How to rename a file or directory in PHP

In this article, we will explain to you how to rename a file or directory in PHP. It’s a very easy way to rename a file or directory in PHP.

Using the built-in rename() function, we can rename a file or directory. If the new name already exists, then the rename() function will overwrite it. Using this function we can also move a file to a different directory.

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This function requires two arguments: the first is the name of the file you want to rename and the second is the new name of the file. This function returns true on success otherwise false.



  • $oldname: It specifies the file or directory name which you want to rename.
  • $newname: It specifies the new name of the file or directory.
  • $context: This is an optional parameter. It specifies the behaviour of the stream.

Example 1: Rename file name

In the following example, we will see how to rename a file named file.txt to newfile.txt.

Example 2: Rename directory name

Let’s take a next example where we will see how to rename a directory named images to uploads.

Example 3: Use the rename function to move a file

In this last example, we’ll see how to move a file named file.txt to pages directory using rename() function.

Note: If a file or directory does not exist then rename() function will throw a warning so it is a good practise to check if a file exists or not using the file_exists() function before rename the file or directory.

That’s it for today.
Thank you for reading. Happy Coding..!!

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