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JavaScript/PHP - Multiple File Upload

, 15 Jul 2007
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Option to add n number of file input controls to upload multiple files.


This snippet allows users to add multiple files to be uploaded. By default, only one file upload control is visible. Upon clicking the "+" icon, more controls are added.

Screenshot - default.jpg

Default form

Screenshot - more.jpg

More file controls added


Very often to allow multiple file uploads, an unnecessary number of file upload controls are preloaded in forms. This code is an example of how to keep the form clean without losing the important features.

Using the Code

This code snippet is developed with PHP and needs an Apache webserver to run. The "uploads" directory needs file read-write permission. To use it in an application, you will need to add a database interface to store the uploaded information. It is a single file that has both the form and its handler.

The script has two functions: uploadForm and upload. uploadForm displays the form and upload does the form handling.


The above is an example for new programmers on how to deine a form and its handling in the same script.

<tr class="txt">
   <td valign="top">
    <div id="dvFile">
     <input type="file" name="item_file[]">
   <td valign="top">
    <a href="javascript:_add_more();" title="Add more">
     <img src="plus_icon.gif" border="0">

The hyperlink to the icon invokes the JavaScript function _add_more, which adds more control to the form. I have used the div to identify a block of the form and populate more controls in this block.

function _add_more() {
  var txt = "<br><input type=\"file\" name=\"item_file[]\">";
  document.getElementById("dvFile").innerHTML += txt;

The JavaScript function adds more controls as required.

if(count($_FILES["item_file"]['name'])>0) { //check if any file uploaded
  $GLOBALS['msg'] = ""; //initiate the global message
  for($j=0; $j < count($_FILES["item_file"]['name']); $j++) { 
  //loop the uploaded file array
   $filen = $_FILES["item_file"]['name']["$j"]; //file name
   $path = 'uploads/'.$filen; //generate the destination path
   if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES["item_file"]['tmp_name']["$j"],$path)) {
   //upload the file
    $GLOBALS['msg'] .= "File# ".($j+1)." ($filen) uploaded successfully<br>";
    //Success message
 else {
  $GLOBALS['msg'] = "No files found to upload"; //No file upload message 

The uploaded file handler function checks for uploaded files, and if found, stores them in the web server.

Future Enhancement

In the code, if the user chooses a file and then adds more controls, the previous file information is not stored and is lost. I need to add a feature to store the previously chosen file.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Anisur RM
Web Developer
India India
I am a web-application developer and like to play around with different web technologies for fun. I already dug some ground in JavaScript, PHP, Java, MySQL, Apache and Linux and now like to dig some in C#. I will try to share some of my experience with you, which you may or may not like. Please advice suggestion to improve them.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionNeed help in php PinmemberAmit yadav4-Apr-14 1:04 
QuestionFiles are getting uploaded in localhost(local server) but not on the remote server? PinmemberMember 1054036221-Jan-14 19:50 
QuestionDear sir i seen ur code muttiple upload so nice code Pinmembertabrez123459-Jan-14 9:58 
QuestionSave name to database Pinmemberkfaskfjas9-Feb-13 23:56 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberArumuga Naninar10-Dec-12 21:44 
QuestionGet Undefined index: pgaction when first time form load [modified] Pinmemberniravbhavsar31-Oct-12 19:57 
QuestionUploaded files not going into directory (uploads/) Pinmembergdmoland16-Oct-12 7:26 
QuestionMultiple Upload File PinmemberDr3am3rz17-Jun-12 17:03 
My scenario is like this:
<input type="file" name="image[]" />
<input type="file" name="image[]" />
<input type="file" name="image[]" />
<input type="file" name="image[]" />
My database field table is:
ID = 1
image1 = image1.jpg
image2 = image2.jpg
image3 = image3.jpg
image4 = image4.jpg
Let's say the row id = 1 has already had values inserted previously and if the user wants to update image1 and image 4 so they will browse and select their desired image file and they leave the image2 and image3 blank.
Here's the concept after executing mysql query:
ID = 1
image1 = newimage1.jpg
image2 = image2.jpg
image3 = image3.jpg
image4 = newimage4.jpg
How do I do the validating query?
Hope this is clear to you guys. Thanks in advance. =)
NewsPHP PinmemberRoza Can17-May-12 8:38 
Questioncan i use this script without js Pinmemberkmkmahesh21-Feb-12 21:18 

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