PHPCon Poland 2024


(PHP 5 >= 5.3.0, PHP 7, PHP 8, PECL phar >= 2.0.0)

PharData::extractToExtract the contents of a tar/zip archive to a directory


public PharData::extractTo(string $directory, array|string|null $files = null, bool $overwrite = false): bool

Extract all files within a tar/zip archive to disk. Extracted files and directories preserve permissions as stored in the archive. The optional parameters allow optional control over which files are extracted, and whether existing files on disk can be overwritten. The second parameter files can be either the name of a file or directory to extract, or an array of names of files and directories to extract. By default, this method will not overwrite existing files, the third parameter can be set to true to enable overwriting of files. This method is similar to ZipArchive::extractTo().



Path to extract the given files to


The name of a file or directory to extract, or an array of files/directories to extract


Set to true to enable overwriting existing files

Return Values

returns true on success, but it is better to check for thrown exception, and assume success if none is thrown.


Throws PharException if errors occur while flushing changes to disk.


Example #1 A PharData::extractTo() example

try {
$phar = new PharData('myphar.tar');
$phar->extractTo('/full/path'); // extract all files
$phar->extractTo('/another/path', 'file.txt'); // extract only file.txt
'file1.txt', 'file2.txt')); // extract 2 files only
$phar->extractTo('/third/path', null, true); // extract all files, and overwrite
} catch (Exception $e) {
// handle errors



Windows NTFS file systems do not support some characters in filenames, namely <|>*?":. Filenames with a trailing dot are not supported either. Contrary to some extraction tools, this method does not replace these characters with an underscore, but instead fails to extract such files.

See Also

add a note

User Contributed Notes 3 notes

njh at aelius dot com
11 years ago
Note that PHAR only supports extracting the 'ustar' variant of the tar archives.

Some systems (such as older versions of Mac OS X) generate the 'pax' format by default.

See here for more information:
7 years ago
I'm unable to extract the first directory from a tar archive:
the destination dir remains empty,
no error is thrown

= new \PharData('archive.tar');
if (
$tar->current()->isDir()) {
$dir = $tar->current()->getPathname();
$dir = basename($dir);
$tar->extractTo('destination', $dir);

the docs hint that the second param could be a name of file OR DIR to be extracted from the archive, is that really possible?
1 month ago
This is an example of how to decompress and unarchive a TAR.GZ file using Phar decompress() and extractTo() methods:

echo '<h1>TAR.GZ decompress</h1>';

$file_name = 'your_file.tar.gz';
$tar_file_name = str_replace('.gz', '', $file_name);
$dir_file_name = str_replace('.tar.gz', '', $file_name);

// decompress from gz and creates your_file.tar
$p = new PharData($file_name);

// unarchive from the tar to folder 'your_file'
$phar = new PharData($tar_file_name);

To Top