How To Fix Your PHP Installation Appears to Be Missing the MySQL Extension Required by WordPress

Have you encountered the frustrating message, “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress”? If so, you’re not alone.

This error can be bewildering, especially for those diving into the world of web development or managing WordPress websites for the first time.

Fear not, as in this guide, we’ll walk you through the causes of this issue and provide step-by-step solutions to get your WordPress site back up and running smoothly.

Understanding the Error

Before delving into the solutions, let’s dissect what this error message means. WordPress, like many other content management systems (CMS),

relies heavily on PHP to communicate with its database, usually MySQL. The error indicates that PHP is unable to find the MySQL extension it needs to interact with the MySQL database server.

1. Check Your PHP Version.

Before delving into troubleshooting the MySQL extension error in WordPress, it’s crucial to ascertain which version of PHP your WordPress site is currently running. This can be done in two ways:

  • If you’re able to access your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Tools > Site Health. Under Site Health Status, WordPress will display your PHP version along with any recommendations for updates.

How to Fix the WordPress MySQL Extension Error: Checking PHP Version via WordPress Dashboard

  • Alternatively, if you’re unable to log in to your WordPress dashboard, you can still determine your PHP version by accessing your website through an FTP client.

How to Fix the WordPress MySQL Extension Error: Checking PHP Version via FTP

  1. Log in to your server using Filezilla or another FTP client.
  2. Open the public_html folder, which serves as the root directory of your WordPress site.
  3. Create a new file named phpinfo.php.
  4. Edit the phpinfo.php file and insert the following code snippet:
  5. Save the file and load it in your browser by appending /phpinfo.php to your website’s URL (e.g.,
  6. Once the page loads, you’ll find comprehensive information about your PHP settings, including the version currently in use, prominently displayed at the top.

Based on the PHP version identified, you can proceed accordingly:
If your PHP version begins with "7", it's advisable to update your WordPress software, and you can proceed to step 2.
However, if your PHP version is still within the 5.X range, it's likely that the MySQL extension is missing, prompting the need to follow step 4 for resolution.

    2. Update WordPress

    If you’re using PHP 7 or higher alongside an outdated version of WordPress, encountering the MySQL extension error is quite common.

    This occurs because PHP 7.0 deprecated the MySQL extension that older WordPress versions rely on. To resolve this issue, updating your WordPress installation is the simplest solution.

    Newer versions of WordPress utilize different database extensions, such as PDO_MySQL or MySQLi, eliminating the occurrence of this error. Therefore, it’s essential to check for and install any available updates for WordPress.

    If you’re still able to access your WordPress dashboard, follow these steps to check for updates:

    • Navigate to Dashboard > Updates.
    • If you see a message indicating that an updated version of WordPress is available, click on “Update Now.”
    • Additionally, you can select Dashboard > Updates again and click “Update all” if this option is presented.

    However, if you’re unable to log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll need to update the software via an FTP client. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

    1. Download the latest WordPress .zip file from the official WordPress website.
    2. Extract the contents of the .zip file.
    3. Log in to your site’s server using an FTP client.
    4. Navigate to the wp-content folder.
    5. Right-click on the plugins folder and rename it to “plugins.hold.” This action temporarily deactivates your plugins.
    6. Delete the wp-includes and wp-admin folders.
    7. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin folders from the extracted .zip file to your server.
    8. Upload individual files from the new wp-content folder to replace the corresponding files in your existing wp-content folder. Overwrite only the existing files with the new ones.
    9. Upload all new loose files to your public_html folder, which serves as your WordPress root directory.
    10. Rename the “plugins.hold” file back to “plugins.”
    11. Your WordPress installation should now be updated. To confirm, visit your /wp-admin page. You may need to log in again. Once logged in, you should no longer see an update option for the WordPress core in your dashboard.

    Ensuring your WordPress installation is up to date not only resolves the MySQL extension error but also enhances security and performance while providing access to the latest features and improvements.

    3. Update Your Plugins

    Much like outdated core software, obsolete plugins can trigger compatibility issues with PHP, leading to the MySQL extension error. To mitigate this, it’s essential to ensure that all your plugins are running their latest versions.

    If you can still access your WordPress dashboard, you can easily check and update your plugins directly from there:

    1. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard.
    2. Select Plugins > Installed Plugins.
    3. Review the list of installed plugins for any updates available. If updates are available, you’ll see a notification prompting you to update each plugin individually or collectively.
    4. Click on “Update Now” for each plugin with available updates.

