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

imagedestroyDestroy an image


imagedestroy(GdImage $image): bool


This function has no effect. Prior to PHP 8.0.0, this function was used to close the resource.

Prior to PHP 8.0.0, imagedestroy() freed any memory associated with image image.



A GdImage object, returned by one of the image creation functions, such as imagecreatetruecolor().

Return Values

Returns true on success or false on failure.


Version Description
8.0.0 This function is a NOP now.
8.0.0 image expects a GdImage instance now; previously, a resource was expected.


Example #1 Using imagedestroy() prior to PHP 8.0.0

// create a 100 x 100 image
$im imagecreatetruecolor(100100);

// alter or save the image

// frees image from memory

add a note

User Contributed Notes 7 notes

15 years ago
When the script stop PHP will automatic destory ANY
resources, this goes for aswell for images, thus in the
case the use clicks the stop button, php will automatic
clear the resource.

thus imagedestroy is used to clear the memory BEFORE
the script ends. this is usefull to keep memory usage
DURING the script to an acceptable level.

hope this clear somethings up.
devel at kijote dot com dot ar
2 years ago
Important note: When the imagedestroy is called, the resource is freed but the printed resource output is the same as before calling the function:


= imagecreate(1, 1);

print_r([$img, $img ? 'TRUE': 'FALSE', is_resource($img) ? 'TRUE' : 'FALSE', get_resource_type($img) ?: 'FALSE']);

    [0] => Resource id #1
    [1] => TRUE
    [2] => TRUE
    [3] => gd



print_r([$img, $img ? 'TRUE': 'FALSE', is_resource($img) ? 'TRUE' : 'FALSE', get_resource_type($img) ?: 'FALSE']);

    [0] => Resource id #1
    [1] => TRUE
    [2] => FALSE
    [3] => Unknown

As you can see in the above example, the first index in array is TRUE in both cases. So, despite the common thinking you can't trust in something like:


if ($img)  {  // it's casted as boolean and returns true even after imagedestroy is called
     // do something


If you need to ensure the availability of a certain resource, you must to use is_resource and get_resource_type functions.
Claude D.
6 years ago
Caution should be observed with imagedestroy(); copying your reference variable over to another variable will cause imagedestroy to destroy both at once.


$a = imagecreate(...);
$b = $a;

While you'd think $b still contains your image, it doesn't. Both $a and $b are destroyed.
dan at mlodecki dot net
18 years ago
I have noticed that gd drawing functions can behave oddly if there is a previous image which has not been imagedestroy()'ed.  You should always imagedestroy when you are done with an image object.
webmaster at codefisher dot org
14 years ago
And to continue what Docey said, if php did not destroy all resources when the script stopped it would be a huge memory leak and everyone would be crying out for it to be fixed right away.

I have been using this function during a script that was breaking an image made of many little icons into the little parts, which could mean 400+ images in the one script, which was using a lot of memory so I needed to destroy them.
Andrew Hoffmann - ahoffmann at wisc dot edu
17 years ago
When working with a lot of high-resolution images, it's IMPERATIVE that you use the imagedestroy() function.

In my scenario, I was taking two high resolution desktop wallpapers and shrinking them down into successively smaller ones (preventing the user from having to upload a dozen files).

At first, my script would run, then just stop.  I realized later that I had not destroyed the source image and the newly resized image in memory after I had finished writing the file out to disk.  Thus, I quickly reached the memory limit that my hosting provider placed in their php.ini file.

Reusing an image variable does NOT clear the old data out of memory!  You must use imagedestroy() to clear the data out.  (I don't know if unset() works as well).

Also note that the image data in memory is raw, so don't base how much memory you are using based on the original filesize of the compressed image (such as jpeg or png).
corpus-deus at softhome dot net
12 years ago
In theory creating an image object and calling imagedestroy in your destructor should be a good way of doing it; something like:

final class My_Image() {


  public function
__construct() {
$this->img = imagecreatetruecolor();
// ... other stuff ...

  public function
__destruct() {
is_resource($this->img)) {

// ... other methods...


I check that $this->img is a resource in case imagecreatetruecolor() fails or you null the value somewhere down the line from a method call meaning that $this->img is NOT a resource, in which case imagedestroy is an unecessary function call that just fails with a warning message.
To Top