nginx - client_max_body_size has no effect

0 votes
asked Jan 13, 2010 by q-no

nginx keeps saying client intended to send too large body. Googling and RTM pointed me to client_max_body_size. I set it to 200m in the nginx.conf as well as in the vhost conf, restarted Nginx a couple of times but I'm still getting the error message.

Did I overlook something? The backend is php-fpm (max_post_size and max_upload_file_size are set accordingly).

8 Answers

0 votes
answered Jan 12, 2011 by rjha94

Please see if you are setting client_max_body_size directive inside http {} block and not inside location {} block. I have set it inside http{} block and it works

0 votes
answered Jan 17, 2012 by nembleton

Following nginx documentation, you can set client_max_body_size 20m ( or any value you need ) in the following context:

context: http, server, location
0 votes
answered Jan 28, 2012 by philippe-gerber

Had the same issue that the client_max_body_size directive was ignored.

My silly error was, that I put a file inside /etc/nginx/conf.d which did not end with .conf. Nginx will not load these by default.

0 votes
answered Jan 16, 2013 by jadik

NGINX large uploads are successfully working on hosted WordPress sites, finally (as per suggestions from nembleton & rjha94)

I thought it might be helpful for someone, if I added a little clarification to their suggestions. For starters, please be certain you have included your increased upload directive in ALL THREE separate definition blocks (server, location & http). Each should have a separate line entry. The result will like something like this (where the ... reflects other lines in the definition block):

http {
    client_max_body_size 200M;

(in my ISPconfig 3 setup, this block is in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file)

server {
    client_max_body_size 200M;

location / {
    client_max_body_size 200M;

(in my ISPconfig 3 setup, these blocks are in the /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf file)

Also, make certain that your server's php.ini file is consistent with these NGINX settings. In my case, I changed the setting in php.ini's File_Uploads section to read:

upload_max_filesize = 200M

Note: if you are managing an ISPconfig 3 setup (my setup is on CentOS 6.3, as per The Perfect Server), you will need to manage these entries in several separate files. If your configuration is similar to one in the step-by-step setup, the NGINX conf files you need to modify are located here:


My php.ini file was located here:


I continued to overlook the http {} block in the nginx.conf file. Apparently, overlooking this had the effect of limiting uploading to the 1M default limit. After making the associated changes, you will also want to be sure to restart your NGINX and PHP FastCGI Process Manager (PHP-FPM) services. On the above configuration, I use the following commands:

/etc/init.d/nginx restart
/etc/init.d/php-fpm restart
0 votes
answered Jan 2, 2014 by qorbani

You need to apply following changes:

  1. Update php.ini (Find right ini file from phpinfo();) and increase post_max_size and upload_max_filesize to size you want:

    sed -i "s/post_max_size =.*/post_max_size = 200M/g" /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini
    sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize =.*/upload_max_filesize = 200M/g" /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini```
  2. Update NginX settings for your website and add client_max_body_size value in your location, http, or server context.

    location / {
        client_max_body_size 200m;
  3. Restart NginX and PHP-FPM:

    service nginx restart
    service php5-fpm restart

NOTE: Sometime (In my case almost every time) you need to kill php-fpm process if it didn't refresh by service command properly. To do that you can get list of processes (ps -elf | grep php-fpm) and kill one by one (kill -9 12345) or use following command to do it for you:

ps -elf | grep php-fpm | grep -v grep | awk '{ print $4 }' | xargs kill -9
0 votes
answered Jan 16, 2014 by digitaltoast

Someone correct me if this is bad, but I like to lock everything down as much as possible, and if you've only got one target for uploads (as it usually the case), then just target your changes to that one file. This works for me on the Ubuntu nginx-extras mainline 1.7+ package:

location = /upload.php {
    client_max_body_size 102M;
    fastcgi_param PHP_VALUE "upload_max_filesize=102M \n post_max_size=102M";
0 votes
answered Jan 4, 2016 by j-j

As of March 2016, I ran into this issue trying to POST json over https (from python requests, not that it matters).

The trick is to put "client_max_body_size 200M;" in at least two places http {} and server {}:

1. the http directory

  • Typically in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

2. the server directory in your vhost.

  • For Debian/Ubuntu users who installed via apt-get (and other distro package managers which install nginx with vhosts by default), thats /etc/nginx/sites-available/, for those who do not have vhosts, it's probably your nginx.conf or in the same directory as it.

3. the location / directory in the same place as 2.

  • You can be more specific than /, but if its not working at all, i'd recommend applying this to / and then once its working be more specific.

Remember - if you have SSL, that will require you to set the above for the SSL server and location too, wherever that may be (ideally the same as 2.). I found that if your client tries to upload on http, and you expect them to get 301'd to https, nginx will actually drop the connection before the redirect due to the file being too large for the http server, so it has to be in both.

Recent comments suggest that there is an issue with this on SSL with newer nginx versions, but i'm on 1.4.6 and everything is good :)

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by nathan-xu

If you are using windows version nginx, you can try to kill all nginx process and restart it to see. I encountered same issue In my environment, but resolved it with this solution.

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