PHP 7.0.6 Released


(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7)

$GLOBALSReferences all variables available in global scope


An associative array containing references to all variables which are currently defined in the global scope of the script. The variable names are the keys of the array.


Example #1 $GLOBALS example

function test() {
$foo "local variable";

'$foo in global scope: ' $GLOBALS["foo"] . "\n";
'$foo in current scope: ' $foo "\n";

$foo "Example content";

The above example will output something similar to:

$foo in global scope: Example content
$foo in current scope: local variable



This is a 'superglobal', or automatic global, variable. This simply means that it is available in all scopes throughout a script. There is no need to do global $variable; to access it within functions or methods.

Note: Variable availability

Unlike all of the other superglobals, $GLOBALS has essentially always been available in PHP.

User Contributed Notes

therandshow at gmail dot com
4 years ago
As of PHP 5.4 $GLOBALS is now initialized just-in-time. This means there now is an advantage to not use the $GLOBALS variable as you can avoid the overhead of initializing it. How much of an advantage that is I'm not sure, but I've never liked $GLOBALS much anyways.
mstraczkowski at gmail dot com
2 years ago
Watch out when you are trying to set $GLOBALS to the local variable.

Even without reference operator "&" your variable seems to be referenced to the $GLOBALS

You can test this behaviour using below code

* Result:
* POST: B, Variable: C
* GLOBALS: C, Variable: C

// Testing $_POST
$_POST['A'] = 'B';

$nonReferencedPostVar = $_POST;
$nonReferencedPostVar['A'] = 'C';

'POST: '.$_POST['A'].', Variable: '.$nonReferencedPostVar['A']."\n\n";

// Testing Globals
$GLOBALS['A'] = 'B';

$nonReferencedGlobalsVar = $GLOBALS;
$nonReferencedGlobalsVar['A'] = 'C';

'GLOBALS: '.$GLOBALS['A'].', Variable: '.$nonReferencedGlobalsVar['A']."\n\n";
stevenjeffries at gmail dot com
5 months ago
I ran into the case where I needed to know if my script was in the global scope or not.

You can use $GLOBALS to figure out which case that is:

<?php // file foo.php

$some_unique_prefix_foo = "ok";
if (isset(
$GLOBALS["some_unique_prefix_foo"])) {
"Foo is in global scope.\n";
} else {
"Foo is NOT in global scope.\n";

// Inside another file.
function test() {



Foo is in global scope.
Foo is NOT in global scope.
bkilinc at deyta dot net
3 years ago
I prefer accessing globals through static function calls. Source code looks better; I use glb::get('myglobalvar') instead of $GLOBALS['myglobalvar']. This gives me full control over global access, which can be the source of problems in practice.

class glb
    static public function set($name, $value)
        $GLOBALS[$name] = $value;

    static public function get($name)
        return $GLOBALS[$name];


$myglobalvar = 'Hello, World !';

function myfunction()
    $val = glb::get('myglobalvar');
    echo "$val\n";
    glb::set('myglobalvar', 'hi, again :)');
    $val = glb::get('myglobalvar');
    echo "$val\n";

ravenswd at yahoo dot com
7 years ago
Keep in mind that $GLOBALS is, itself, a global variable. So code like this won't work:

print '$GLOBALS = ' . var_export($GLOBALS, true) . "\n";

This results in the error message: "Nesting level too deep - recursive dependency?"
3 years ago
this is technique that i always did for configuration file..

['conf']['foo'] = 'this is foo';
$conf['conf']['bar'] = 'this is bar';

foobar() {


result is..

  'conf' =>
      'foo' => string 'this is foo' (length=11)
      'bar' => string 'this is bar' (length=11)

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