Invalid license file: cPanel & WHM

During a cPanel update, web hosting users may get the following warning:

“Invalid license file: cPanel & WHM cannot verify your license during the upgrade process. Wait five minutes, and then try again.”
To access the interface, you must install the license and ensure that the license is active.

This server does not have a valid license. To address this issue, you must contact your hosting provider.

After you successfully activate the license, try login again in a few minutes the page and the message will no longer display.

This does not represent an issue on the server – it only means there is an outgoing update on the server. As the message suggests, wait 5-10 minutes and try to access your cPanel account again.

cpanel - invalid license file

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How to enable/disable ModSecurity for your domains in cPanel

In the latest versions of cPanel, you have the ability to disable/enable ModSecurity from your cPanel account.

Notice that you may not have this option enabled in cPanel. Ask your host.

ModSecurity, sometimes called Modsec, is a popular Open-source Web application firewall (WAF). Originally designed as a module for the Apache HTTP Server, it has evolved to provide an array of Hypertext Transfer Protocol request and response filtering capabilities along with other security features across a number of different platforms including Apache HTTP Server, Microsoft IIS and NGINX. It is a free software released under the Apache license 2.0.


cpanel modsecurity

To disable/enable ModSecurity in cPanel:

  1. Go to and log in
  2. Navigate to Security section, look for ModSecurity option
  3. Here you can Disable/Enable ModSecurity for all domains.
    Or, you can choose an individual domain on which to disable/enable ModSecurity. Click the On/Off button.
    When you disable ModSecurity, a notice will be shown:

    Warning: ModSecurity is disabled for one or more of your domains. Only disable ModSecurity while you troubleshoot a problem with your configuration. Without ModSecurity enabled, your domains lose the extra layer of protection that the module provides.

Check our video on this:

If you have any questions, please comment below. We answer to all comments.
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Can I limit bandwidth usage for a subdomain on cPanel?

cPanel doesn’t offer an explicit option to limit the bandwidth usage for a subdomain.

Anyway, you can use a workaround for this situation. You(or your host) can create a separate cPanel account for the subdomain. Having a cPanel account for the subdomain will allow you to set a bandwidth usage limit for it. Like 20000MB, 2000GB etc. (Yes, it’s possible to create cPanel accounts for subdomains.)

If you are processing all requests via a single script, you can limit the bandwidth usage based on site visits. This will not be very accurate.

Related KB article: Use different cPanel accounts for main domain and subdomains

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Migration to cPanel

cPanel is considered one of the best web hosting control panels. If you are using other control panels (like Odin Plesk, DirectAdmin, VestaCP etc) you may consider switching to cPanel.

cPanel offers free migration service. One limitation is that only few source control panels are supported. These are Odin Plesk(Parallels), DirectAdmin and Ensim.

For more details, visit the cPanel Migration Services and Guides

If you are a site owner, our suggestion is to contact your new host and ask for advice on moving to cPanel. Many hosts offer free migration to cPanel.

To switch yourself your site to cPanel there are mainly some steps:

  1. Copy the site’s files from the old server to the new server. You can use a program like FileZilla. Check our KB article Use FileZilla to connect via FTP to your web hosting account 
  2. Copy the MySQL/MariaDB database(s). Here you need to export the database(using a control panel utility or phpMyAdmin) and import it in cPanel. cPanel offers phpMyAdmin out-of-the-box.
  3. Setup any email accounts, email forwarders, email filters, email autoresponders etc.

For server administrators/web hosts, cPanel provides a guide on How to Manually Migrate Accounts to cPanel from Unsupported Control Panels 

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How to change the cPanel port – No longer possible!

Some users asked us if it’s possible to change the default 2082/2083 cPanel port on their servers. If you are searching the internet you will see many web pages/articles that recommend you to:

  1. Log into your server via SSH as root
  2. Edit the file /var/cpanel/cpanel.config in your preferred text editor.
  3. Search the line
    and replace 2082 with the desired port.
  4. Restart the cPanel service with service cpanel restart

Notice that this method doesn’t work anymore. As of writing this article – June 2017 – there is no way to change the default cPanel (and WHM) ports!

Trying to manually add the line port=xxxx line in /var/cpanel/cpanel.config will result in warnings in cPanel log file /usr/local/cpanel/logs/error_log:

[2017-06-26 15:56:20 -0400] warn [restartsrv_cpsrvd] One or more key settings for "" were either not found in cPanel & WHM’s server configuration file (/var/cpanel/cpanel.config), or were present but did not pass validation.
[2017-06-26 15:56:20 -0400] warn [restartsrv_cpsrvd] The following settings are obsolete and have been removed from the server configuration file:
[2017-06-26 15:56:20 -0400] warn [restartsrv_cpsrvd]     port
[2017-06-26 15:56:20 -0400] warn [restartsrv_cpsrvd] Read the cpanel.config file documentation ( for important information about this file.
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