Filesystem Functions
PHP Manual


(PHP 4, PHP 5)

file_existsChecks whether a file or directory exists


bool file_exists ( string $filename )

Checks whether a file or directory exists.



Path to the file or directory.

On windows, use //computername/share/filename or \\computername\share\filename to check files on network shares.

Return Values

Returns TRUE if the file or directory specified by filename exists; FALSE otherwise.

Note: This function will return FALSE for symlinks pointing to non-existing files.


This function returns FALSE for files inaccessible due to safe mode restrictions. However these files still can be included if they are located in safe_mode_include_dir.

Note: The check is done using the real UID/GID instead of the effective one.


Example #1 Testing whether a file exists


if (
file_exists($filename)) {
"The file $filename exists";
} else {
"The file $filename does not exist";


Note: The results of this function are cached. See clearstatcache() for more details.


As of PHP 5.0.0, this function can also be used with some URL wrappers. Refer to List of Supported Protocols/Wrappers for a listing of which wrappers support stat() family of functionality.

See Also

Filesystem Functions
PHP Manual