I'm trying to update Craft, but I'm getting an error while updating stating it's not possible to make a database backup. I've therefore gone for the suggestion to revert back instead of pushing on. Back in the CMS now when I try to create a backup manually (utilities-> database backup) it tells me:

there was a problem backing up your database. Please check the logs.

I've done that and it says this:

2018-11-30 11:43:57 [-][1][-][error][yii\base\Exception] yii\base\Exception: Could not create backup: proc_open() has been disabled for security reasons in /home/bxrdvjsx/xxxxxx.de/vendor/craftcms/cms/src/controllers/UtilitiesController.php:382

Does anyone know how I can fix this? If it isn't obvious from my question I'm not very familiar with Craft and have inherited this website from the person who built it.


1 Answer 1


Your host has likely added proc_open to your php.ini file's disable_functions setting.

If you have access to it, you can remove it from that setting. If not, you'll have to ask your host to do it.

You can see that Craft requires the PHP proc_* methods to be able to perform some operations here: https://docs.craftcms.com/v3/requirements.html#optional-php-methods-and-configurations

  • Hi Brad, Thankfor your answer. I've contact hosting and they won't activate it because it's a shared hosting solution. Is the only solution changing hosts? Or is there something on my end I could do to circumvent this problem. Thanks in advance. Dec 3, 2018 at 9:24
  • 1
    For updating, you can set docs.craftcms.com/v3/config/config-settings.html#backuponupdate to false and just remember to manually make a backup. There will probably be other things that don't work though... like the Plugin Store.
    – Brad Bell
    Dec 3, 2018 at 16:08
  • Thanks again! I'll create backups manually before I update. Dec 7, 2018 at 6:52
  • Hi @BradBell, some hosting providers argue that this function has potential security risk so they won't enable it. So I wonder, what could potentially go wrong? I read this: php.net/manual/en/function.proc-open.php#67109, seems like it could only go wrong if data is from user input? But since it is required by Craft for sending emails, then the Contact Form plugin will need to use it to send emails and the data is probably from user input? How does Craft prevent the potential risk, or is there anything the hosting provider can do to have it enabled but also prevent the risk?
    – Wei
    Nov 1, 2019 at 2:02

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