PHP download created on the fly contains the source page's HTML

Posted August 9, 2020 1.2k views

I have a page that gives users the option of downloading some data (in JSON format, if that matters). I am making use of the PHP header command as shown below:


   $content =  '{"employee": {"name":"bill","salary":36000,"married":true}}';
   header("Content-type: application/json");
   header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=savethis.json");
   header("Content-Length: " . filesize($content));
   header("Connection: close");
   print $content;


But the file that downloads looks like this:


{"employee": {"name":"bill","salary":36000,"married":true}}

Close, but no cigar. What I can do to get rid of the unwanted HTML?

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1 answer

Hi @nycstern,

It does seem like it’s getting your html tags:


If you remove them, the json file you create shouldn’t have those tags in it.

Having said that, you most probably will have more HTML in the page rather than just two tags. In that case the following should work properly

header('Content-disposition: attachment; filename=jsonFile.json');
header('Content-type: application/json');

Notice how the Content-type has been switched and it’s not above the json file itself.


  • Thank you. I found a workaround. Now grappling with the fact that this page is not loading cookies when viewed through an iframe. Why might that be, I wonder.?