(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

fgetcsvGets line from file pointer and parse for CSV fields


    resource $stream,
    ?int $length = null,
    string $separator = ",",
    string $enclosure = "\"",
    string $escape = "\\"
): array|false

Similar to fgets() except that fgetcsv() parses the line it reads for fields in CSV format and returns an array containing the fields read.


The locale settings are taken into account by this function. If LC_CTYPE is e.g. en_US.UTF-8, files in one-byte encodings may be read wrongly by this function.



A valid file pointer to a file successfully opened by fopen(), popen(), or fsockopen().


Must be greater than the longest line (in characters) to be found in the CSV file (allowing for trailing line-end characters). Otherwise the line is split in chunks of length characters, unless the split would occur inside an enclosure.

Omitting this parameter (or setting it to 0, or null in PHP 8.0.0 or later) the maximum line length is not limited, which is slightly slower.


The optional separator parameter sets the field separator (one single-byte character only).


The optional enclosure parameter sets the field enclosure character (one single-byte character only).


The optional escape parameter sets the escape character (at most one single-byte character). An empty string ("") disables the proprietary escape mechanism.

Note: Usually an enclosure character is escaped inside a field by doubling it; however, the escape character can be used as an alternative. So for the default parameter values "" and \" have the same meaning. Other than allowing to escape the enclosure character the escape character has no special meaning; it isn't even meant to escape itself.

Return Values

Returns an indexed array containing the fields read on success, or false on failure.


A blank line in a CSV file will be returned as an array comprising a single null field, and will not be treated as an error.

Note: If PHP is not properly recognizing the line endings when reading files either on or created by a Macintosh computer, enabling the auto_detect_line_endings run-time configuration option may help resolve the problem.


Version Description
8.0.0 length is now nullable.
7.4.0 The escape parameter now also accepts an empty string to disable the proprietary escape mechanism.


Example #1 Read and print the entire contents of a CSV file

if ((
$handle fopen("test.csv""r")) !== FALSE) {
    while ((
$data fgetcsv($handle1000",")) !== FALSE) {
$num count($data);
"<p> $num fields in line $row: <br /></p>\n";
        for (
$c=0$c $num$c++) {
$data[$c] . "<br />\n";

See Also

  • str_getcsv() - Parse a CSV string into an array
  • explode() - Split a string by a string
  • file() - Reads entire file into an array
  • pack() - Pack data into binary string
  • fputcsv() - Format line as CSV and write to file pointer