How to Unzip Folders on the Server Using a Simple PHP Script

I have been installing WordPress MU and BuddyPress a lot recently as I test and test and test it for a client’s website.  The uploading of files via ftp has been the biggest consumer of time during this process.

Yesterday, I discovered a simple PHP script that makes installing WPMU, BuddyPress, WordPress, or really anything else a quick and painless process.  All you need is a zipped folder!  Here is the script:

or Download the PHP file here (but make sure to change the file extension from .txt to .php).


  1. Upload your zipped file to the server (in my case, “”).
  2. Edit unzip.php to point to your file (download unzip.php above).
  3. Upload unzip.php to the same folder as your zipped file.
  4. Open a browser and point it to (make sure to change “” to your domain).

That’s it!

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  1. Paul Alvares on March 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Champ! it works great =]

  2. RB on May 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    You are fantastic!!! Saved me so much time after spending a couple of hours trying to figure out(I’m new to this)…thank you! (O:

  3. be on September 18, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Warning: system() has been disabled for security reasons…

    it doesn’t work.

    • Toby on September 28, 2010 at 9:22 am

      That is an issue with your hosting provider.

  4. raoul on August 19, 2011 at 8:54 am

    hm.. no luck. Script runs fine. Just no result.

  5. toby on August 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    @raoul and @be – The issue is likely your server setup. Contact your hosting provider and ask them to support the function listed above.

  6. Vasu on December 22, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Here’s an alternate method:

    $zip = new ZipArchive;
      $zipped = $zip->open('');
      if ( $zipped ) {

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