause of the error. The HTTP 500 message states that the server can’t handle the request because of an unexpected condition.

The problem may lie in browser cache, third-party themes and plugins, or PHP memory limit. It could also be due to a broken .htaccess file.

Problems with file and folder permissions could also prevent the operation from completing.

Some possible causes of the issue include:

  • Browser cache problem
  • Broken files in the WordPress installation
  • Database server problems
  • Plugin issue
  • Theme issue
  • Broken .htaccess file
  • File and folder permission
  • Exceeded PHP memory limit
  • PHP timeout
  • Fatal PHP errors with third-party plugins
  • Broken WordPress core files
  • WordPress database corrupted
  • Incorrect database login credentials

Do not hesitate or wait for too long before fixing it. In fact, it’s best to resolve this 500- Internal server error issue asap.

If not, it could have a negative impact on your Google ranking.

The 500 error occurs when the application is incorrectly configured or is due to server instability.

The server error affects access to your site. Unfortunately, search engines favor well-maintained pages.

The reoccurrence of the error can lead to a significant decrease in pages crawled by day. This will affect your SEO.

So try to fix the problem before Google takes action. Here are some tips on how to restore a website when experiencing the ‘unable to handle this request’ error.

Go to the Error Log

The error log can help to identify what the problem is. It keeps track of errors and records them.

By accessing the file, users can quickly see what went wrong.

If checking the error log isn’t possible, then use the WordPress debugging mode. Debugging enables users to find bugs - errors and failures - and remove them.

Do this by inserting the following code into the wp-config.php file:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
Logs are usually found in the /wp-content directory.

Page Refresh

 

Before digging deeper to find out what happened, try to wait and refresh the page. The problem could be a temporary host or server overload.

A temporary timeout can occur after updating a plugin or theme on your site. This is not a serious problem though.

Usually a page reload helps to get the site running again. Opening the site in a different browser could also fix the problem.

Modify the PHP Memory Limit

The 500 Internal server error can also occur when users exceed the PHP memory limit. Users may run into this problem when logging in or uploading media to wp-admin.

By upgrading the PHP memory, it increases the amount of memory one PHP process can use. After that, reload the page to check if the problem resolves.

Users can change the PHP memory limit either by using a constant, or by creating a blank file.

Editing the wp-coding file

 

Users can modify the PHP memory limit by editing the wp-coding file.

First, locate the wp-config.php file in the WordPress root directory. Next, find a file called WP_MEMORY_LIMIT and enter the value of '64M'.

Alternatively, change the PHP memory limit to 64M by typing the following:

 
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');

Create a ‘php.ini’ blank file

 

This process follows these steps:

  • Create a blank text file called php.ini
  • Insert the following code: memory=64MB
  • Save the file and upload it into the /wp-admin/ folder using FTP

Note that this is not a permanent solution and you still need to find the root cause of the problem. Analyze the resource usage with different plugins on and off.

Fixing Corrupted .htaccess File

 

The .htaccess file contains instructions for the website's server. It is a configuration file and it's located in the WordPress root directory.

The 'currently unable to handle this request' message can point to an error in this file.

To access the .htaccess file in WordPress, it’s necessary to connect to the website through FTP. Then go to the root directory, where the wp-admin and wp-content files are.

The .htaccess file should be also listed there. If you can’t find the .htaccess file in the root folder, it may not exist yet.

If it is there, the next step is to rename the file to .htaccess_old. Then, to recreate this file re-save the permalinks in WordPress.

This new .htaccess file will contain proper rewrite rules. Finally, go to the site and check if the error has been resolved.

Disable Plugins

 

The 500 Internal Server Error is often caused by a third party plugin. To test if this is the cause of the problem, disable all your plugins.

Don't worry about losing any data.

It’s possible to deactivate the plugins through the wp-admin dashboard. Select Plugins and 'deactivate'.

Then reload the site and check if it works.

If the site is back on, turn the plugins on one by one and check how each of them affects the site. When the 500 Error appears again it's caused by the last reactivated plugin.

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If it’s not possible to access the wp-admin dashboard, connect via FTP to the server. Locate the plugins folder and change the name to plugins_old or plugins_testing.

This will disable the plugins. After that, reload the site to see if the error has disappeared.

If the site is running, change the name to 'plugins' again and then test each plugin one by one. Once you find the faulty plugin, delete it, replace it or contact the developer.

Deactivate the Theme

 

Another cause of the 500 Internal Server Error could lie in the customized site theme. Users can deactivate it when they rename it.

Then refresh the site to check if it's working again. Another option is to switch the theme to the default WordPress theme and try reloading the page.

If using a child theme, try to deactivate the parent theme.

WordPress Core Files Reinstallation

 

If the core files are corrupted, users can fix this error by reinstalling them. It's important to create a backup before starting.

This step won't affect the plugins or themes.

The process starts by going to the WordPress site and downloading the latest version of WP. This will create a ZIP file.

Once downloaded, extract all its content to the computer. Then delete the wp-content folder.

 

Next, access the host via FTP and upload the wp-includes and wp-admin files to the root folder. Overwrite the existing target file.

This will overwrite all of the core WordPress files without affecting any of the themes or plugins.

Now return to the site and check if it's working.

Seek Professional Help

 

The tips and solutions suggested in this article should resolve the most common problems that lead to the HTTP 500 Error.

But if none of it works, you should contact the web hosting provider. An expert can check the server logs and provide the right help.

It can be due to a server issue, such as PHP timing out or fatal PHP errors with third-party plugins. It will be difficult to fix these errors without the assistance of the host.

Ending thoughts on the currently unable to handle this request error

There are several factors that can cause the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress. It is an issue that requires quick action because it can affect your ranking on Google.

The easiest and quickest steps to take are to refresh the page, check error logs, and clear the browser cache.

If this doesn't help, see if there is a problem with the theme or plugins. You can also modify the PHP memory limit and file and folder permissions.

Sometimes it may be necessary to recreate the .htaccess file or re-upload the WordPress core files.

In other cases don't hesitate to ask the web host for assistance.

If you enjoyed reading this article on how to fix the "currently unable to handle this request" error, you should check out this one about how to fix the WordPress parse error.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like WordPress failed to import media, how to fix the parse error syntax error unexpected, WordPress missed schedule, fixing sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons, how to fix the link you followed has expired and how to fix an error occurred while processing this directive.

Albert Ślusarczyk
Albert Ślusarczyk
As the co-creator of Be Theme, I am a strong believer in designing with care and patience. I pour my energy, time & knowledge into perfecting the theme for our 230,000+ customers.

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