WordPress Automatic Update with 1and1

How to make the automatic update work with your WordPress blogs that are hosted on 1and1 shared servers. These are blogs that you set up yourself, not the blog that 1and1 can install for you.

The problem I was having was the update would start, and then just stop after a few seconds.


Then in my wp-content folder I would see a bunch of failed downloads. They were the update zip files with a 0 byte size.

The Solution:

Add the following lines to your .htaccess file in the root directory of your blog.

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

This will enable PHP version 5 + on your blog and then your update should take off.


The update to PHP 5 should also make your blog run a little faster and better.



  1. Neto says

    The php5 line does work – but wordpress seems to modify the htaccess file from time to time removing the line causing a server 500 error until I add the line back to the file.

    Anyone know a fix for this?

  2. says

    Dear Lord!

    I was having a problem upgrading from 2.8.3 to 2.8.4 until I found this post. I tried deactivating all the plugins – that didn’t work. I tried deleting some of the more hoggish plugins – that didn’t work. I thought about doing a manual upgrade – thought better of that :-) . Then I remembered that I had run into this problem before when trying to use the automatic upgrade functionality with WP 2.8. After searching for a while I found your blog and, yup, it worked again! Thanks.

  3. John says

    God bless you good sir. 1and1 is such a blessing and a curse.

    May your children be smart, average looking and not too full of themselves.

  4. says

    Thanks a lot for the info! It saved me countless hours contacting 1&1. I’d expect them to have PHP5 enabled by default or some info in their website regarding this issue. I can’t imagine the ammount of people using their own WP installations that have had this issue before…

    • bigw says

      You are right, it probably is about time they switched to php 5 as the default version, and then let users turn it down to php 4 instead of the other way around.

  5. says

    Superb! Thanks so much for sharing this tip. Just what I was looking for. Be even better if 1and1.com installed Fantastico, of course, but that’s just my wishing.

    • bigw says

      Thanks Andrew. 1and1 does not have Fantastico, but you can install a word press blog through their control panel, and they will take care of updates for you. However I believe the blog is limited to only certain plugins and themes, so it is probably not adequate for most users.

  6. says

    I emailed 1&1 support several times and got stupid responses. One guy didn’t understand and resulted to saying our server tools were done call back (must be standard De-da-dee response for I don;t know nothing!). After several days waiting I updated manually. Today I see email responses and they said to reinstall WP. BS response I’m running latest PHP & MySQL already luckily! Anyways Googled the magic phrase tonight and found this. Thank You! I suggested to 1&1 support to read this and put it in there FAQ’s for 1&1 WordPress support. I hope (but doubt) they’ll comprehend.

  7. says

    Done that. Now memory issues when uploading 400k pictures; plus auto-update to WP 2.9 fails with memory issues. Separately, cannot run Gallery3 because 1&1 server is using outdated Apache! Probably time to leave 1&1 for …?


    • says

      Andrew, yes I’ve had similar issues, also random 500 errors from time to time with 1and1

      I have some other sites hosted by hostgator and pair networks (where this site is as of now), both of them have been quite solid for me. Of course they might cost you a little more.

      Best of luck to you.

    • says

      .htaccess may not be on your server you can create one with notepad. it is something you use to change options in your folders.
      just open notepad and put in that line he said:
      AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

      then save as and instead of saving as .txt save as all files and simply put .htaccess in there as the name. thanks for the instructions on this it worked like a charm i was wonder why it wasnt working!

      • says


        Thanks, that is a good point, if you haven’t changed your permalinks or anything you may not have an .htaccess file

  8. says

    Amazing! After much grief, I finally did a Google search and found your post and followed the instructions. It worked great! Thanks! It also feels faster too!

  9. says

    Thanks for the post! I tried to update my wordpress over the weekend and left it going over night with nothing happening. Added this to my .htaccess and everything went good! (5sec update)

    • says

      Yes, that is the tricky part, it seems like it is working, but as you found out, you can wait all night with no progress.

