Are You Getting “The link you followed has expired” Error in WordPress?

Are You Getting “The link you followed has expired” Error in WordPress?

Receiving the message “The link you followed has expired” is a disheartening moment. The link expired? What does that mean? You’re not sure why the link you followed has expired, and the error message won’t tell you either.

Unfortunately, it happens all too often. On WordPress, you’ll receive this message when you attempt to upload a file over the size and/or execution limit of your server. Strange but true!

The message is no help in telling you why you’re getting it, which can be frustrating. For beginners especially, you’re often not sure what to do next. Luckily, in this article by our team at wpDataTables, you’ll be presented with a couple of easy solutions to fix this error.

Why am I seeing ‘The link you followed has expired’ error message?

The message, ‘the link you followed has expired,’ is most often received when you’re uploading either a WordPress plugin or theme.

With all standard WordPress installations, there is a server setting that limits the upload of files over a certain size. There is also a setting that prevents scripts from running for too long,causing any script that exceeds the limit to timeout.

This means that when you try to upload a file that’s over the size limit, or the upload takes too long, you’ll get an error message. This is the one that reads “the link you followed has expired”.

To find out the size of the upload limit, you can go to the Media section of the WordPress dashboard, then click ‘Add New’. At the bottom of this page, you will see the text: “Maximum upload file size: …”

The default file size limit is usually pre-configured at 2MB which is quite low, especially for WordPress theme uploads. In the following sections, we’ll show you how to change this to a higher value, as well as set a more reasonable script timeout limit.

How to Fix the Error

So, if the link expired, what do you do? The answer is clear —if the setting is too low, you need to increase the limit. Luckily, this is not too tricky to do, even for a beginner.

There’s more than one way of increasing the limit to avoid ‘the link you followed has expired’ message. Don’t get scared, but they all include adding some code. This isn’t as hard as it sounds —if you can copy and paste, then you have all the necessary skills.

At the same time, we’ll also be increasing the time your site allows a file to execute (in this case, how long it takes to upload a file, theme, or plugin).

We will provide a step by step guide, making this as easy as possible. Follow along and make sure you complete all the steps for the method you are attempting. Try the methods one at a time.

If a method doesn’t work you will need to undo what you did before trying a new method. This is important to make sure your website continues working smoothly.

Method 1: Change the functions.php file

The functions.php file is a core file for WordPress sites. Do remember that the file is linked to the theme you use. So, if you change your theme later, you’ll need to repeat this method to increase the upload size.

It’s a simple file to edit but if you’re considering a new theme, try a different method. Solve the ‘link you followed has expired’ error with the following steps.


  • Find the php file (either via FTP or inside your Admin dashboard at Appearance > Theme Editor)
  • Paste this code into it:
@ini_set( 'upload_max_size' , '100M' );

@ini_set( 'post_max_size', '100M');

@ini_set( 'max_execution_time', '300' );
  • Change upload_max_size and post_max_size in the above to the size required
  • Look at the max_execution_time and change it if it’s not long enough
  • Save changes
  • Check if the error still occurs

It might be tempting to make these limits massive but be careful as hackers can use this against you. If the timeout value is really high and they get into your website, they could run all sorts of dangerous, long-running scripts. In other cases, a bug might cause a script to take abnormally long to process, which can slow your site down to a standstill.

Method 2: Increase limits in the .htaccess file

It’s also possible to change the .htaccess file to solve your issue.

Here are the steps:

  • Find the.htaccess file (usually hidden in the root directory of your WordPress installation)
  • At the bottom, add this code:
php_value upload_max_filesize 128M

php_value post_max_size 128M

php_value max_execution_time 300

php_value max_input_time 300
  • Save the file
  • Check if the issue is resolved

Method 3: Edit the php.ini file

If you can’t find the functions.php or .htaccess files or don’t like to edit them, there’s another method. To solve the issue of “the link you followed has expired”message, you can edit the php.ini file, which contains settings for your server’s implementation of PHP.

Some shared website hosting companies don’t give access to the file, which may be a roadblock for you. If that’s the case for you, it’s best to contact your hosting provider directly.

If you’re sure you have access, you can perform the following steps:

  • Access the ini file using anFTP program
  • Create a backup copy before editing
  • Open the file and search for the following lines which are scattered throughout the file:





  • Preferably, edit them to the following values:
memory_limit = 256M

upload_max_filesize = 64M

upload_max_size = 64M

max_input_time = 1000

post_max_size = 64M

max_execution_time = 300

Method 4: Contact your hosting provider

You can always contact your host provider to change these settings. They’ll likely ask for a screenshot of the ‘the link you followed has expired’ message so ensure you take one when it happens. If you didn’t, you can recreate the error to get a screenshot.

You could also choose to send them an email explaining the issue. Request that they increase the limits of the following:







Try again to see if your file will now upload.

FAQ on ‘the link you followed has expired’ error

Why Do I Keep Getting “The Link You Followed Has Expired” in WordPress?

