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imap_popen — Opens a persistent connection to an IMAP mailbox using the specified username and password.


int imap_popen(mailbox, user, pass[, flags]);
string mailbox: Mailbox name
string user: Username
string pass: Password
int flags (optional): Connection options


IMAP connection ID or FALSE on error


Connects to an IMAP server and mailbox using the specified username and password. Persistent connections to the server are not closed at script end but remain open. If a new connection is attempted and a connection already exists, then the existing connection ID is returned.

The format of the host string is important. The hostname must be enclosed in curly braces folloed directly by the mailbox name that is to be opened. To open the users personal mailbox, use the mailbox name INBOX.

If there is an error connecting, use imap_errors() to retrieve the error string.

flags can be a bitmask of the following:

OP_READONLY Open mailbox read-only
OP_ANONYMOUS Don't use of update a .newrc if using an NNTP connection
OP_HALFOPEN Open a connection but do not open a mailbox. Applies only to IMAP and NNTP
CL_EXPUNGE Automatically expunge mailbox when closed.

For more examples of connecting to other types of services besides IMAP, refer to the examples in imap_open() .


From versions 3.0 and 4.0

See also

See also: imap_open, imap_reopen


Example 615. Connect to a persistant connection

$user = "myuser";
$pass = "mypass";
$imap = imap_popen("{}INBOX", $user, $pass);
if (!$imap) {

PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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