How to Break a PHP foreach Loop After a Certain Count?

In PHP, breaking from a foreach loop after a certain count is a simple process that involves the following steps:

  1. Initializing a counter variable to zero, before the loop starts;
  2. Incrementing the counter variable inside the loop, and;
  3. Using an if statement to conditionally break from the loop.

This technique can be useful in a variety of scenarios where you only want to process a certain number of items in an array.

For example, you can implement this in the following way:

$arr = ['foo', 'bar', 'baz', 'qux', 'quux', 'corge'];
// 1: initialize counter variable to 0
$counter = 0;

foreach ($arr as $item) {
    // 2: increment counter inside the loop
    if ($counter++ >= 3) {
        // 3: conditionally break from the loop

    echo $item; // 'foo' 'bar' 'baz'

In this example:

  1. A counter variable is initialized to zero before the loop starts;
  2. Inside the foreach loop, the counter is incremented using the post-increment operator ($counter++);
  3. Loop is exited conditionally when the counter variable is greater than or equal to three, otherwise the current item is output.

This results in the loop only executing for the first three items in the array.

This post was published by Daniyal Hamid. Daniyal currently works as the Head of Engineering in Germany and has 20+ years of experience in software engineering, design and marketing. Please show your love and support by sharing this post.