Oh man, isn’t that just a head-scratcher? So, you’re chilling, trying to get your WordPress thing on, and bam! This message pops up. Most of the time, it’s because the server’s running low on resources or the file you’re uploading is just too darn big.

You gotta check the PHP settings, like ‘upload_max_filesize’ and ‘post_max_size’. Pump those numbers up, and you might just fix the issue. It’s like giving your server a bit of an energy drink, you know?

What’s the Deal with WordPress Session Timeout?

Alright, let’s dive into this one. WordPress sessions, they’re like those short naps, but sometimes they’re just too short, and you get logged out. Now, that’s annoying! You might be working on something important, and you need that extra time.

It’s kinda like when you’re watching a show, and it asks if you’re still watching. Yeah, I am! So, you might want to increase the session timeout settings or use a plugin to keep you logged in longer. It’s all about making your life a little bit easier.

Is There a Quick Fix for This Expired Link Issue in WordPress?

You want the quick and dirty, huh? Alright, most of the time, this issue is about those PHP settings I talked about before. You go to your ‘php.ini’ file, and you change the ‘upload_max_filesize’ and ‘post_max_size’.

Make them bigger than the file you’re trying to upload. And don’t forget ‘max_execution_time’—give it some more seconds. It’s like tuning your car for a heavier load. Sometimes, you might need to talk to your hosting provider if you’re not able to do it yourself.

How Do I Prevent Link Expiration in WordPress in the First Place?

Oh, you’re thinking ahead! I like that. So, to stop this whole “link has expired” drama before it even starts, you gotta keep an eye on those PHP settings.

Make sure your server is beefy enough for what you’re doing. If you’re dealing with big files, make sure ‘upload_max_filesize’ and ‘post_max_size’ are up for the challenge. It’s a bit like packing for a trip; you gotta make sure your suitcase is big enough for all your stuff.

What Can I Do If I Can’t Change the PHP Settings?

Stuck, are we? Happens to the best of us. Now, if you can’t change the PHP settings directly, you might want to have a chat with your hosting provider.

They hold the keys to this kingdom and can make the necessary adjustments for you. Think of them as the wizards behind the curtain, making the magic happen. Just drop them a message, explain what’s going on, and they should be able to help you out.

Is This Expired Link Issue Common in All WordPress Themes?

So, you’re wondering if this issue is playing favorites, huh? Well, not really. This “link has expired” thing, it’s more about the server settings than the theme you’re using.

But hey, some themes are heavier than others, and if they require you to upload big files, you might run into this issue more often. It’s like different cars; they all need fuel, but some need more than others.

How Do I Extend the WordPress Link Expiration Time?

You want more time? I hear you. So, this isn’t about a setting in WordPress itself; it’s about those server settings again. You gotta go back to your ‘php.ini’ file and tweak the ‘session.gc_maxlifetime’ setting. This one’s a bit like setting a timer for your internet session.

You’re giving yourself more time before everything resets. Just don’t set it too high, or you might run into other issues.

What Does WordPress Expired Nonce Mean?

Oh, the mysterious nonce! So, a nonce in WordPress is like a secret handshake. It’s there to keep things secure.

But sometimes, if you take too long or there’s a glitch, the handshake doesn’t work, and you get an expired nonce error. It’s like trying to enter a club with an old ticket. You gotta refresh and try again. It’s all about keeping things in sync.

How Can I Resolve the WordPress Session Issues?

Dealing with session issues, huh? Alright, first, make sure your PHP settings are on point. If you’re on a shared hosting, you might need to ask your provider to give you a hand.

And you know, it might just be a plugin causing trouble. So, try deactivating your plugins, one by one, and see if that fixes it. It’s like playing detective; you gotta find the culprit.

What to Do If I See a WordPress Expired Link Notice?

So, you’ve got the expired link notice staring you in the face, huh? Don’t sweat it. First thing’s first, check the file size you’re trying to upload. If it’s a big boy, you need to increase your PHP limits.

And hey, make sure you’re on a stable internet connection. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. And if all else fails, hit up your hosting provider; they should be able to sort you out.

Ending thoughts on fixing ‘the link you followed has expired’ error

Remember that if you get truly stuck, that’s what your hosting provider is there for. You can ask them to help if you have any serious issues. Luckily, as you can tell by the methods above, it’s very possible to fix this error all by yourself.

Whether you’re new to this or quite experienced, getting stressed about an error message like ‘the link you followed has expired’ is quite natural. However, with WordPress, there are plenty of ways to find out how to solve any error you might encounter.

Before delving into any steps that involve editing core files like functions.php, .htaccess, or php.ini, it’s advised that you backup your website, so that if you have a real issue you’ve got an error-free copy. This would only be used in an emergency, but it’s good to have there just in case.

If you enjoyed reading this article on “the link you followed has expired”, you should check out this one about WordPress plugin update failed.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like how to fix sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons, how to fix the site is experiencing technical difficulties, how to fix installation failed, could not create directory,  WordPress links not working and how to fix “your connection is not private”.

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