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Non-standard
This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

The function.caller property returns the function that invoked the specified function. This property is forbidden in strict model due to tail call optimization.

Description

If the function f was invoked by the top level code, the value of f.caller is null, otherwise it's the function that called f.

This property replaces the obsolete arguments.caller property of the arguments object.

The special property __caller__, which returned the activation object of the caller thus allowing to reconstruct the stack, was removed for security reasons.

Notes

Note that in case of recursion, you can't reconstruct the call stack using this property. Consider:

function f(n) { g(n - 1); }
function g(n) { if (n > 0) { f(n); } else { stop(); } }
f(2);

At the moment stop() is called the call stack will be:

f(2) -> g(1) -> f(1) -> g(0) -> stop()

The following is true:

stop.caller === g && f.caller === g && g.caller === f

so if you tried to get the stack trace in the stop() function like this:

var f = stop;
var stack = 'Stack trace:';
while (f) {
  stack += '\n' + f.name;
  f = f.caller;
}

the loop would never stop.

Examples

Checking the value of a function's caller property

The following code checks the value a function's caller property.

function myFunc() {
  if (myFunc.caller == null) {
    return 'The function was called from the top!';
  } else {
    return 'This function\'s caller was ' + myFunc.caller;
  }
}

Specifications

Not part of any specification. Implemented in JavaScript 1.5.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
Basic support
Non-standard
Chrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support 8Opera 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

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.

See also

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