1 file.inc file_save_upload($form_field_name, $validators = array(), $destination = FALSE, $replace = FILE_EXISTS_RENAME)

Saves a file upload to a new location.

The file will be added to the {file_managed} table as a temporary file. Temporary files are periodically cleaned. Use file_usage_add() to register the usage of the file which will automatically mark it as permanent.


$form_field_name: A string that is the associative array key of the upload form element in the form array.

$validators: An optional, associative array of callback functions used to validate the file. See file_validate() for a full discussion of the array format. If no extension validator is provided it will default to a limited safe list of extensions which is as follows: "jpg jpeg gif png txt doc xls pdf ppt pps odt ods odp". To allow all extensions you must explicitly set the 'file_validate_extensions' validator to an empty array (Beware: this is not safe and should only be allowed for trusted users, if at all).

$destination: A string containing the URI that the file should be copied to. This must be a stream wrapper URI. If this value is omitted, Backdrop's temporary files scheme will be used ("temporary://").

$replace: Replace behavior when the destination file already exists:

Return value

File|FALSE|NULL: An object containing the file information if the upload succeeded, FALSE in the event of an error, or NULL if no file was uploaded. The documentation for the "File interface" group, which you can find under Related topics, or the header at the top of this file, documents the components of a file entity. In addition to the standard components, this function adds:

  • source: Path to the file before it is moved.
  • destination: Path to the file after it is moved (same as 'uri').

Related topics


core/includes/file.inc, line 1514
API for handling file uploads and server file management.


function file_save_upload($form_field_name, $validators = array(), $destination = FALSE, $replace = FILE_EXISTS_RENAME) {
  global $user;
  static $upload_cache;

  // Return cached objects without processing since the file will have
  // already been processed and the paths in _FILES will be invalid.
  if (isset($upload_cache[$form_field_name])) {
    return $upload_cache[$form_field_name];

  // Make sure there's an upload to process.
  if (empty($_FILES['files']['name'][$form_field_name])) {
    return NULL;

  // Check for file upload errors and return FALSE if a lower level system
  // error occurred. For a complete list of errors:
  // See http://php.net/manual/features.file-upload.errors.php.
  switch ($_FILES['files']['error'][$form_field_name]) {
      backdrop_set_message(t('The file %file could not be saved because it exceeds %maxsize, the maximum allowed size for uploads.', array('%file' => $_FILES['files']['name'][$form_field_name], '%maxsize' => format_size(file_upload_max_size()))), 'error');
      return FALSE;

      backdrop_set_message(t('The file %file could not be saved because the upload did not complete.', array('%file' => $_FILES['files']['name'][$form_field_name])), 'error');
      return FALSE;

    case UPLOAD_ERR_OK:
      // Final check that this is a valid upload, if it isn't, use the
      // default error handler.
      if (is_uploaded_file($_FILES['files']['tmp_name'][$form_field_name])) {

      // Unknown error
      backdrop_set_message(t('The file %file could not be saved. An unknown error has occurred.', array('%file' => $_FILES['files']['name'][$form_field_name])), 'error');
      return FALSE;
  // Begin building file entity.
  $values = array(
    'uid' => $user->uid,
    'status' => 0,
    'filename' => trim(backdrop_basename($_FILES['files']['name'][$form_field_name]), '.'),
    'uri' => $_FILES['files']['tmp_name'][$form_field_name],
    'filesize' => $_FILES['files']['size'][$form_field_name],
  $values['filemime'] = file_get_mimetype($values['filename']);
  $file = new File($values);

  $extensions = '';
  if (isset($validators['file_validate_extensions'])) {
    if (isset($validators['file_validate_extensions'][0])) {
      // Build the list of non-munged extensions if the caller provided them.
      $extensions = $validators['file_validate_extensions'][0];
    else {
      // If 'file_validate_extensions' is set and the list is empty then the
      // caller wants to allow any extension. In this case we have to remove the
      // validator or else it will reject all extensions.
  else {
    // No validator was provided, so add one using the default list.
    // Build a default non-munged safe list for file_munge_filename().
    $extensions = implode(' ', image_get_supported_extensions()) . ' txt doc xls pdf ppt pps odt ods odp docx docm pptx pptm xlsx xlsm';

    $validators['file_validate_extensions'] = array();
    $validators['file_validate_extensions'][0] = $extensions;

  if (!settings_get('allow_insecure_uploads', 0)) {
    if (!empty($extensions)) {
      // Munge the filename to protect against possible malicious extension hiding
      // within an unknown file type (ie: filename.html.foo).
      $file->filename = file_munge_filename($file->filename, $extensions);

