The XMLHttpRequest.responseXML property is a read-only value which returns a Document containing the HTML or XML retrieved by the request, or null if the request was unsuccessful, has not yet been sent, or if the retrieved data can't be correctly parsed as XML or HTML. The response is parsed as if it were a "text/xml" stream. When the responseType is set to "document" and the request has been made asynchronously, the response is parsed as a "text/html" stream. responseXML is null for any other types of data, as well as for data: URLs.

The name responseXML is an artifact of this property's history; it really does work for both HTML and XML.

If the server doesn't specify the Content-Type header as "text/xml" or "application/xml", you can use XMLHttpRequest.overrideMimeType() to force XMLHttpRequest to parse it as XML anyway.


var data = XMLHttpRequest.responseXML;


A Document containing the nodes resulting from parsing XML or HTML received using XMLHttpRequest, or null if no data has been received or the data is not of the correct type.


The responseType isn't either "document" or an empty string (either of which indicates that the received data is XML or HTML).


var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhr.open('GET', '/server', true);

// If specified, responseType must be empty string or "document"
xhr.responseType = 'document';

// overrideMimeType() can be used to force the response to be parsed as XML

xhr.onload = function () {
  if (xhr.readyState === xhr.DONE) {
    if (xhr.status === 200) {



Specification Status Comment
XMLHttpRequest Living Standard WHATWG living standard

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)[1] Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) ? (Yes) (Yes)

[1] Prior to Firefox 51, an error parsing the received data added a <parsererror> node to the top of the Document and then returned the Document in whatever state it happens to be in. This was inconsistent with the specification. Starting with Firefox 51, this scenario now correctly returns null as per the spec.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: erikadoyle, Sheppy, MashKao, jsx
 Last updated by: erikadoyle,