NodeList objects are collections of nodes such as those returned by Node.childNodes and the document.querySelectorAll method.

Although NodeList is not an Array, it is possible to iterate on it using forEach().  Several older browsers have not implemented this method yet.

In some cases, the NodeList is a live collection, which means that changes in the DOM are reflected in the collection. For example, Node.childNodes is live:

var parent = document.getElementById('parent');
var child_nodes = parent.childNodes;
console.log(child_nodes.length); // let's assume "2"
parent.appendChild(document.createElement('div'));
console.log(child_nodes.length); // should output "3"

In other cases, the NodeList is a static collection, meaning any subsequent change in the DOM does not affect the content of the collection. document.querySelectorAll returns a static NodeList.

It's good to keep this distinction in mind when you choose how to iterate over the items in the NodeList, and how you cache the length of the list in particular.

Properties

NodeList.length
The number of nodes in the NodeList.

Methods

NodeList.item()
Returns an item in the list by its index, or null if the index is out-of-bounds; can be used as an alternative to simply accessing nodeList[idx] (which instead returns  undefined when idx is out-of-bounds).
NodeList.entries()
Returns an iterator allowing to go through all key/value pairs contained in this object.
NodeList.forEach()
Executes a provided function once per NodeList element.
NodeList.keys()
Returns an iterator allowing to go through all keys of the key/value pairs contained in this object.
NodeList.values()
Returns an iterator allowing to go through all values of the key/value pairs contained in this object.

Example

It's possible to loop over the items in a NodeList using:

for (var i = 0; i < myNodeList.length; ++i) {
  var item = myNodeList[i];  // Calling myNodeList.item(i) isn't necessary in JavaScript
}

Don't be tempted to use for...in or for each...in to enumerate the items in the list, since that will also enumerate the length and item properties of the NodeList and cause errors if your script assumes it only has to deal with element objects. Also, for..in is not guaranteed to visit the properties in any particular order.

for...of loops will loop over NodeList objects correctly:

var list = document.querySelectorAll( 'input[type=checkbox]' );
for (var item of list) {
  item.checked = true;
}

Recent browsers also supports iterator methods, forEach(), as well as entries(), values(), and keys()

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'NodeList' in that specification.
Living Standard  
DOM4
The definition of 'NodeList' in that specification.
Recommendation  
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification
The definition of 'NodeList' in that specification.
Recommendation  
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification
The definition of 'NodeList' in that specification.
Recommendation  
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'NodeList' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
entries(), keys(), values(), forEach() 51.0 50.0 (50.0) ? ? ?
Feature Android Android Webview Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
entries(), keys(), values(), forEach() ? ? 50.0 (50.0) ? ? ? ? ?