  10. says

    OMG thank you SO much for this fix. I’ve been struggling with this issue for weeks. During the interim one of my PR 5 websites has been offline because I tried updating but had the wrong verson of php set up.


  11. says

    Thanks for the post. We enjoy 1and1.com but the upgrade in wordpress has been tough at times. For the one click update do we need to disable plugins before upgrading to wordpress 3.0?

    • says

      Rob, you do no have to disable all your plugins, however, it is recommended by WordPress.

      I usually do not disable my plugins, I have only run into issues a handful of times after probably hundreds of upgrades.

  12. says

    This really made my day. I was tired of updating everything by hand. (Although I didn’t copy and paste it the first time, I just typed it in and didn’t put the space before .php and got error messages. It took me about 5 minutes to realize what I did wrong.)

  13. says

    Hi, I just created the file with text edit, added the code, saved it and then I renamed it in Dreamweaver to “.htaccess” and uploaded it to the server. Now I am getting a 500 internal server error. Any suggestions. I was under the impression that 1and 1 did not support php 5.



  14. says

    Okay, I got it to start working but I get this message. “The update cannot be installed because WordPress 3.0.1 requires MySQL version 4.1.2 or higher. You are running version 4.0.27.”

    Thanks for any help,


    • says


      I would make a good backup of your database.

      Then go to your 1and1 control panel and create a new database and make sure it says MySQL version 5.

      Then do a database restore from your backup file to the new database you just created.

      Once that is complete, update your blog wp-config.php file with the new database.

  15. says

    Why it didnt work for me ?, after copy paste your code into my htaccess file, I get some error whenever I tried to login, it said it is related with something in my /wp-includes/plugin.php file? Could someone confirm if 1and1 is tested running wp 3.0.1 ?

    Actually I have tried other suggestion such as setting the temporary directory or manually add ftp info in my config file, but your suggestion is the most promising right now (seeing how much people confirm that it works)

    I am trying to rollback to previous version to see if your solution works now.

  16. Tyler Sand says

    Worked like a charm! Thanks for your help!

    I have WP 3.0.2 running on 1and1 and it is working great!

  17. Owen says

    This is the post that keeps on giving – add my thanks to the many before for the fix – worked like a charm

  18. says

    Thanks for this, I’ve just moved several blogs over to 1&1 and the non-automatic update was frustrating me, till I found your post.


  19. says

    Fantastic! Took me a bit to get hidden files to work with the Mac and Firefox FTP. After that, the update worked in seconds! Thanks a lot!

    • says

      No, you don’t want the file under logs. It should be file in the “root” directory of your blog.

      If you are not using permalinks, the file may not be there, you will have to create it.

  20. Elizabeth says

    Thanks so much! This has been bothering me for ever! It totally worked for me.

  21. says

    Thank you so so much. I have like 50 blogs on 1and1 and just by adding this line to my .htaccess once on each hosting package I was able to upgrade them all in a few minutes.

    Thanks a LOT

  22. says

    You are a star. You also have done a good job for 1&1. I was on the verge of moving all of my sites over to BlueHost because the WordPress support and upgrading process was so poor at 1&1.


  23. Chris Johns says

    I don’t even know what to say. I’ve been putting it in wordpress/.htaccess for a long time, and no dice. Now that I decided to read the directions more carefully, and put it in the ACTUAL root directory (instead of the root of /wordpress) it WORKS.

    You are the man. That is all.

  24. says

    Keep getting the following error:

    Warning: copy(/homepages/41/d369911849/htdocs/app369913502/wp-admin/includes/update-core.php) [function.copy]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /homepages/41/d369911849/htdocs/app369913502/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-direct.php on line 200
    Could not copy files.

    Installation Failed

  25. says

    Wow! Thank you soooo much! This worked great… makes our life so much easier! Thanks again, keep up the good work!