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    The onmessage property of the Worker interface represents an EventHandler, that is a function to be called when the message event occurs. These events are of type MessageEvent and will be called when the worker's parent receives a message (i.e. from the DedicatedWorkerGlobalScope.postMessage method.

    Note: The message payload is available in the message event's data property.


    myWorker.onmessage = function(e) { ... }


    The following code snippet shows creation of a Worker object using the Worker() constructor. Messages are passed to the worker when the value inside the form input first changes. An onmessage handler is also present, to deal with messages are passed back from the worker.

    var myWorker = new Worker("worker.js");
    first.onchange = function() {
      console.log('Message posted to worker');
    myWorker.onmessage = function(e) {
      result.textContent =;
      console.log('Message received from worker');

    In the worker.js script, an onmessage handler is used the handle messages from the main script:

    onmessage = function(e) {
      console.log('Message received from main script');
      var workerResult = 'Result: ' + ([0] *[1]);
      console.log('Posting message back to main script');

    Notice how in the main script, onmessage has to be called on myWorker, whereas inside the worker script you just need onmessage because the worker is effectively the global scope (DedicatedWorkerGlobalScope).

    For a full example, see ourBasic dedicated worker example (run dedicated worker).


    Specification Status Comment
    WHATWG HTML Living Standard
    The definition of 'Worker.onmessage' in that specification.
    Living Standard No change from Web Workers.
    Web Workers
    The definition of 'Worker.onmessage' in that specification.
    Candidate Recommendation Initial definition.

    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
    Basic support 4 3.5 10.0 10.6 4
    Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Basic support 4.4 3.5 1.0.1 10.0 11.5 5.1

    See also

    The Worker interface it belongs to.

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Contributors to this page: kscarfone, chrisdavidmills, teoli
    Last updated by: teoli,