Home / PHP

File and Directory Manipulation in PHP

PHP is a powerful programming language that provides several built-in functions to manipulate files and directories. File and directory manipulation tasks include creating, reading, updating, and deleting files and directories. In this article, we will explore some of the essential functions and techniques to perform these operations.

Manipulating Files

1. Creating a File

To create a new file in PHP, we can use the fopen() function. This function takes two parameters: the file name and the mode. Here's an example:

$fileName = 'test.txt';
$file = fopen($fileName, 'w');

In the above example, we first specify the file name (e.g., test.txt) and the mode 'w' (to open the file for writing). We then use fopen() to create the file and assign the file handler to the $file variable. Finally, we close the file using fclose().

2. Reading from a File

To read the contents of a file, we can use the file_get_contents() function. Simply provide the file name as the parameter, and the function will return the content as a string.

$fileName = 'test.txt';
$content = file_get_contents($fileName);
echo $content;

This code reads the file test.txt and echoes its contents.

3. Writing to a File

To write content to a file, we can use the file_put_contents() function. This function accepts two parameters: the file name and the content to be written.

$fileName = 'test.txt';
$content = 'This is the content to be written to the file.';
file_put_contents($fileName, $content);

In this example, we write the specified content to the test.txt file.

4. Deleting a File

To delete a file using PHP, we can use the unlink() function which deletes the specified file. Here's how to do it:

$fileName = 'test.txt';

In this code snippet, the file test.txt will be deleted from the file system.

Manipulating Directories

1. Creating a Directory

Creating a new directory in PHP is straightforward using the mkdir() function. Simply provide the directory name and specify any necessary permissions.

$directoryName = 'new_directory';

This code creates a new directory named new_directory in the current working directory.

2. Deleting a Directory

To delete a directory, we can use the rmdir() function. This function will only remove empty directories.

$directoryName = 'new_directory';

This code deletes the empty directory named new_directory.


Manipulating files and directories is a common requirement in PHP development. With the provided functions and techniques, you can easily create, read, update, and delete files and directories. Remember to handle error conditions and provide appropriate permissions when performing these operations.

Keep exploring and experimenting with PHP's file and directory manipulation capabilities to enhance your programming skills and make your applications more robust.

noob to master © copyleft