In this post, I will explain the file uploading and attachment feature of Contact Form 7. With this feature, you can allow your users to upload their files via your form, and then an email with attachments of the files is sent to you.
To set up, two steps are needed: 1) Add file uploading fields in your form, 2) Set up your mail settings to attach the uploaded files. The two steps will be explained in the rest of this post.
Adding file uploading fields in your form
Like for other types of form fields, Contact Form 7 provides form-tags for file uploading fields (
<input type="file"> in HTML):
file* is a required field and requires the user to upload a file.
|filetypes:(filetypes)||Acceptable file types. List the file types after the |
|limit:(num)||Limit the max file size acceptable. You can use |
[file your-file filetypes:pdf|txt limit:2mb]
Contact Form 7 applies default restrictions for the acceptable file types and file size when you have omitted to set the
limit: options. The default
filetypes: option value is
audio/*|video/*|image/*, and the default
limit: option value is
1mb. Since these default values can change in future versions without notice, it is recommended to set the options explicitly.
Setting up file attachments with an email
In this example, the form-tag for the file uploading field is:
[file your-file filetypes:pdf]
Therefore, the corresponding mail-tag to this is:
Note that what you put in the File attachments field is
[your-file] (mail-tag), not
[file your-file filetypes:pdf] (this is not a mail-tag but a form-tag).
If you have multiple files uploaded and want to attach them into an email, simply line the mail-tags up in the File attachments field like this:
Local file attachment
Contact Form 7 supports local file attachment. You can put local file paths in the File attachments field and those files will be attached to the email as well as uploaded files.
Put a file path per line. When the path is not an absolute path, it will be treated as a relative path to the
For security reasons, specifying files outside of the
wp-content directory for email attachments is not allowed, so place the files in the
wp-content or its subdirectory.
How your uploaded files are managed
After a user uploads a file through your contact form, Contact Form 7 checks to see if: 1.) Any PHP errors have occurred; 2.) the file type and file size are valid; and then, if the check turns out okay, Contact Form 7 moves the uploaded file to a temporary folder. At this point, Contact Form 7 attaches the file to the mail and sends it. After these procedures, Contact Form 7 then removes the file from the temporary folder.
The location of the temporary folder is
wp-content/uploads/wpcf7_uploads by default. It may differ if you have changed upload path setting from
This folder is created automatically, but sometimes it can fail. The most possible reason for this is that the parent folder doesn’t have sufficient writing permissions. In such cases, you can change the permissions or create a folder manually.
You can customize this directory path by defining the
WPCF7_UPLOADS_TMP_DIR constant like the following:
define( 'WPCF7_UPLOADS_TMP_DIR', 'your-custom-tmp-dir' );
You can set the constant value to an absolute directory path or a relative path to the WordPress content directory (
WP_CONTENT_DIR). Be aware that, even in cases where you set it to an absolute directory path, you can only specify a directory that is located under the content directory. Otherwise, the constant will be ignored.