    // Rename potentially executable files, to help prevent exploits (i.e. will
    // rename filename.php.foo and filename.php to filename.php_.foo_.txt and
    // filename.php_.txt, respectively). Don't rename if 'allow_insecure_uploads'
    // evaluates to TRUE.
    if (preg_match('/\.(php|phar|pl|py|cgi|asp|js)(\.|$)/i', $file->filename)) {
      // If the file will be rejected anyway due to a disallowed extension, it
      // should not be renamed; rather, we'll let file_validate_extensions()
      // reject it below.
      if (!isset($validators['file_validate_extensions']) || !file_validate_extensions($file, $extensions)) {
        $file->filemime = 'text/plain';
        if (substr($file->filename, -4) != '.txt') {
          // The destination filename will also later be used to create the URI.
          $file->filename .= '.txt';
        $file->filename = file_munge_filename($file->filename, $extensions, FALSE);
        backdrop_set_message(t('For security reasons, your upload has been renamed to %filename.', array('%filename' => $file->filename)));
        // The .txt extension may not be in the allowed list of extensions. We have
        // to add it here or else the file upload will fail.
        if (!empty($validators['file_validate_extensions'][0])) {
          $validators['file_validate_extensions'][0] .= ' txt';

  // If the destination is not provided, use the temporary directory.
  if (empty($destination)) {
    $destination = 'temporary://';

  // Assert that the destination contains a valid stream.
  $destination_scheme = file_uri_scheme($destination);
  if (!$destination_scheme || !file_stream_wrapper_valid_scheme($destination_scheme)) {
    backdrop_set_message(t('The file could not be uploaded because the destination %destination is invalid.', array('%destination' => $destination)), 'error');
    return FALSE;

  $file->source = $form_field_name;
  // A URI may already have a trailing slash or look like "public://".
  if (substr($destination, -1) != '/') {
    $destination .= '/';
  try {
    $file->destination = file_destination($destination . $file->filename, $replace);
  catch (RuntimeException $e) {
    backdrop_set_message(t('The file %source could not be uploaded because the name is invalid.', array('%source' => $form_field_name)), 'error');
    return FALSE;
  // If file_destination() returns FALSE then $replace == FILE_EXISTS_ERROR and
  // there's an existing file so we need to bail.
  if ($file->destination === FALSE) {
    backdrop_set_message(t('The file %source could not be uploaded because a file by that name already exists in the destination %directory.', array('%source' => $form_field_name, '%directory' => $destination)), 'error');
    return FALSE;

  // Add in our check of the the file name length.
  $validators['file_validate_name_length'] = array();

  // Add in check for valid SVG.
  $validators['file_validate_svg'] = array();

  // Call the validation functions specified by this function's caller.
  $errors = file_validate($file, $validators);

  // Check for errors.
  if (!empty($errors)) {
    $message = t('The specified file %name could not be uploaded.', array('%name' => $file->filename));
    if (count($errors) > 1) {
      $message .= theme('item_list', array('items' => $errors));
    else {
      $message .= ' ' . array_pop($errors);
    form_set_error($form_field_name, $message);
    return FALSE;

  // Move uploaded files from PHP's upload_tmp_dir to Backdrop's temporary
  // directory. This overcomes open_basedir restrictions for future file
  // operations.
  $file->uri = $file->destination;
  if (!backdrop_move_uploaded_file($_FILES['files']['tmp_name'][$form_field_name], $file->uri)) {
    form_set_error($form_field_name, t('File upload error. Could not move uploaded file.'));
    watchdog('file', 'Upload error. Could not move uploaded file %file to destination %destination.', array('%file' => $file->filename, '%destination' => $file->uri));
    return FALSE;

  // Set the permissions on the new file.

  // If we are replacing an existing file re-use its database record.
  if ($replace == FILE_EXISTS_REPLACE) {
    $existing_files = file_load_multiple(array(), array('uri' => $file->uri));
    if (count($existing_files)) {
      $existing = reset($existing_files);
      $file->fid = $existing->fid;

  // If we made it this far it's safe to record this file in the database.
  if (file_save($file)) {
    // Track non-public files in the session if they were uploaded by an
    // anonymous user. This allows modules such as the File module to only
    // grant view access to the specific anonymous user who uploaded the file.
    // See file_file_download().
    if (!$user->uid && $destination_scheme === 'private') {
      $_SESSION['anonymous_allowed_file_ids'][$file->fid] = $file->fid;
    // Add file to the cache.
    $upload_cache[$form_field_name] = $file;
    return $file;