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JavaScript Switch Statement


The switch statement is used to perform different actions based on different conditions.


The JavaScript Switch Statement

Use the switch statement to select one of many blocks of code to be executed.

Syntax

switch(expression) {
    case n:
        code block
        break;
    case n:
        code block
        break;
    default:
        default code block
}

This is how it works:

  • The switch expression is evaluated once.
  • The value of the expression is compared with the values of each case.
  • If there is a match, the associated block of code is executed.

Example

The getDay() method returns the weekday as a number between 0 and 6.

(Sunday=0, Monday=1, Tuesday=2 ..)

This example uses the weekday number to calculate the weekday name:

switch (new Date().getDay()) {
    case 0:
        day = "Sunday";
        break;
    case 1:
        day = "Monday";
        break;
    case 2:
        day = "Tuesday";
        break;
    case 3:
        day = "Wednesday";
        break;
    case 4:
        day = "Thursday";
        break;
    case 5:
        day = "Friday";
        break;
    case 6:
        day = "Saturday";
}

The result of day will be:

Try it Yourself »

The break Keyword

When JavaScript reaches a break keyword, it breaks out of the switch block.

This will stop the execution of more code and case testing inside the block.

When a match is found, and the job is done, it's time for a break. There is no need for more testing.

A break can save a lot of execution time because it "ignores" the execution of all the rest of the code in the switch block.

It is not necessary to break the last case in a switch block. The block breaks (ends) there anyway.


The default Keyword

The default keyword specifies the code to run if there is no case match:

Example

The getDay() method returns the weekday as a number between 0 and 6.

If today is neither Saturday (6) nor Sunday (0), write a default message:

switch (new Date().getDay()) {
    case 6:
        text = "Today is Saturday";
        break;
    case 0:
        text = "Today is Sunday";
        break;
    default:
        text = "Looking forward to the Weekend";
}

The result of text will be:

Try it Yourself »

The default case does not have to be the last case in a switch block:

Example

switch (new Date().getDay()) {
    default:
        text = "Looking forward to the Weekend";
        break;
    case 6:
        text = "Today is Saturday";
        break;
    case 0:
        text = "Today is Sunday";
}
Try it Yourself »

If default is not the last case in the switch block, remember to end the default case with a break.


Common Code Blocks

Sometimes you will want different switch cases to use the same code.

In this example case 4 and 5 share the same code block, and 0 and 6 share another code block:

Example

switch (new Date().getDay()) {
    case 4:
    case 5:
        text = "Soon it is Weekend";
        break;
    case 0:
    case 6:
        text = "It is Weekend";
        break;
    default:
        text = "Looking forward to the Weekend";
}
Try it Yourself »

Test Yourself with Exercises!

Exercise 1 »   Exercise 2 »   Exercise 3 »   Exercise 4 »