The handler.setPrototypeOf() method is a trap for Object.setPrototypeOf().


const p = new Proxy(target, {
  setPrototypeOf: function(target, prototype) {


The following parameters are passed to the setPrototypeOf() method. this is bound to the handler.

The target object.
The object's new prototype or null.

Return value

The setPrototypeOf() method returns true if the [[Prototype]] was successfully changed, otherwise false.


The handler.setPrototypeOf() method is a trap for Object.setPrototypeOf().


This trap can intercept these operations:


If the following invariants are violated, the proxy will throw a TypeError:

  • If target is not extensible, the prototype parameter must be the same value as Object.getPrototypeOf(target).


If you want to disallow setting a new prototype for your object, your handler's setPrototypeOf() method can either return false, or it can throw an exception.

Approach 1: Returning false

This approach means that any mutating operation that throws an exception on failure to mutate, must create the exception itself.

For example, Object.setPrototypeOf() will create and throw a TypeError itself. If the mutation is performed by an operation that doesn't ordinarily throw in case of failure, such as Reflect.setPrototypeOf(), no exception will be thrown.

const handlerReturnsFalse = {
    setPrototypeOf(target, newProto) {
        return false;

const newProto = {}, target = {};

const p1 = new Proxy(target, handlerReturnsFalse);
Object.setPrototypeOf(p1, newProto); // throws a TypeError
Reflect.setPrototypeOf(p1, newProto); // returns false

Approach 2: Throwing an Exception

The latter approach will cause any operation that attempts to mutate, to throw. This approach is best if you want even non-throwing operations to throw on failure, or you want to throw a custom exception value.

const handlerThrows = {
    setPrototypeOf(target, newProto) {
        throw new Error('custom error');

const newProto = {}, target = {};

const p2 = new Proxy(target, handlerThrows);
Object.setPrototypeOf(p2, newProto);  // throws new Error("custom error")
Reflect.setPrototypeOf(p2, newProto); // throws new Error("custom error")


ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of '[[SetPrototypeOf]]' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

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See also