How can I use PHP to check if a directory is empty?

04/27/2020 19:30:01

I am using the following script to read a directory. If there is no file in the directory it should say empty. The problem is, it just keeps saying the directory is empty even though there ARE files inside and vice versa.

$pid    =       $_GET["prodref"];
$dir    =       '/assets/'.$pid.'/v';
$q     =        (count(glob("$dir/*")) === 0) ? 'Empty' : 'Not empty';

    if ($q=="Empty")
        echo "the folder is empty"; 
        echo "the folder is NOT empty";

Verified Answer (129 Votes)

09/21/2011 14:52:55

It seems that you need scandir instead of glob, as glob can't see unix hidden files.

$pid = basename($_GET["prodref"]); //let's sanitize it a bit
$dir = "/assets/$pid/v";

if (is_dir_empty($dir)) {
  echo "the folder is empty"; 
  echo "the folder is NOT empty";

function is_dir_empty($dir) {
  if (!is_readable($dir)) return NULL; 
  return (count(scandir($dir)) == 2);

Note that this code is not the summit of efficiency, as it's unnecessary to read all the files only to tell if directory is empty. So, the better version would be

function dir_is_empty($dir) {
  $handle = opendir($dir);
  while (false !== ($entry = readdir($handle))) {
    if ($entry != "." && $entry != "..") {
      return FALSE;
  return TRUE;

By the way, do not use words to substitute boolean values. The very purpose of the latter is to tell you if something empty or not. An

a === b

expression already returns Empty or Non Empty in terms of programming language, FALSE or TRUE respectively - so, you can use the very result in control structures like IF() without any intermediate values


Answer #2 (67 Votes)

09/17/2013 23:08:32

I think using the FilesystemIterator should be the fastest and easiest way:

// PHP 5 >= 5.3.0
$iterator = new \FilesystemIterator($dir);
$isDirEmpty = !$iterator->valid();

Or using class member access on instantiation:

// PHP 5 >= 5.4.0
$isDirEmpty = !(new \FilesystemIterator($dir))->valid();

This works because a new FilesystemIterator will initially point to the first file in the folder - if there are no files in the folder, valid() will return false. (see documentation here.)

As pointed out by abdulmanov.ilmir, optionally check if the directory exists before using the FileSystemIterator because otherwise it'll throw an UnexpectedValueException.


Answer #3 (9 Votes)

10/08/2013 13:49:18

I found a quick solution

  $dir = 'directory'; // dir path assign here
  echo (count(glob("$dir/*")) === 0) ? 'Empty' : 'Not empty';
Hack Hex uses Stack Exchance API by the Stack Exchange Inc. to scrape questions/answers under Creative Commons license.