The ArrayBuffer object is used to represent a generic raw binary data buffer.

It is an array of bytes, often referred to in other languages as a "byte array". You cannot directly manipulate the contents of an ArrayBuffer; instead, you create one of the typed array objects or a DataView object which represents the buffer in a specific format, and use that to read and write the contents of the buffer.

The ArrayBuffer() constructor creates a new ArrayBuffer of the given length in bytes. You can also get an array buffer from existing data, for example, from a Base64 string or from a local file.

ArrayBuffer is a transferable object.


Resizing ArrayBuffers

ArrayBuffer objects can be made resizable by including the maxByteLength option when calling the ArrayBuffer() constructor. You can query whether an ArrayBuffer is resizable and what its maximum size is by accessing its resizable and maxByteLength properties, respectively. You can assign a new size to a resizable ArrayBuffer with a resize() call. New bytes are initialized to 0.

These features make resizing ArrayBuffers more efficient — otherwise, you have to make a copy of the buffer with a new size. It also gives JavaScript parity with WebAssembly in this regard (Wasm linear memory can be resized with WebAssembly.Memory.prototype.grow()).

Transferring ArrayBuffers

ArrayBuffer objects can be transferred between different execution contexts, like Web Workers or Service Workers, using the structured clone algorithm. This is done by passing the ArrayBuffer as a transferable object in a call to Worker.postMessage() or ServiceWorker.postMessage(). In pure JavaScript, you can also transfer the ownership of memory from one ArrayBuffer to another using its transfer() or transferToFixedLength() method.

When an ArrayBuffer is transferred, its original copy becomes detached — this means it is no longer usable. At any moment, there will only be one copy of the ArrayBuffer that actually has access to the underlying memory. Detached buffers have the following behaviors:

  • byteLength becomes 0 (in both the buffer and the associated typed array views).
  • Methods, such as resize() and slice(), throw a TypeError when invoked. The associated typed array views' methods also throw a TypeError.

You can check whether an ArrayBuffer is detached by its detached property.



Creates a new ArrayBuffer object.

Static properties


The constructor function that is used to create derived objects.

Static methods


Returns true if arg is one of the ArrayBuffer views, such as typed array objects or a DataView. Returns false otherwise.

Instance properties

These properties are defined on ArrayBuffer.prototype and shared by all ArrayBuffer instances.


The size, in bytes, of the ArrayBuffer. This is established when the array is constructed and can only be changed using the ArrayBuffer.prototype.resize() method if the ArrayBuffer is resizable.


The constructor function that created the instance object. For ArrayBuffer instances, the initial value is the ArrayBuffer constructor.


Read-only. Returns true if the ArrayBuffer has been detached (transferred), or false if not.


The read-only maximum length, in bytes, that the ArrayBuffer can be resized to. This is established when the array is constructed and cannot be changed.


Read-only. Returns true if the ArrayBuffer can be resized, or false if not.


The initial value of the [Symbol.toStringTag] property is the string "ArrayBuffer". This property is used in Object.prototype.toString().

Instance methods


Resizes the ArrayBuffer to the specified size, in bytes.


Returns a new ArrayBuffer whose contents are a copy of this ArrayBuffer's bytes from begin (inclusive) up to end (exclusive). If either begin or end is negative, it refers to an index from the end of the array, as opposed to from the beginning.


Creates a new ArrayBuffer with the same byte content as this buffer, then detaches this buffer.


Creates a new non-resizable ArrayBuffer with the same byte content as this buffer, then detaches this buffer.


Creating an ArrayBuffer

In this example, we create a 8-byte buffer with a Int32Array view referring to the buffer:

const buffer = new ArrayBuffer(8);
const view = new Int32Array(buffer);


ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-arraybuffer-objects

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also