Setting a Cookie

To set a cookie in PHP is a simple matter. As long as no HTML has yet been transferred, you can call the setcookie function, which has the following syntax (see following Table):

setcookie(name, value, expire, path, domain, secure, httponly);


name The name of the cookie. This is the name that your server will use to access the cookie on subsequent browser requests. username
value The value of the cookie, or the cookie’s contents. This can contain up to 4 KB of alphanumeric text. Hannah
expire (optional) Unix timestamp of the expiration date. Generally, you will probably use time() plus a number of seconds. If not set, the cookie
expires when the browser closes.
time() + 2592000
path (optional) The path of the cookie on the server. If this is a / (forward slash),
the cookie is available over the entire domain, such as www.webserver.
com. If it is a subdirectory, the cookie is available only within that
subdirectory. The default is the current directory that the cookie is being
set in and this is the setting you will normally use.
domain (optional) The Internet domain of the cookie. If this is, the
cookie is available to all of and its subdomains, such as and If it is images.webserver.
com, the cookie is available only to and its
subdomains such as, but not, say, to
secure (optional) Whether the cookie must use a secure connection (https://). If
this value is TRUE, the cookie can be transferred only across a secure
connection. The default is FALSE.
httponly (optional; implemented since PHP version 5.2.0) Whether the cookie must
use the HTTP protocol. If this value is TRUE, scripting languages such as
JavaScript cannot access the cookie. (Not supported in all browsers). The
default is FALSE.

So, to create a cookie with the name username and the value “Hannah” that is accessible across the entire web server on the current domain, and removed from the browser’s cache in seven days, use the following:

setcookie('username', 'Hannah', time() + 60 * 60 * 24 * 7, '/');