Web Development Tutorials


Deleting Files

PHP includes the unlink() function for deleting files. The unlink() function should be used with caution. Once a file is deleted, it cannot be retrieved. The function is defined below:


The following example demonstrates how to delete a file using the unlink() function:



$filename = "myfile.txt";

$status = unlink($filename) or exit("Could not delete the file");

echo "file deleted successfully";


The first step is to create a variable to hold the full path to the file whose contents will be deleted:

$filename = "myfile.txt"; 

The unlink() function is executed, accepting one parameter, the path of the original file - $filename. The unlink() function returns a value of TRUE if the file is deleted successfully;otherwise a value of FALSE is returned. The returned value is stored in the variable $status.

$status = unlink($filename) or die("Could not delete file"); 

If the unlink() function fails, the exit() function executes displaying an error message. Otherwise, a success message is displayed using the echo statement.

echo "file deleted successfully";

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