The toString() method returns a string representing the specified Error object.

Syntax

e.toString()

Return value

A string representing the specified Error object.

Description

The Error object overrides the Object.prototype.toString() method inherited by all objects. Its semantics are as follows (assuming Object and String have their original values):

Error.prototype.toString = function() {
  'use strict';

  var obj = Object(this);
  if (obj !== this) {
    throw new TypeError();
  }

  var name = this.name;
  name = (name === undefined) ? 'Error' : String(name);

  var msg = this.message;
  msg = (msg === undefined) ? '' : String(msg);

  if (name === '') {
    return msg;
  }
  if (msg === '') {
    return name;
  }

  return name + ': ' + msg;
};

Examples

var e = new Error('fatal error');
console.log(e.toString()); // 'Error: fatal error'

e.name = undefined;
console.log(e.toString()); // 'Error: fatal error'

e.name = '';
console.log(e.toString()); // 'fatal error'

e.message = undefined;
console.log(e.toString()); // 'Error'

e.name = 'hello';
console.log(e.toString()); // 'hello'

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 1st Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition. Implemented in JavaScript 1.1.
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.toString' in that specification.
Standard  
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.toString' in that specification.
Standard  
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Error.prototype.toString' in that specification.
Living Standard  

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes6 Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidIE mobileOpera AndroidiOS Safari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes8.1 Yes Yes

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: fscholz,