How to Change the PHP Version for a Specific Directory

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This guide describes how to set the PHP version for a specific directory. Usually, when you set the PHP version in cPanel using the PHP Selector, that version is used for the entire account. However, if you want to use a different PHP version in a specific directory, you can do so by following the instructions below:

Changing the PHP Version for a Directory

To change the PHP version for a specific directory, start by:

  1. Using your preferred text editor, create a file named .htaccess in the directory where you want to use a different PHP version.
  2. Copy the following text:<FilesMatch “.(php4|php5|php3|php2|php|phtml)$”>
    SetHandler application/x-httpd-alt-phpXX___lsphp
  3. Replace XX with the PHP version you want to use in the directory. You can use any PHP version that is listed in the cPanel PHP Selector. For example, to enable PHP 8.1, you would type SetHandler application/x-httpd-alt-php81___lsphp. (Make sure you do not include the period in the version number. For example, for PHP version 7.4, type 74.)
  4. Paste the modified text into the .htaccess file.
  5. Save the .htaccess file. The new PHP version takes effect immediately.


To verify the new configuration, create a PHP file that runs the phpinfo() function. Load the file in your web browser, and confirm the PHP version.

If you enabled additional PHP extensions for the default PHP version in cPanel, check the output from the phpinfo() function and confirm that the extensions have also been loaded for the custom PHP version in the directory. If the extensions have not been loaded, please open a support ticket from your client area and we will resolve the issue for you.  You can also contact us for inquiries regarding anything else.

That’s it!