Manage mailboxes, filter/get/delete emails in PHP (supports IMAP/POP3/NNTP)

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3.0.33 2019-11-30 13:08 UTC


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Initially released in December 2012, the PHP IMAP Mailbox is a powerful and open source library to connect to a mailbox by POP3, IMAP and NNTP using the PHP IMAP extension. This library allows you to fetch emails from your email server. Extend the functionality or create powerful web applications to handle your incoming emails.


  • Connect to mailbox by POP3/IMAP/NNTP, using PHP IMAP extension
  • Get emails with attachments and inline images
  • Get emails filtered or sorted by custom criteria
  • Mark emails as seen/unseen
  • Delete emails
  • Manage mailbox folders


  • PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 or 7.4
  • PHP imap extension must be present; so make sure this line is active in your php.ini: extension=php_imap.dll
  • PHP mbstring extension must be present; so make sure this line is active in your php.ini: extension=php_mbstring.dll
  • PHP iconv extension must be present, if mbstring is not available; so make sure this line is active in your php.ini: extension=php_iconv.dll

Installation by Composer

Install the latest available release:

$ composer require php-imap/php-imap

Install the latest available and stable source code from master, which is may not released / tagged yet:

$ composer require php-imap/php-imap:dev-master

Install the latest available and may unstable source code from develop, which is may not properly tested yet:

$ composer require php-imap/php-imap:dev-develop

PHPUnit Tests

Before you can run the PHPUnit tests you may need to run composer install to install all (development) dependencies.

You can run all PHPUnit tests by running the following command (inside of the installed php-imap directory): php vendor/bin/phpunit --testdox

Integration with frameworks

Getting Started Example

Below, you'll find an example code how you can use this library. For further information and other examples, you may take a look at the wiki.

// Create PhpImap\Mailbox instance for all further actions
$mailbox = new PhpImap\Mailbox(
	'{}INBOX', // IMAP server and mailbox folder
	'', // Username for the before configured mailbox
	'*********', // Password for the before configured username
	__DIR__, // Directory, where attachments will be saved (optional)
	'UTF-8' // Server encoding (optional)

try {
	// Get all emails (messages)
	// imap_search criteria:
	$mailsIds = $mailbox->searchMailbox('ALL');
} catch(PhpImap\Exceptions\ConnectionException $ex) {
	echo "IMAP connection failed: " . $ex;

// If $mailsIds is empty, no emails could be found
if(!$mailsIds) {
	die('Mailbox is empty');

// Get the first message
// If '__DIR__' was defined in the first line, it will automatically
// save all attachments to the specified directory
$mail = $mailbox->getMail($mailsIds[0]);

// Show, if $mail has one or more attachments
echo "\nMail has attachments? ";
if($mail->hasAttachments()) {
	echo "Yes\n";
} else {
	echo "No\n";

// Print all information of $mail

// Print all attachements of $mail
echo "\n\nAttachments:\n";

Method imap() allows to call any imap function in a context of the the instance:

// Call imap_check(); 	
$info = $mailbox->imap('check'); // 
// Show current time for the mailbox
$currentServerTime = isset($info->Date) && $info->Date ? date('Y-m-d H:i:s', strtotime($info->Date)) : 'Unknown';	
echo $currentServerTime;

Some request require much time and resources:

// If you don't need to grab attachments you can significantly increase performance of your application

// get the list of folders/mailboxes	
$folders = $mailbox->getMailboxes('*'); 	
// loop through mailboxs	
foreach($folders as $folder) {	
	// switch to particular mailbox	
	// search in particular mailbox	
	$mails_ids[$folder['fullpath']] = $mailbox->searchMailbox('SINCE "1 Jan 2018" BEFORE "28 Jan 2018"');