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How to download a file using php code

In this post, i want to explain download any file using php script. It will useful when we are developing a website like In that website have list of files and users can download those files. In my previous post i have explain how to get extension of file, using that post get the extension.

How to download a file using php code by Anil Kumar Panigrahi

How to download a file using php code by Anil Kumar Panigrahi

PHP Code

Script is as follows:

$filename = '[file name].[extension]';


// required for IE, otherwise Content-disposition is ignored
ini_set('zlib.output_compression', 'Off');

header("Pragma: public"); // required
header("Expires: 0");
header("Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0");
header("Cache-Control: private",false); // required for certain browsers
header("Content-Type: $ctype");

// change, added quotes to allow spaces in filenames

header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="".basename($filename)."";" );
header("Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary");
header("Content-Length: ".filesize($filename));


We can write this script for all types of files. We write this script in a function and just we pass the files with complete path. In this way we can use this script.

Hope it will be useful.

14 Responses

  1. Thanks for the code.
    It works fine in Firefox and Google Chrome, but in IE. In IE, it downloads the php script itself.
    I have put your code inside a separate file (namely download.php) and set it as the action of my form. Inside the form, two input elements are there – one gets the filename and the other is a submit button that sends the filename to ‘$filename’ in download.php. This is required as random files are there to download.
    Please help. Thanks in advance.

  2. its showing this error

    Warning: filesize() [function.filesize]: stat failed for c.doc in C:\xampp\htdocs\test1\download.php on line 22

    Warning: readfile(c.doc) [function.readfile]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in C:\xampp\htdocs\test1\download.php on line 23

  3. Jagan

    I m getting a error frequently,when i m using header function for download or redirect to another page.
    this error is getting in my application and also in my simple practise code….
    Can u help me plz…plz???
    in below i have written a simple program to redirect to another page through header….and my error is

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at C:\xampp\htdocs\practise14.php:1) in C:\xampp\htdocs\practise1.php on line 4

    also when i m using session code or cookie ,in that time also getting same header error .

  4. I believe this is among the such a lot significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. However should observation on some common issues, The website taste is perfect, the articles is in reality nice : D. Good process, cheers

  5. Amit Pinjani

    WHen i am clicking in Download Link for download images.. it download the “download.php” file itself.. what to do please help

  6. Pingback : Download videos from Youtube using PHP and API - Anil Labs

  7. I wanted to download video file. Using the above script but file is not getting downloaded fully. if its 125mb then it downloads 120 mb. So does not play after downloading. What could be the problem??

    My server is linux.

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