The DataTransfer.getData() method retrieves drag data (as a DOMString) for the specified type. If the drag operation does not include data, this method returns an empty string.

Example data types are text/plain and text/uri-list.


DOMString dataTransfer.getData(format);


A DOMString representing the type of data to retrieve.

Return value

A DOMString representing the drag data for the specified format. If the drag operation has no data or the operation has no data for the specified format, this method returns an empty string.


Data availability
The HTML5 Drag and Drop Specification dictates a drag data store mode. This may result in unexpected behavior, being DataTransfer.getData() not returning an expected value.


This example shows the use of the DataTransfer object's getData() and setData() methods.

HTML Content

<div id="div1" ondrop="drop(event)" ondragover="allowDrop(event)">
    <span id="drag" draggable="true" ondragstart="drag(event)">drag me to the other box</span>
<div id="div2" ondrop="drop(event)" ondragover="allowDrop(event)"></div>

CSS Content

#div1, #div2 {
    border:1px solid #aaaaaa;

JavaScript Content

function allowDrop(allowdropevent) { = 'blue';

function drag(dragevent) {
    dragevent.dataTransfer.setData("text",; = 'green';

function drop(dropevent) {
    var data = dropevent.dataTransfer.getData("text");;
    document.getElementById("drag").style.color = 'black';



Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'getData()' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of 'getData()' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

We're converting our compatibility data into a machine-readable JSON format. This compatibility table still uses the old format, because we haven't yet converted the data it contains. Find out how you can help!

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 4 (Yes) 3.5 [1] 10 (10) 12 3.1
Feature Android Android Webview Chrome for Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support No support No support (Yes) 10.0 (10)[1] No support 10 No support No support

[1] Before Firefox 48, this method always returned an empty list if the MIME type was not in a white list.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: rubenduiveman,