TypeError: "x" is read-only

Message

TypeError: "x" is read-only (Firefox)
TypeError: 0 is read-only (Firefox)
TypeError: Cannot assign to read only property 'x' of #<Object> (Chrome)
TypeError: Cannot assign to read only property '0' of [object Array] (Chrome)

Error type

TypeError

What went wrong?

The global variable or object property that was assigned to is a read-only property. (Technically, it is a non-writable data property.)

This error happens only in strict mode code. In non-strict code, the assignment is silently ignored.

Examples

Invalid cases

Read-only properties are not super common, but they can be created using Object.defineProperty() or Object.freeze().

"use strict";
var obj = Object.freeze({name: "Elsa", score: 157});
obj.score = 0;  // TypeError

"use strict";
Object.defineProperty(this, "LUNG_COUNT", {value: 2, writable: false});
LUNG_COUNT = 3;  // TypeError

"use strict";
var frozenArray = Object.freeze([0, 1, 2]);
frozenArray[0]++;  // TypeError

There are also a few read-only properties built into JavaScript. Maybe you tried to redefine a mathematical constant.

"use strict";
Math.PI = 4;  // TypeError

Sorry, you can't do that.

The global variable undefined is also read-only, so you can't silence the infamous "undefined is not a function" error by doing this:

"use strict";
undefined = function () {};  // TypeError: "undefined" is read-only

Valid cases

"use strict";
var obj = Object.freeze({name: "Score", points: 157});
obj = {name: obj.name, points: 0};   // replacing it with a new object works

"use strict";
var LUNG_COUNT = 2;  // a `var` works, because it's not read-only
LUNG_COUNT = 3;  // ok (anatomically unlikely, though)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: fscholz, jorendorff-moz
 Last updated by: fscholz,