XMLHttpRequest (XHR) objects are used 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.

EventTarget XMLHttpRequestEventTarget XMLHttpRequest

Despite its name, XMLHttpRequest can be used to retrieve any type of data, not just XML.

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

Note: This feature is available in Web Workers, except for Service Workers



The constructor initializes an XMLHttpRequest. It must be called before any other method calls.


This interface also inherits properties of XMLHttpRequestEventTarget and of EventTarget.


An Event handler that is called whenever the readyState attribute changes.

XMLHttpRequest.readyState Read only

Returns an unsigned short, the state of the request.

XMLHttpRequest.response Read only

Returns an ArrayBuffer, Blob, Document, JavaScript object, or a DOMString, depending on the value of XMLHttpRequest.responseType, that contains the response entity body.

XMLHttpRequest.responseText 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.


Is an enumerated value that defines the response type.

XMLHttpRequest.responseURL Read only

Returns the serialized URL of the response or the empty string if the URL is null.

XMLHttpRequest.responseXML 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. Not available in workers.

XMLHttpRequest.status Read only

Returns an unsigned short with the status of the response of the request.

XMLHttpRequest.statusText Read only

Returns a DOMString containing the response string returned by the HTTP server. Unlike XMLHttpRequest.status, this includes the entire text of the response message ("200 OK", for example).

Note: According to the HTTP/2 specification ( 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.


Is an unsigned long representing the number of milliseconds a request can take before automatically being terminated.


Is an Event handler that is called whenever the request times out.

XMLHttpRequest.upload Read only

Is an XMLHttpRequestUpload, representing the upload process.


Is a boolean value 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.channelRead only

The channel used by the object when performing the request.

XMLHttpRequest.mozAnonRead only

Is a boolean. If true, the request will be sent without cookie and authentication headers.

XMLHttpRequest.mozSystemRead only

Is a boolean. If true, the same origin policy will not be enforced on the request.


Is a boolean. It indicates whether or not the object represents a background service request.

Event handlers

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

Since then, a number of additional on* event handler properties 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.



Aborts the request if it has already been sent.


Returns all the response headers, separated by CRLF, as a string, or null if no response has been received.


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.


Initializes a request.


Overrides the MIME type returned by the server.


Sends the request. If the request is asynchronous (which is the default), this method returns as soon as the request is sent.


Sets the value of an HTTP request header. You must call setRequestHeader()after open(), but before send().



Fired when a request has been aborted, for example because the program called XMLHttpRequest.abort(). Also available via the onabort property.


Fired when the request encountered an error. Also available via the onerror property.


Fired when an XMLHttpRequest transaction completes successfully. Also available via the onload property.


Fired when a request has completed, whether successfully (after load) or unsuccessfully (after abort or error). Also available via the onloadend property.


Fired when a request has started to load data. Also available via the onloadstart property.


Fired periodically when a request receives more data. Also available via the onprogress property.


Fired when progress is terminated due to preset time expiring. Also available via the ontimeout property.


XMLHttpRequest Standard (XMLHttpRequest)
# interface-xmlhttprequest

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also