Upload Image by REST API in CodeIgniter 4 Tutorial

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CodeIgniter 4 is an open source framework of PHP. There are several libraries available in codeigniter 4 which makes application development very easy.

Inside this article we will see the concept of Upload image by REST API in CodeIgniter 4. Uploading image or file using REST API is bit confusion for all developers. But when you complete this article and it’s steps, Surely you will be able to upload an image in rest api using CodeIgniter 4.

If you want to do this upload in case of Update function, you need to use the concept of Method spoofing in CodeIgniter 4. HTTP Method Spoofing is used to complete the HTTP verbs like PUT and DELETE. Browser provides the HTTP methods to process the action by using GET and POST method, they don’t allow to submit the request using PUT, PATCH & DELETE.

Article is very interesting to learn and super easy to implement. We will use POST request with form data parameters.

Learn more –

  • CodeIgniter 4 RESTful APIs with JWT Authentication, Click here.
  • REST API Development with Validation in CodeIgniter 4, Click here.
  • Basic Auth REST API Development in CodeIgniter 4, Click here.

Let’s get started.

CodeIgniter 4 Installation

To create a CodeIgniter 4 setup run this given command into your shell or terminal. Please make sure composer should be installed.

composer create-project codeigniter4/appstarter codeigniter-4

Assuming you have successfully installed application into your local system.

Environment (.env) Setup

When we install CodeIgniter 4, we will have env file at root. To use the environment variables means using variables at global scope we need to do env to .env

Either we can do via renaming file as simple as that. Also we can do by terminal command.

Open project in terminal

cp env .env

Above command will create a copy of env file to .env file. Now we are ready to use environment variables.

Enable Development Mode

CodeIgniter starts up in production mode by default. You need to make it in development mode to see any error if you are working with application.

Open .env file from root.

# CI_ENVIRONMENT = production

 // Do it to 
CI_ENVIRONMENT = development

Now application is in development mode.

Create Database

To create a database, either we can create via Manual tool of PhpMyadmin or by means of a mysql command.

We will use MySQL command to create database. Run this command into Sql tab of PhpMyAdmin.

CREATE DATABASE codeigniter4_app;

Successfully, we have created a database.

Create Database Table

Next, we need a table. That table will be responsible to store data.

Let’s create table with some columns.

CREATE TABLE `files` (
 `file_name` varchar(120) DEFAULT NULL,
 `file_path` varchar(220) DEFAULT NULL,

Successfully, we have created a table.

Database Connection

Open .env file from project root.

Search for DATABASE. You should see the connection environment variables into it. Put your updated details of database connection string values.


database.default.hostname = localhost
database.default.database = codeigniter4_app
database.default.username = admin
database.default.password = admin
database.default.DBDriver = MySQLi
database.default.DBPrefix =
database.default.port = 3306

Now, database successfully connected with the application.

Create Model

Back to terminal and run this spark command to create a model file.

$ php spark make:model File --suffix

It will create FileModel.php file at /app/Models folder. Open file and write this complete code into it.


namespace App\Models;

use CodeIgniter\Model;

class FileModel extends Model
	protected $DBGroup              = 'default';
	protected $table                = 'files';
	protected $primaryKey           = 'id';
	protected $useAutoIncrement     = true;
	protected $insertID             = 0;
	protected $returnType           = 'array';
	protected $useSoftDelete        = false;
	protected $protectFields        = true;
	protected $allowedFields        = [

	// Dates
	protected $useTimestamps        = false;
	protected $dateFormat           = 'datetime';
	protected $createdField         = 'created_at';
	protected $updatedField         = 'updated_at';
	protected $deletedField         = 'deleted_at';

	// Validation
	protected $validationRules      = [];
	protected $validationMessages   = [];
	protected $skipValidation       = false;
	protected $cleanValidationRules = true;

	// Callbacks
	protected $allowCallbacks       = true;
	protected $beforeInsert         = [];
	protected $afterInsert          = [];
	protected $beforeUpdate         = [];
	protected $afterUpdate          = [];
	protected $beforeFind           = [];
	protected $afterFind            = [];
	protected $beforeDelete         = [];
	protected $afterDelete          = [];

Create Controller

Open project into terminal and run this spark command.

$ php spark make:controller Api/Api --suffix --restful

It will create ApiController.php file inside /app/Controllers/Api folder. Along with controller it will also create a folder. Remove all existing code of this file.

Open ApiController.php and write this complete code into it.


namespace App\Controllers\Api;

use CodeIgniter\RESTful\ResourceController;
use App\Models\FileModel;

class ApiController extends ResourceController
	public function uploadImage()
		$file = $this->request->getFile('image');

		$profile_image = $file->getName();

		// Renaming file before upload
		$temp = explode(".",$profile_image);
		$newfilename = round(microtime(true)) . '.' . end($temp);

		if ($file->move("images", $newfilename)) {

			$fileModel = new FileModel();

			$data = [
				"file_name" => $newfilename,
				"file_path" => "/images/" . $newfilename

			if ($fileModel->insert($data)) {

				$response = [
					'status' => 200,
					'error' => false,
					'message' => 'File uploaded successfully',
					'data' => []
			} else {

				$response = [
					'status' => 500,
					'error' => true,
					'message' => 'Failed to save image',
					'data' => []
		} else {

			$response = [
				'status' => 500,
				'error' => true,
				'message' => 'Failed to upload image',
				'data' => []

		return $this->respondCreated($response);

	public function listImages()
		$fileModel = new FileModel();

		$response = [
			'status' => 200,
			"error" => false,
			'messages' => 'Files list',
			'data' => $fileModel->findAll()

		return $this->respondCreated($response);

We have only upload file and list file apis. But you can do other apis as well like update and delete.

How To Upload & Process Image When Update?

When we upload form data it always process using GET & POST request type. It don’t able to response PUT & Delete requests. So how can we process update and delete functions?

HTTP Method Spoofing is used to complete the HTTP verbs like PUT and DELETE. Browser provides the HTTP methods to process the action by using GET and POST method, they don’t allow to submit the request using PUT, PATCH & DELETE.

Click here to learn about complete guide for HTTP Method Spoofing in CodeIgniter 4.


$routes->put("update-image", "ApiController::updateImage");

Controller Method

public function updateImage()
         //... do your logic

        $response = [
            'status' => 200,
            "error" => false,
            'messages' => 'Update Image Method',
            'data' => []

        return $this->respondCreated($response);

File Upload

When we will do file upload, need to add an extra value i.e _method = PUT. It will complete your HTTP PUT request process.

Add Routes

Open Routes.php file from /app/Config folder. Add these routes into it.


 $routes->group("api", ["namespace" => "App\Controllers\Api"] , function($routes){

	 $routes->post("upload-image", "ApiController::uploadImage");
     $routes->get("list-images", "ApiController::listImages"); 


Application Testing

Open project terminal and start development server via command:

php spark serve


URL: http://localhost:8080/api/upload-image



image: <FileType>

HANDLER: \App\Controllers\Api\ApiController::uploadImage


URL: http://localhost:8080/api/list-images


HANDLER: \App\Controllers\Api\ApiController::listImages

Database Table

We hope this article helped you to learn Upload Image by REST API in CodeIgniter 4 Tutorial in a very detailed way.

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Sanjay KumarHello friends, I am Sanjay Kumar a Web Developer by profession. Additionally I'm also a Blogger, Youtuber by Passion. I founded Online Web Tutor and Skillshike platforms. By using these platforms I am sharing the valuable knowledge of Programming, Tips and Tricks, Programming Standards and more what I have with you all. Read more