I have a huge taxonomy vocabulary (over 5k terms) and I'm using a shared hosting account.

Whatever I try to delete the vocabulary from drupal I get the error

Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /home/username/public_html/drupal_site/includes/database/database.inc on line 2179

Anyway after looking online I found that with shared hosting I can't change the max_execution_time .

My next bet is to delete it from the database level in phpmyadmin.

How would I go about doing that? Are there any other ways for me to accomplish what I'm trying?

2 Answers 2


You could also download and install the site / database on a local machine, delete the terms, and then restore the updated database using the 'backup and migrate' module. That way you would have full control of php.ini settings.

  • This is smarter than my answer as my answer won't always work. Is there a quick way to do that tho?
    – qwertymk
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 10:37
  • Well, if '10 min setup' can be considered 'quick.' I use a shared environment as well where I cannot control the php.ini values. To make large updates like that, I keep a mirrored copy of the Drupal site installed on my local server / computer, where I do my development. If you install 'back up and migrate' module, you can backup the live site database and download it easily. Restore the local Drupal installation, make the changes, back them up, and restore them to the live server. On your local server set php.ini execution and memory to whatever you need, and voila, no problem!
    – blue928
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 9:54
  • What happens if in the meantime something is updated on the production server?
    – cherouvim
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 9:01
  • @cherouvim Since Drupal has a maintenance mode, I'd reocmmend doing this at an hour when the site is least trafficked, put it in maintenance mode, do the updates, and bring the live site back online after the updated db is restored. If I remember correctly I believe there are a couple plugins out there that put the site in maintenance mode, but still allow content to be read, but disallow adding or editing content. Could be something to look into if you're worried about your site being down.
    – blue928
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 9:26
  • Yes, but some sites can't aford to be down for updates.
    – cherouvim
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 10:01

It seems that disabling the Pathauto module does the trick.

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