How to enable and disable PHP error messages

Last modified: Saturday August 13th, 2022


This article describes how to enable and disable PHP error messages by using the display_errors directive in a php.ini file.

This article assumes that you have already set up a custom php.ini file on your web site. If you have not already set up a custom php.ini file, please read this article first.

Error messages and the display_errors directive

By default, PHP displays error messages in a user’s web browser. This feature is very useful when you are initially developing and debugging your website. However, when website development is complete, displaying error messages can be a security risk. Error messages can reveal information about your website, such as path information and variables, that should be kept private.

The display_errors directive controls whether or not PHP displays error messages in users’ web browsers. To prevent PHP from displaying error messages, use a text editor to modify the display_errors directive in the php.ini file as follows:

display_errors = off

To allow PHP to display error messages, modify the display_errors directive in the php.ini file as follows:

display_errors = on
To verify the current value of the display_errors directive and other directives, you can use the phpinfo() function. For more information, please see this article.

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