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image – Get first file in directory PHP

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I want to get the first file in a directory using PHP.

I am trying to make a function where the users on my website can change their profile picture. To show their profile picture on their profile page I want to get the first image in their profile picture folder. I want to get the image they have uploaded, regardless of the file type. I have made it so when they upload a new picture the old one will be deleted, so it will just be one file in the folder. How do i do this?

How to&Answers:

You can get first file in directory like this

$directory = "path/to/file/";
$files = scandir ($directory);
$firstFile = $directory . $files[2];// because [0] = "." [1] = ".." 

Then Open with fopen() you can use the w or w+ modes:

w Open for writing only; place the file pointer at the beginning of
the file and truncate the file to zero length. If the file does not
exist, attempt to create it.


$firstFile = scandir("path/to/file/")[2];

scandir: scans the given directory and puts into array: [0] = “.” [1] = “..” [2] = “First File”


As more files the directory contains, it should be faster to use readdir() instead, because we do not write all files into an array:

if ($h = opendir($dir)) {
    while (($file = readdir($h)) !== false) {
        if ($file != '.' && $file != '..') {
echo "The first file in $dir is $file";

But as readdir does not return a sorted result you maybe need to replace break against a check that garantees the most recent file. One idea would be to add an increment numbering to your files and check for the highest number. Or you create a subfolder with the name of the most recent file and remove/create a new subfolder for every new file that is added to the folder.