Support » Plugin: Wordfence Security - Firewall & Malware Scan » CPU Usage Reached 100% After Updating to 7.0.1

  • Resolved Amar Ilindra


    This update killed my website.
    I’m using Wordfence from last 1 year but today I have to uninstall it.

    After updating the Wordfence to 7.0.1, I immediately noticed my webpages and wp-admin is taking more time to load.

    Sometimes, I’m getting error establishing the database connection and sometimes 500 errors.

    I checked my CPU usage and it is using 100% of CPU.
    I connected to SSH and run htop command to monitor the CPU usage in real-time

    It shows I’m using maximum CPU all of a sudden

    I strated debugging

    1. Traffic – No major change
    2. Apache logs – Nothing unusual
    3. Error logs – Nothing unusual
    4. MySQL logs – Nothing unusual

    So I tried deactiving the Wordfence plugin, but I can’t reach my site. I started getting error establishing database connection. I tried on multiple browsers and devices, still no luck.

    Realtime stats of Google analytics shows 0

    I connected to FTP and renamed wordfence to wordfence-old in plugins folder and everything comes to normal instantly.

    CPU usage went to 30% in 2 minutes after deactivating the plugin, I can access the website without any errors and real time in Google Analytics starts growing.

    I noticed a lot of issues in WordPress forum too. Hope you guys fix the issues.

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • I’ve tried updating to 7.0.1 on two of my client’s sites and have had to roll back to the previous version because of 500 errors.

    i liked the previous one much better too. How do you switch to the previous one??


    You can download the older versions here

    After downloading, extract the zip file and upload the extracted folder to wp-content/plugins via FTP.

    Now login to WordPress and activate the plugin.

    Hi Amar!
    I couldn’t pinpoint any change that was made in version 7.0.1 and could cause such CPU behavior you have on your server and we didn’t get similar reports after that specific release.

    It could be a theme or plugin conflict that caused this issue, so it would be great if you can disable other installed plugins and reverting back to the default WordPress theme -temporarily- and re-check this issue, some hosts can provide staging servers for testing purposes, that would be very helpful as I understand you don’t want to debug this issue on your live website.

    Let me know how it goes,

    Hi @wfalaa

    I spent entire one day debugging the issue and I concluded Wordfence is the reason for 100% CPU usage.

    You said, “

    we didn’t get similar reports after that specific release.

    This is not true, I have seen few threads in support claiming they had issues with site performance and speed issues after updating the plugin


    In this same thread @kendawes said, he is seeing 500 errors after updating the plugin.

    I don’t think I’m the only one facing this problem.

    Note: I downloaded the old version and uploaded it using FTP. No problems found. Then I updated the plugin, the problem started instantly.

    Hi Amar!
    I appreciate the time you spent in debugging this issue and I do respect your analysis results, but let me clarify my point again:

    – The performance issue turned out to be a theme related problem in the second thread you linked to here.
    – I didn’t notice the first thread since it was published after your thread, I’ll be looking into this thread as well, but trust me if there was a performance issue in the update, you would see more than two threads here on the forums since the plugin has more than 2 million active installs.
    – Having “server error 500” might be a dozen of things, checking the server error log file would be my first step in this case, @kendawes please open a new support thread regarding this issue.

    Now, back to CPU issue you have, I understand when you deactivate Wordfence everything appears to be normal, it could be a broken update/installation on your website or something abnormal within your server environment configuration, since you can’t access the dashboard after activating Wordfence, please try the following:
    – With Wordfence plugin deactivated, install “Wordfence Assistant” plugin.
    – Click on “Delete all Wordfence Data and Tables” button in Wordfence assistant plugin.
    – Delete Wordfence directory via FTP.
    – Reinstall Wordfence via WordPress Dashboard and re-check this issue.

    Let me know how it goes,

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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