XMLHttpRequest

Use XMLHttpRequest (XHR) objects to interact with servers. You can retrieve data from a URL without having to do a full page refresh. This enables a Web page to update just part of a page without disrupting what the user is doing. XMLHttpRequest is used heavily in Ajax programming.

Despite its name, XMLHttpRequest can be used to retrieve any type of data, not just XML, and it supports protocols other than HTTP (including file and ftp).

If your communication needs to involve receiving event data or message data from a server, consider using server-sent events through the EventSource (en-US) interface. For full-duplex communication, WebSockets may be a better choice.

Constructor

XMLHttpRequest() (en-US)
The constructor initializes an XMLHttpRequest. It must be called before any other method calls.

Properties

This interface also inherits properties of XMLHttpRequestEventTarget (en-US) and of EventTarget (en-US).

XMLHttpRequest.onreadystatechange (en-US)
An EventHandler (en-US) that is called whenever the readyState attribute changes.
XMLHttpRequest.readyState (en-US) Read only
Returns an unsigned short, the state of the request.
XMLHttpRequest.response (en-US) Read only
Returns an ArrayBuffer (en-US), Blob (en-US), Document, JavaScript object, or a DOMString, depending on the value of XMLHttpRequest.responseType (en-US). that contains the response entity body.
XMLHttpRequest.responseText (en-US) Read only
Returns a DOMString that contains the response to the request as text, or null if the request was unsuccessful or has not yet been sent.
XMLHttpRequest.responseType (en-US)
Is an enumerated value that defines the response type.
XMLHttpRequest.responseURL (en-US) Read only
Returns the serialized URL of the response or the empty string if the URL is null.
XMLHttpRequest.responseXML (en-US) Read only
Returns a Document containing the response to the request, or null if the request was unsuccessful, has not yet been sent, or cannot be parsed as XML or HTML.
XMLHttpRequest.status (en-US) Read only
Returns an unsigned short with the status of the response of the request.
XMLHttpRequest.statusText (en-US) Read only
Returns a DOMString containing the response string returned by the HTTP server. Unlike XMLHTTPRequest.status (en-US), this includes the entire text of the response message ("200 OK", for example).

Note: According to the HTTP/2 specification (8.1.2.4 Response Pseudo-Header Fields), HTTP/2 does not define a way to carry the version or reason phrase that is included in an HTTP/1.1 status line.

XMLHttpRequest.timeout (en-US)
Is an unsigned long representing the number of milliseconds a request can take before automatically being terminated.
XMLHttpRequestEventTarget.ontimeout
Is an EventHandler (en-US) that is called whenever the request times out.
XMLHttpRequest.upload (en-US) Read only
Is an XMLHttpRequestUpload, representing the upload process.
XMLHttpRequest.withCredentials (en-US)
Is a Boolean (en-US) that indicates whether or not cross-site Access-Control requests should be made using credentials such as cookies or authorization headers.

Non-standard properties

XMLHttpRequest.channel (en-US)Read only
Is a nsIChannel. The channel used by the object when performing the request.
XMLHttpRequest.mozAnon (en-US)Read only
Is a boolean. If true, the request will be sent without cookie and authentication headers.
XMLHttpRequest.mozSystem (en-US)Read only
Is a boolean. If true, the same origin policy will not be enforced on the request.
XMLHttpRequest.mozBackgroundRequest (en-US)
Is a boolean. It indicates whether or not the object represents a background service request.
XMLHttpRequest.mozResponseArrayBuffer (en-US) Obsolete since Gecko 6 Read only
Is an ArrayBuffer. The response to the request, as a JavaScript typed array.
XMLHttpRequest.multipart (en-US)Obsolete since Gecko 22
This Gecko-only feature, a boolean, was removed in Firefox/Gecko 22. Please use Server-Sent Events, Web Sockets, or responseText from progress events instead.

Event handlers

onreadystatechange as a property of the XMLHttpRequest instance is supported in all browsers.

Since then, a number of additional event handlers have been implemented in various browsers (onload, onerror, onprogress, etc.). See Using XMLHttpRequest.

More recent browsers, including Firefox, also support listening to the XMLHttpRequest events via standard addEventListener() APIs in addition to setting on* properties to a handler function.

Methods

XMLHttpRequest.abort() (en-US)
Aborts the request if it has already been sent.
XMLHttpRequest.getAllResponseHeaders() (en-US)
Returns all the response headers, separated by CRLF, as a string, or null if no response has been received.
XMLHttpRequest.getResponseHeader() (en-US)
Returns the string containing the text of the specified header, or null if either the response has not yet been received or the header doesn't exist in the response.
XMLHttpRequest.open() (en-US)
Initializes a request. This method is to be used from JavaScript code; to initialize a request from native code, use openRequest() instead.
XMLHttpRequest.overrideMimeType() (en-US)
Overrides the MIME type returned by the server.
XMLHttpRequest.send() (en-US)
Sends the request. If the request is asynchronous (which is the default), this method returns as soon as the request is sent.
XMLHttpRequest.setRequestHeader() (en-US)
Sets the value of an HTTP request header. You must call setRequestHeader()after open(), but before send().

Non-standard methods

XMLHttpRequest.init()
Initializes the object for use from C++ code.
Warning: This method must not be called from JavaScript.
XMLHttpRequest.openRequest()
Initializes a request. This method is to be used from native code; to initialize a request from JavaScript code, use open() instead. See the documentation for open().
XMLHttpRequest.sendAsBinary() This deprecated API should no longer be used, but will probably still work.
A variant of the send() method that sends binary data.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
XMLHttpRequest Living Standard Live standard, latest version

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also