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urlencode – php – file_get_contents – Downloading files with spaces in the filename not working

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I am trying to download files using file_get_contents() function.
However if the location of the file is http://www.example.com/some name.jpg, the function fails to download this.

But if the URL is given as http://www.example.com/some%20name.jpg, the same gets downloaded.

I tried rawurlencode() but this coverts all the characters in the URL and the download fails again.

Can someone please suggest a solution for this?

How to&Answers:

I think this will work for you:

function file_url($url){
  $parts = parse_url($url);
  $path_parts = array_map('rawurldecode', explode('/', $parts['path']));

    $parts['scheme'] . '://' .
    $parts['host'] .
    implode('/', array_map('rawurlencode', $path_parts))

echo file_url("http://example.com/foo/bar bof/some file.jpg") . "\n";
echo file_url("http://example.com/foo/bar+bof/some+file.jpg") . "\n";
echo file_url("http://example.com/foo/bar%20bof/some%20file.jpg") . "\n";




I’d probably use urldecode and urlencode for this as the output would be identical for each url. rawurlencode will preserve the + even when %20 is probably suitable for whatever url you’re using.


As you have probably already figured out urlencode() should only be used on each portion of a URL that requires escaping.

From the docs for urlencode() just apply it to the image file name giving you the problem and leave the rest of the URL alone. From your example you can safely encode everything following the last “/” character


Here is maybe a better solution. If for any reason you are using a relative url like:


Prior to php 5.4.7 this would not create the [scheme] array element which would throw off maček function. This method may be faster as well.

$url = '//www.example.com/path';

preg_match('/(https?:\/\/|\/\/)([^\/]+)(.*)/ism', $url, $result);

$url = $result[1].$result[2].urlencode(urldecode($result[3])); 


Assuming only the file name has the problem, this is a better approach. only urlencode the last section ie. file name.

private function update_url($url)
    $parts = explode('/', $url);

    $new_file = urlencode(end($parts));
    $parts[key($parts)] = $new_file;

    return implode("/", $parts);


This should work

$file = 'some file name';