The attachment of an email sent via PHP has 0 bytes

I wanted to send an email that only contained an attachment as follows:

$headers  = "MIME-Version: 1.0\r\n";
$headers .= "To: <".$to_email.">\r\n";
$headers .= "From: ".$from_name." <".$from_email.">";
$random_hash = md5(date('r', time()));
// add boundary string and mime type specification
$headers .= "\r\nContent-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=\"PHP-mixed-".$random_hash."\"";
// read the atachment file contents from a string previously formed,
// encode it with MIME base64,
// and split it into smaller chunks
$attachment = chunk_split(base64_encode($content));
// construct the body of the message
$message = "--PHP-mixed-".$random_hash;
// my attachment was an html file
$message .= "\r\nContent-Type: text/html; name=\"".$filename."\"";
$message .= "\r\nContent-Transfer-Encoding: base64";
$message .= "\r\nContent-Disposition: attachment\r\n".$attachment."\r\n";
$message .= "\r\n--PHP-mixed-".$random_hash."--";
// Windows
ini_set('sendmail_from', $return_email);
mail($to_email, addslashes($subject), $message, $headers);
// Linux
// mail($to_email, addslashes($subject), $message, $headers, "-r ".$return_email);

I received an email with an attachment, but the problem was that the attached file had 0 bytes.
To my surprise, after comparing the source of the email with the source of an email with a complete attachment, I found out the problem: before the actual content of the attachment ($attachment) there should be an empty line.
I replaced the line of code:

$message .= "\r\nContent-Disposition: attachment\r\n".$attachment."\r\n";


$message .= "\r\nContent-Disposition: attachment\r\n\r\n".$attachment."\r\n"; // notice the double \r\n

and it worked! This way I received the email with the correct attachment.

7 replies on “The attachment of an email sent via PHP has 0 bytes”

hi? thank you for your script. but when i tried it, it didnt work for me. Please can i see how u attached your file? I just did $filename = “elist.txt”; please can i see the full script?

If you want to attach the contents of an existing file, you should first get the content of that file into the $content variable:
$file_path = "elist.txt"; //if the file you want to attach is not in the same directory as the script, you should set the appropriate path
$content = file_get_contents($file_path);

The $filename variable should contain the name of the attached file, that is the name under which you want the file to appear in the e-mail.

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