This page is not complete.

This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The getReader() method of the ReadableStream interface creates a reader and locks the stream to it. While the stream is locked, no other reader can be acquired until this one is released.


var reader = readableStreamInstance.getReader({mode});


{mode} Optional
An object containing a property mode, which takes as its value a DOMString specifying the type of reader to create.  Values can be:
  • byob, which results in a ReadableStreamBYOBReader being created that can read readable byte streams (i.e. can handle "bring your own buffer" reading).
  • undefined (or not specified at all — this is the default), which results in a ReadableStreamDefaultReader being created that can read individual chunks from a stream.

Return value

A ReadableStreamDefaultReader or ReadableStreamBYOBReader object instance, depending on the mode value.


The provided mode value is not byob or undefined.
The stream you are trying to create a reader for is not a ReadableStream.


In the following simple example, a previously-created custom ReadableStream is read using a ReadableStreamDefaultReader created using getReader(). (see our Simple random stream example for the full code). Each chunk is read sequentially and output to the UI, until the stream has finished being read, at which point we return out of the recursive function and print the entire stream to another part of the UI.

function fetchStream() {
  const reader = stream.getReader();
  let charsReceived = 0;

  // read() returns a promise that resolves
  // when a value has been received processText({ done, value }) {
    // Result objects contain two properties:
    // done  - true if the stream has already given you all its data.
    // value - some data. Always undefined when done is true.
    if (done) {
      console.log("Stream complete");
      para.textContent = value;

    // value for fetch streams is a Uint8Array
    charsReceived += value.length;
    const chunk = value;
    let listItem = document.createElement('li');
    listItem.textContent = 'Received ' + charsReceived + ' characters so far. Current chunk = ' + chunk;

    result += chunk;

    // Read some more, and call this function again


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'getReader()' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support4316571 No30 ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support43431657130 ?4.0

1. From version 57: this feature is behind the dom.streams.enabled preference (needs to be set to true) and the javascript.options.streams preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: fscholz, m-ke, chrisdavidmills
Last updated by: fscholz,