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PhpMyAdmin – incorrect format parameter error

PhpMyAdmin is a free software tool written in PHP which is intended to handle MySQL or MariaDB database server management.

Some of our users were approached us for getting this “PhpMyAdmin incorrect format parameter error” while importing the database backup file using PhpMyAdmin.

Causes of the PhpMyAdmin incorrect format parameter error

  • A script is running more than the defined maximum execution time.
  • If the requested data exceed the defined limit.
  • If the script needs more memory than the assigned memory value.
  • The case when the size of the post data goes higher than the maximum post data size range.
  • When the size of the backup file is more than the maximum file size limit.
  • When the MySQL database is corrupted.

How to fix the issue?

  1. Increase the PHP limits

If your PHP parameters like upload maximum file size, maximum execution time, memory limit, etc. are not enough to handle the current upload issue. Then you need to increase the PHP limits in the php.ini file.

The php.ini file location can be varied for different servers.

You can find the php.ini loading path by creating a PHP info file in the webroot of the domain.

If your domain’s (Eg: document root is the /home/user/www, then create a file named info.php with the below content.

cd /home/user/www/
vim info.php
<?php phpinfo(); ?>

You can access this file by http or From here you can get the php.ini file loading path location (Loaded configuration file directive).

So from this, you can edit the php.ini file, in our case, the path is “/etc/php.ini”. You need to change the given values accordingly based on your requirements.

max_execution_time = 3000
max_input_time = 600
memory_limit = 128M
post_max_size = 100M
upload_max_filesize = 100M

If you do not have access to the php.ini file, you can edit the settings in the .htaccess file also (in case of using an apache webserver).

php_value max_execution_time = 3000
php_value max_input_time = 600
php_value memory_limit = 128M
php_value post_max_size = 100M
php_value upload_max_filesize = 100M

Restart Apache service in the server for reflecting the changes done.

service httpd restart
service apache2 restart

If the issue still persists then we need to change the execution time parameter in the phpMyAdmin configuration file.

The file name is “” and for the cPanel servers the file location will be “/usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/phpMyAdmin/”.

$cfg['ExecTimeLimit'] = 2000

Always try to keep the backup of the editing file before doing any changes.

2. Corrupted SQL

If sometimes the issue occurs due to corrupted SQL scripts, you can replace the current database file with the latest SQL backup available.

3. Manual import of Database backup using SSH

If none of the above solutions worked, you can import the backup of the database using the SSH option.

mysql -u user -p database < backup_file.sql

No need to be stuck with the issue, our technical team is available 24/7 time to give support.

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