RangeError: invalid array length

The JavaScript exception "Invalid array length" occurs when specifying an array length that is either negative or exceeds the maximum supported by the platform (i.e. when creating an Array or ArrayBuffer, or when setting the Array.length property).

The maximum allowed array length depends on the platform, browser and browser version. For Array the maximum length is 2GB-1 (2^32-1). For ArrayBuffer the maximum is 2GB-1 on 32-bit systems (2^32-1). From Firefox version 89 the maximum value of ArrayBuffer is 8GB on 64-bit systems (2^33).

Note: Array and ArrayBuffer are independent data structures (the implementation of one does not affect the other).

Message

RangeError: invalid array length (Firefox)
RangeError: Invalid array length (Chromium-based)
RangeError: Array buffer allocation failed (Chromium-based)

Error type

RangeError

What went wrong?

An invalid array length might appear in these situations:

  • Creating an Array or ArrayBuffer with a negative length, or setting a negative value for the Array.length property.
  • Creating an Array or setting the Array.length property greater than 2GB-1 (2^32-1).
  • Creating an ArrayBuffer that is bigger than 2GB-1 (2^32-1) on a 32-bit system or 8GB (2^33) on a 64-bit system.
  • Before Firefox 89: Creating an ArrayBuffer that is bigger than 2GB-1 (2^32-1).

If you are creating an Array, using the constructor, you probably want to use the literal notation instead, as the first argument is interpreted as the length of the Array.

Otherwise, you might want to clamp the length before setting the length property, or using it as argument of the constructor.

Examples

Invalid cases

new Array(Math.pow(2, 40))
new Array(-1)
new ArrayBuffer(Math.pow(2, 32)) //32-bit system
new ArrayBuffer(-1)

let a = [];
a.length = a.length - 1;         // set -1 to the length property

let b = new Array(Math.pow(2, 32) - 1);
b.length = b.length + 1;         // set 2^32 to the length property

Valid cases

[ Math.pow(2, 40) ]                     // [ 1099511627776 ]
[ -1 ]                                  // [ -1 ]
new ArrayBuffer(Math.pow(2, 32) - 1)
new ArrayBuffer(Math.pow(2, 33))  // 64-bit systems after Firefox 89
new ArrayBuffer(0)

let a = [];
a.length = Math.max(0, a.length - 1);

let b = new Array(Math.pow(2, 32) - 1);
b.length = Math.min(0xffffffff, b.length + 1);

// 0xffffffff is the hexadecimal notation for 2^32 - 1
// which can also be written as (-1 >>> 0)

See also