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PHP

Unset a given variable


unset

(PHP 4, PHP 5)

unsetUnset a given variable

Description

void unset ( mixed $var [, mixed $... ] )

unset() destroys the specified variables.

The behavior of unset() inside of a function can vary depending on what type of variable you are attempting to destroy.

If a globalized variable is unset() inside of a function, only the local variable is destroyed. The variable in the calling environment will retain the same value as before unset() was called.

<?php
function destroy_foo() 
{
    global 
$foo;
    unset(
$foo);
}

$foo 'bar';
destroy_foo();
echo 
$foo;
?>

The above example will output:

 bar 

To unset() a global variable inside of a function, then use the $GLOBALS array to do so:

<?php
function foo() 
{
    unset(
$GLOBALS['bar']);
}

$bar "something";
foo();
?>

If a variable that is PASSED BY REFERENCE is unset() inside of a function, only the local variable is destroyed. The variable in the calling environment will retain the same value as before unset() was called.

<?php
function foo(&$bar
{
    unset(
$bar);
    
$bar "blah";
}

$bar 'something';
echo 
"$bar\n";

foo($bar);
echo 
"$bar\n";
?>

The above example will output:

 something something 

If a static variable is unset() inside of a function, unset() destroys the variable only in the context of the rest of a function. Following calls will restore the previous value of a variable.

<?php
function foo()
{
    static 
$bar;
    
$bar++;
    echo 
"Before unset: $bar, ";
    unset(
$bar);
    
$bar 23;
    echo 
"after unset: $bar\n";
}

foo();
foo();
foo();
?>

The above example will output:

 Before unset: 1, after unset: 23 Before unset: 2, after unset: 23 Before unset: 3, after unset: 23 

Parameters

var

The variable to be unset.

...

Another variable ...

Return Values

No value is returned.

Changelog

Version Description
4.0.1 Added support for multiple arguments.

Examples

Example #1 unset() example

<?php
// destroy a single variable
unset($foo);

// destroy a single element of an array
unset($bar['quux']);

// destroy more than one variable
unset($foo1$foo2$foo3);
?>

Example #2 Using (unset) casting

(unset) casting is often confused with the unset() function. (unset) casting serves only as a NULL-type cast, for completeness. It does not alter the variable it's casting.

<?php
$name 
'Felipe';

var_dump((unset) $name);
var_dump($name);
?>

The above example will output:

 NULL string(6) "Felipe" 

Notes

Note: Because this is a language construct and not a function, it cannot be called using variable functions.

Note:

It is possible to unset even object properties visible in current context.

Note:

It is not possible to unset $this inside an object method since PHP 5.

Note:

When using unset() on inaccessible object properties, the __unset() overloading method will be called, if declared.

See Also

  • isset() - Determine if a variable is set and is not NULL
  • empty() - Determine whether a variable is empty
  • __unset()
  • array_splice() - Remove a portion of the array and replace it with something else



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