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PHP setcookie() Function

PHP HTTP Reference PHP HTTP Reference

Example

The following example creates a cookie named "user" with the value "John Doe". The cookie will expire after 30 days (86400 * 30). The "/" means that the cookie is available in entire website (otherwise, select the directory you prefer).

We then retrieve the value of the cookie "user" (using the global variable $_COOKIE). We also use the isset() function to find out if the cookie is set:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<?php
$cookie_name = "user";
$cookie_value = "John Doe";
setcookie($cookie_name, $cookie_value, time() + (86400 * 30), "/"); // 86400 = 1 day
?>
<html>
<body>

<?php
if(!isset($_COOKIE[$cookie_name])) {
    echo "Cookie named '" . $cookie_name . "' is not set!";
} else {
    echo "Cookie '" . $cookie_name . "' is set!<br>";
    echo "Value is: " . $_COOKIE[$cookie_name];
}
?>

</body>
</html>

Run example »

Definition and Usage

The setcookie() function defines a cookie to be sent along with the rest of the HTTP headers.

A cookie is often used to identify a user. A cookie is a small file that the server embeds on the user's computer. Each time the same computer requests a page with a browser, it will send the cookie too. With PHP, you can both create and retrieve cookie values.

The name of the cookie is automatically assigned to a variable of the same name. For example, if a cookie was sent with the name "user", a variable is automatically created called $user, containing the cookie value.

Note: The setcookie() function must appear BEFORE the <html> tag.

Note: The value of the cookie is automatically URLencoded when sending the cookie, and automatically decoded when received (to prevent URLencoding, use setrawcookie() instead).

Syntax

setcookie(name,value,expire,path,domain,secure,httponly);

Parameter Description
name Required. Specifies the name of the cookie
value Optional. Specifies the value of the cookie
expire Optional. Specifies when the cookie expires. The value: time()+86400*30, will set the cookie to expire in 30 days. If this parameter is omitted or set to 0, the cookie will expire at the end of the session (when the browser closes). Default is 0
path Optional. Specifies the server path of the cookie. If set to "/", the cookie will be available within the entire domain. If set to "/php/", the cookie will only be available within the php directory and all sub-directories of php. The default value is the current directory that the cookie is being set in
domain Optional. Specifies the domain name of the cookie. To make the cookie available on all subdomains of example.com, set domain to "example.com". Setting it to www.example.com will make the cookie only available in the www subdomain
secure Optional. Specifies whether or not the cookie should only be transmitted over a secure HTTPS connection. TRUE indicates that the cookie will only be set if a secure connection exists. Default is FALSE
httponly Optional. If set to TRUE the cookie will be accessible only through the HTTP protocol (the cookie will not be accessible by scripting languages). This setting can help to reduce identity theft through XSS attacks. Default is FALSE

Technical Details

Return Value: TRUE on success. FALSE on failure
PHP Version: 4+
PHP Changelog: PHP 5.5 - A Max-Age attribute was included in the Set-Cookie header sent to the client
PHP 5.2 - The httponly parameter was added


More Examples

Example

Several expire dates for cookies:

<?php
$value = "Hello world!";

// cookie will expire when the browser close
setcookie("myCookie", $value);

// cookie will expire in 1 hour
setcookie("myCookie", $value, time() + 3600);

// cookie will expire in 1 hour, and will only be available
// within the php directory + all sub-directories of php
setcookie("myCookie", $value, time() + 3600, "/php/");
?>
<html>
<body>

...some code...

</body>
</html>

Run example »

Example

To modify a cookie, just set (again) the cookie using the setcookie() function:

<?php
$cookie_name = "user";
$cookie_value = "Alex Porter";
setcookie($cookie_name, $cookie_value, time() + (86400 * 30), "/");
?>
<html>
<body>

<?php
if(!isset($_COOKIE[$cookie_name])) {
    echo "Cookie named '" . $cookie_name . "' is not set!";
} else {
    echo "Cookie '" . $cookie_name . "' is set!<br>";
    echo "Value is: " . $_COOKIE[$cookie_name];
}
?>

</body>
</html>

Run example »

Example

To delete a cookie, use the setcookie() function with an expiration date in the past:

<?php
// set the expiration date to one hour ago
setcookie("user", "", time() - 3600);
?>
<html>
<body>

<?php
echo "Cookie 'user' is deleted.";
?>

</body>
</html>

Run example »

Example

Create a small script that checks whether cookies are enabled. First, try to create a test cookie with the setcookie() function, then count the $_COOKIE array variable:

<?php
setcookie("test_cookie", "test", time() + 3600, '/');
?>
<html>
<body>

<?php
if(count($_COOKIE) > 0) {
    echo "Cookies are enabled.";
} else {
    echo "Cookies are disabled.";
}
?>

</body>
</html>

Run example »


PHP HTTP Reference PHP HTTP Reference

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