PHP Cookie

Cookies are a mechanism for storing data in the remote browser and thus tracking or identifying return users. You can set cookies using the setcookie() or setrawcookie() function. Cookies are part of the HTTP header, so setcookie() must be called before any output is sent to the browser.

setcookie — Send a cookie

bool setcookie (string $name [, string $value = "" [, int  $expire = 0 [, string $path = "" [, string $domain = "" [, bool $secure = false [, bool $httponly = false ]]]]]] )


  • name: The name of the cookie.
  • value: The value of the cookie. This value is stored on the clients computer; do not store sensitive information. Assuming the name is 'cookiename', this value is retrieved through $_COOKIE['cookiename'].
  • expire: The time the cookie expires. This is a Unix timestamp so is in number of seconds since the epoch. In other words, you'll most likely set this with the time() function plus the number of seconds before you want it to expire. Or you might use mktime(). time()+60*60*24*30 will set the cookie to expire in 30 days. If set to 0, or omitted, the cookie will expire at the end of the session (when the browser closes).
    Note: You may notice the expire parameter takes on a Unix timestamp, as opposed to the date format Wdy, DD-Mon-YYYY HH:MM:SS GMT, this is because PHP does this conversion internally.
  • path: The path on the server in which the cookie will be available on. If set to '/', the cookie will be available within the entire domain. If set to '/foo/', the cookie will only be available within the /foo/ directory and all sub-directories such as /foo/bar/ of domain. The default value is the current directory that the cookie is being set in.
  • domain: The (sub)domain that the cookie is available to. Setting this to a subdomain (such as '') will make the cookie available to that subdomain and all other sub-domains of it (i.e. To make the cookie available to the whole domain (including all subdomains of it), simply set the value to the domain name ('', in this case).
  • secure: Indicates that the cookie should only be transmitted over a secure HTTPS connection from the client. When set to TRUE, the cookie will only be set if a secure connection exists. On the server-side, it's on the programmer to send this kind of cookie only on secure connection (e.g. with respect to $_SERVER["HTTPS"]).
  • httponly: When TRUE the cookie will be made accessible only through the HTTP protocol. This means that the cookie won't be accessible by scripting languages, such as JavaScript. It has been suggested that this setting can effectively help to reduce identity theft through XSS attacks (although it is not supported by all browsers), but that claim is often disputed. Added in PHP 5.2.0. TRUE or FALSE

Returns If output exists prior to calling this function, setcookie() will fail and return FALSE. If setcookie() successfully runs, it will return TRUE. This does not indicate whether the user accepted the cookie.

Example #1 setcookie() send example

   $value = 'cookievalue';
   setcookie('cookiename', $value);
   setcookie('cookiename', $value, time() + 3600); /* expire in 1 hour */

Get Cookie Value

   echo $_COOKIE["cookiename"];  // Print an individual cookie