2.0.5 • Public • Published

window.fetch polyfill

The fetch() function is a Promise-based mechanism for programmatically making web requests in the browser. This project is a polyfill that implements a subset of the standard Fetch specification, enough to make fetch a viable replacement for most uses of XMLHttpRequest in traditional web applications.

This project adheres to the Open Code of Conduct. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code.

Table of Contents

Read this first

  • If you believe you found a bug with how fetch behaves in Chrome or Firefox, please don't open an issue in this repository. This project is a polyfill, and since Chrome and Firefox both implement the window.fetch function natively, no code from this project actually takes any effect in these browsers. See Browser support for detailed information.

  • If you have trouble making a request to another domain (a different subdomain or port number also constitutes another domain), please familiarize yourself with all the intricacies and limitations of CORS requests. Because CORS requires participation of the server by implementing specific HTTP response headers, it is often nontrivial to set up or debug. CORS is exclusively handled by the browser's internal mechanisms which this polyfill cannot influence.

  • If you have trouble maintaining the user's session or CSRF protection through fetch requests, please ensure that you've read and understood the Sending cookies section. fetch doesn't send cookies unless you ask it to.

  • This project doesn't work under Node.js environments. It's meant for web browsers only. You should ensure that your application doesn't try to package and run this on the server.

  • If you have an idea for a new feature of fetch, submit your feature requests to the specification's repository. We only add features and APIs that are part of the Fetch specification.


  • npm install whatwg-fetch --save; or

  • bower install fetch; or

  • yarn add whatwg-fetch.

You will also need a Promise polyfill for older browsers. We recommend taylorhakes/promise-polyfill for its small size and Promises/A+ compatibility.

For use with webpack, add this package in the entry configuration option before your application entry point:

entry: ['whatwg-fetch', ...]

For Babel and ES2015+, make sure to import the file:

import 'whatwg-fetch'


For a more comprehensive API reference that this polyfill supports, refer to https://github.github.io/fetch/.


  .then(function(response) {
    return response.text()
  }).then(function(body) {
    document.body.innerHTML = body


  .then(function(response) {
    return response.json()
  }).then(function(json) {
    console.log('parsed json', json)
  }).catch(function(ex) {
    console.log('parsing failed', ex)

Response metadata

fetch('/users.json').then(function(response) {

Post form

var form = document.querySelector('form')

fetch('/users', {
  method: 'POST',
  body: new FormData(form)


fetch('/users', {
  method: 'POST',
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json'
  body: JSON.stringify({
    name: 'Hubot',
    login: 'hubot',

File upload

var input = document.querySelector('input[type="file"]')

var data = new FormData()
data.append('file', input.files[0])
data.append('user', 'hubot')

fetch('/avatars', {
  method: 'POST',
  body: data


The fetch specification differs from jQuery.ajax() in mainly two ways that bear keeping in mind:

  • The Promise returned from fetch() won't reject on HTTP error status even if the response is an HTTP 404 or 500. Instead, it will resolve normally, and it will only reject on network failure or if anything prevented the request from completing.

  • By default, fetch won't send or receive any cookies from the server, resulting in unauthenticated requests if the site relies on maintaining a user session. See Sending cookies for how to opt into cookie handling.

Handling HTTP error statuses

To have fetch Promise reject on HTTP error statuses, i.e. on any non-2xx status, define a custom response handler:

function checkStatus(response) {
  if (response.status >= 200 && response.status < 300) {
    return response
  } else {
    var error = new Error(response.statusText)
    error.response = response
    throw error

function parseJSON(response) {
  return response.json()

  .then(function(data) {
    console.log('request succeeded with JSON response', data)
  }).catch(function(error) {
    console.log('request failed', error)

Sending cookies

To automatically send cookies for the current domain, the credentials option must be provided:

fetch('/users', {
  credentials: 'same-origin'

The "same-origin" value makes fetch behave similarly to XMLHttpRequest with regards to cookies. Otherwise, cookies won't get sent, resulting in these requests not preserving the authentication session.

For CORS requests, use the "include" value to allow sending credentials to other domains:

fetch('https://example.com:1234/users', {
  credentials: 'include'

Receiving cookies

As with XMLHttpRequest, the Set-Cookie response header returned from the server is a forbidden header name and therefore can't be programmatically read with response.headers.get(). Instead, it's the browser's responsibility to handle new cookies being set (if applicable to the current URL). Unless they are HTTP-only, new cookies will be available through document.cookie.

Bear in mind that the default behavior of fetch is to ignore the Set-Cookie header completely. To opt into accepting cookies from the server, you must use the credentials option.

Obtaining the Response URL

Due to limitations of XMLHttpRequest, the response.url value might not be reliable after HTTP redirects on older browsers.

The solution is to configure the server to set the response HTTP header X-Request-URL to the current URL after any redirect that might have happened. It should be safe to set it unconditionally.

# Ruby on Rails controller example
response.headers['X-Request-URL'] = request.url

This server workaround is necessary if you need reliable response.url in Firefox < 32, Chrome < 37, Safari, or IE.

Aborting requests

This polyfill supports the abortable fetch API. However, aborting a fetch requires use of two additional DOM APIs: AbortController and AbortSignal. Typically, browsers that do not support fetch will also not support AbortController or AbortSignal. Consequently, you will need to include an additional polyfill for these APIs to abort fetches.

Once you have an AbortController and AbortSignal polyfill in place, you can abort a fetch like so:

const controller = new AbortController()

fetch('/avatars', {
  signal: controller.signal
}).catch(function(ex) {
  if (ex.name === 'AbortError') {
    console.log('request aborted')

// some time later...

Browser Support

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari 6.1+
  • Internet Explorer 10+

Note: modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari contain native implementations of window.fetch, therefore the code from this polyfill doesn't have any effect on those browsers. If you believe you've encountered an error with how window.fetch is implemented in any of these browsers, you should file an issue with that browser vendor instead of this project.




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