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The encodeURI() function encodes a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) by replacing each instance of certain characters by one, two, three, or four escape sequences representing the UTF-8 encoding of the character (will only be four escape sequences for characters composed of two "surrogate" characters).




A complete Uniform Resource Identifier.

Return value

A new string representing the provided string encoded as a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).


Does not encode characters that have special meaning (reserved characters) for a URI. The following example shows all the parts that a URI "scheme" can possibly contain. Note how certain characters are used to signify special meaning:


Hence encodeURI does not encode characters that are necessary to formulate a complete URI. Also, encodeURI does not encode a few additional characters, known as "unreserved marks", which do not have a reserved purpose but are allowed in a URI "as is".  (See RFC2396)

encodeURI escapes all characters except:

Not Escaped:

    A-Z a-z 0-9 ; , / ? : @ & = + $ - _ . ! ~ * ' ( ) #

encodeURI differs from encodeURIComponent as follows:

var set1 = ";,/?:@&=+$#";  // Reserved Characters
var set2 = "-_.!~*'()";   // Unreserved Marks
var set3 = "ABC abc 123"; // Alphanumeric Characters + Space

console.log(encodeURI(set1)); // ;,/?:@&=+$#
console.log(encodeURI(set2)); // -_.!~*'()
console.log(encodeURI(set3)); // ABC%20abc%20123 (the space gets encoded as %20)

console.log(encodeURIComponent(set1)); // %3B%2C%2F%3F%3A%40%26%3D%2B%24%23
console.log(encodeURIComponent(set2)); // -_.!~*'()
console.log(encodeURIComponent(set3)); // ABC%20abc%20123 (the space gets encoded as %20)

Note that encodeURI by itself cannot form proper HTTP GET and POST requests, such as for XMLHTTPRequests, because "&", "+", and "=" are not encoded, which are treated as special characters in GET and POST requests. encodeURIComponent, however, does encode these characters.

Note that an URIError will be thrown if one attempts to encode a surrogate which is not part of a high-low pair, e.g.,

// high-low pair ok

// lone high surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

// lone low surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

Also note that if one wishes to follow the more recent RFC3986 for URLs, which makes square brackets reserved (for IPv6) and thus not encoded when forming something which could be part of a URL (such as a host), the following code snippet may help:

function fixedEncodeURI(str) {
    return encodeURI(str).replace(/%5B/g, '[').replace(/%5D/g, ']');



Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 3rd Edition (ECMA-262) Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'encodeURI' in that specification.
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'encodeURI' in that specification.
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'encodeURI' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
encodeURIChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yesnodejs Full support Yes


Full support  
Full support

See also