How to Enable and Disable PHP Error Messages

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

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 for your web hosting account, 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

Note: To verify the current value of the display_errors directive and other directives, you can use the phpinfo() function.

MORE INFORMATION

To view a complete list of php.ini directives, please visit http://www.php.net/manual/en/ini.list.php.

For more information about the display_errors directive, please visit http://www.php.net/manual/en/errorfunc.configuration.php#ini.display-errors.

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