HTML File Upload Tutorial with Example

This tutorial will briefly discuss the process of file uploads and how to do this with basic HTML. This tutorial will require a basic understanding of the coding language and web development.

Create a Form with the HTML Form Element

Fortunately, HTML is simple enough that we can easily upload files using the element <input>. Look at this example of the HTML syntax for the file uploading system:

<!-- File Uploader HTML-->
<form action="fileupload.php" enctype="multipart/form-data" method="post"><label class="custom-uploader" for="file">Upload Your File</label> <input id="file" accept="image/jpeg,image/gif,image/png,application/pdf,image/x-eps" name="fileToUpload" type="file" /> <button class="btn btn-success" name="submit" type="submit"> Upload File </button></form>

Here’s the result:


  • <form>: HTML <form> is used to display a form on the website. Forms are used for various purposes, including uploading files, submitting feedback, or signing up for newsletters.
  • Action: The HTML form action is the URL to which the form submits the data. 
  • Method: The method attribute is used to specify the HTTP method used to send data while submitting the form. There are two types of methods available.
  • POST
  • GET
  • Enctype: The enctype attribute specifies the encoding type for a form element. This can be set to “multipart/form-data” or “application/x-www-form. multipart/form-data is necessary if your users are required to upload a file through the form.
  • <label>: The <label> HTML tag represents a caption for an item in an interface. It is not mandatory to upload files. It is used just for the caption.
  • <input>: HTML inputs are used to make interactive controls for web-based forms to accept user input data.
  • Type: HTML form input type is a type of input that will automatically validate the data and format it according to specified formats. In this case type=”file” is required to upload a file.
  • Name: The HTML INPUT NAME attribute is used to specify a name for an INPUT element. It is used to reference the form data after submitting the form or reference the JavaScript or CSS element.
  • Submit: HTML’s type=”submit” tag defines a submit button. It is used to submit form information to a web form handler.
  • Accept: The accept attribute’s value is a semicolon-separated list of one or more file types or file type designations, specifying which file types to accept.

Follow These HTML Uploading Rules

Note: When making an HTML form to upload a file, you should follow the rules given below.

  1. Make sure the form uses method=”POST”
  1. The form also needs an attribute called enctype=”multipart/form-data”. The enctype specifies which content type to use when submitting the form.

Without the requirements above, the file upload will not work.

Other things to note: 

  • The type=”file” attribute of the <input> tag shows the input field as a file-select control, with a “Browse” button next to the input control
  • Modern users might not appreciate the old way of choosing files (“Choose a File” button). Thus, you should consider using an HTML picker to upload files.
  • If you want an easier way of implementing file uploads with much richer features in your application, you can choose to Acquire our file uploader. Doing so will let you build a superior file upload experience for your users in a matter of minutes.

Programming Languages That Integrate with HTML Forms

You can use many programming languages to receive data from an HTML form. Many of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Java
  2. PHP
  3. ASP
  4. ColdFusion
  5. JavaScript
  6. Ruby
  7. Python
  8. Perl
  9. C

Summary of HTML File Uploading

In conclusion, uploading files with HTML is not too difficult, but it does take some time to get used to it.

-You can upload files by appending the file name inside an anchor tag. 

-The target attribute should point to the filename you want to upload. 

-It’s best to use an anchor tag with a “name” attribute assigned so that it’s easier to reference the file down the line.

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