    If you’re unable to log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll need to update any outdated plugins manually via an FTP client. Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Download the .zip file for the plugin you wish to update from the official WordPress plugin repository or the plugin developer’s website.
    2. Extract the contents of the downloaded .zip file to your local computer.
    3. Log in to your site’s server using an FTP client.
    4. Navigate to the wp-content folder.
    5. Within the wp-content folder, locate and open the plugins folder.
    6. Identify the folder corresponding to the plugin you intend to update and delete it.
    7. Return to the extracted plugin folder on your local computer, right-click it, and select “Upload.”
    8. Using the FTP client, upload the entire plugin folder from your local computer to the plugins directory on your server.

    By following these steps, you ensure that your plugins are up to date, reducing the likelihood of encountering compatibility issues with PHP and resolving any MySQL extension errors associated with outdated plugins. Regularly updating your plugins is crucial for maintaining the security, functionality, and performance of your WordPress site.

    4. Verify MySQL Extension Installation

    If you’re running an older version of PHP (5.6 or lower), the MySQL extension might not be installed, leading to the MySQL extension error. To confirm whether the extension is installed, you can refer back to the phpinfo.php file created earlier.

    1. Access phpinfo.php File: Navigate back to the phpinfo.php file that you loaded in your browser during step one.
    2. Locate “Client API Library Version”: Look for the row labeled “Client API library version.” You should see a four-digit number separated by dots.
    1. Check for the Row: If you cannot locate the row labeled “Client API library version,” it indicates that the MySQL extension is not installed on your server.
    2. Solution: In such a scenario, you have a couple of options:
      • Contact Hosting Provider: Reach out to your hosting provider and request them to install the MySQL extension for you. They should be able to assist you in installing the necessary extension.
      • Update PHP Version: Alternatively, consider updating the PHP version your site is running on. By updating to a newer version of PHP (preferably PHP 7 or higher), you won’t require the MySQL extension, as newer versions of PHP utilize different database extensions like PDO_MySQL or MySQLi.
    3. Delete phpinfo.php File: Once you’ve completed the verification process, it’s essential to delete the phpinfo.php file. Since this file contains sensitive information about your server configuration, including PHP settings, you don’t want it accessible to unauthorized users. Deleting the file ensures that it cannot be exploited by malicious actors to gain unauthorized access to your server.

    5. Verify PHP Extension Configuration

    In some cases, even if you’re running the latest versions of PHP and WordPress, the PHP extension might be misconfigured, leading to the “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress” error. To troubleshoot this, follow these steps:

    1. Access phpinfo.php File: Navigate back to the phpinfo.php file that you loaded in your browser during step one.
    2. Locate “Loaded Configuration File”: Look for the row labeled “Loaded Configuration File.” This row displays the file path of the loaded php.ini configuration file.
    3. Find “extension_dir”: Next, locate the row labeled “extension_dir.” This row specifies the directory where PHP extensions are stored.
    1. Compare Values: Compare the values of “Loaded Configuration File” and “extension_dir.” If they do not match, it indicates a misconfiguration.
    2. Edit php.ini File: To resolve the misconfiguration, you need to edit the php.ini file. Replace the value of “extension_dir” with the file path listed for “Loaded Configuration File.”
    3. Save Changes: After making the necessary changes, save the php.ini file.
    4. Restart Web Server: To apply the changes, restart your web server. This ensures that the updated configuration takes effect.

    By ensuring that the PHP extension is configured correctly, you can resolve the MySQL extension error and ensure the smooth functioning of your WordPress site. Misconfigurations in PHP can lead to various issues, so it’s essential to regularly review and adjust your configuration settings as needed.


    Encountering the “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension” error can be frustrating, but with the right approach, it’s entirely manageable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to diagnose the issue and resolve it effectively.

    Remember, maintaining a well-configured server environment is crucial for the smooth operation of your WordPress site. Regularly updating PHP, monitoring extensions, and staying informed about compatibility requirements will help prevent such errors in the future.

    If you’re still facing difficulties after trying the solutions provided here, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from forums, online communities, or professional developers. With patience and persistence, you’ll conquer this error and keep your WordPress site running flawlessly.