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JavaScript Let


ECMAScript 2015

ES2015 introduced two important new JavaScript keywords: let and const.

These two keywords provide Block Scope variables (and constants) in JavaScript.

Before ES2015, JavaScript had only two types of scope: Global Scope and Function Scope


Global Scope

Variables declared Globally (outside any function) have Global Scope.

Example

var carName = "Volvo";

// code here can use carName

function myFunction() {
  // code here can also use carName
}
Try it Yourself »

Global variables can be accessed from anywhere in a JavaScript program.


Function Scope

Variables declared Locally (inside a function) have Function Scope.

Example

// code here can NOT use carName

function myFunction() {
  var carName = "Volvo";
  // code here CAN use carName
}

// code here can NOT use carName
Try it Yourself »

Local variables can only be accessed from inside the function where they are declared.


JavaScript Block Scope

Variables declared with the var keyword can not have Block Scope.

Variables declared inside a block {} can be accessed from outside the block.

Example

{
  var x = 2;
}
// x CAN be used here

Before ES2015 JavaScript did not have Block Scope.

Variables declared with the let keyword can have Block Scope.

Variables declared inside a block {} can not be accessed from outside the block:

Example

{
  let x = 2;
}
// x can NOT be used here

Redeclaring Variables

Redeclaring a variable using the var keyword can impose problems.

Redeclaring a variable inside a block will also redeclare the variable outside the block:

Example

var x = 10;
// Here x is 10
{
  var x = 2;
  // Here x is 2
}
// Here x is 2
Try it Yourself »

Redeclaring a variable using the let keyword can solve this problem.

Redeclaring a variable inside a block will not redeclare the variable outside the block:

Example

var x = 10;
// Here x is 10
{
  let x = 2;
  // Here x is 2
}
// Here x is 10
Try it Yourself »

Browser Support

The let keyword is not fully supported in Internet Explorer 11 or earlier.

The following table defines the first browser versions with full support for the let keyword:

Chrome 49 IE / Edge 12 Firefox 44 Safari 11 Opera 36
Mar, 2016 Jul, 2015 Jan, 2015 Sep, 2017 Mar, 2016

Loop Scope

Using var in a loop:

Example

var i = 5;
for (var i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  // some statements
}
// Here i is 10
Try it Yourself »

Using let in a loop:

Example

let i = 5;
for (let i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  // some statements
}
// Here i is 5
Try it Yourself »

In the first example, using var, the variable declared in the loop redeclares the variable outside the loop.

In the second example, using let, the variable declared in the loop does not redeclare the variable outside the loop.

When let is used to declare the i variable in a loop, the i variable will only be visible within the loop.



Function Scope

Variables declared with var and let are quite similar when declared inside a function.

They will both have Function Scope:

function myFunction() {
  var carName = "Volvo";   // Function Scope
}
function myFunction() {
  let carName = "Volvo";   // Function Scope
}

Global Scope

Variables declared with var and let are quite similar when declared outside a block.

They will both have Global Scope:

var x = 2;       // Global scope
let x = 2;       // Global scope

Global Variables in HTML

With JavaScript, the global scope is the JavaScript environment.

In HTML, the global scope is the window object.

Global variables defined with the var keyword belong to the window object:

Example

var carName = "Volvo";
// code here can use window.carName
Try it Yourself »

Global variables defined with the let keyword do not belong to the window object:

Example

let carName = "Volvo";
// code here can not use window.carName
Try it Yourself »

Redeclaring

Redeclaring a JavaScript variable with var is allowed anywhere in a program:

Example

var x = 2;

// Now x is 2
 
var x = 3;

// Now x is 3
Try it Yourself »

Redeclaring a var variable with let, in the same scope, or in the same block, is not allowed:

Example

var x = 2;       // Allowed
let x = 3;       // Not allowed

{
  var x = 4;   // Allowed
  let x = 5   // Not allowed
}

Redeclaring a let variable with let, in the same scope, or in the same block, is not allowed:

Example

let x = 2;       // Allowed
let x = 3;       // Not allowed

{
  let x = 4;   // Allowed
  let x = 5;   // Not allowed
}

Redeclaring a let variable with var, in the same scope, or in the same block, is not allowed:

Example

let x = 2;       // Allowed
var x = 3;       // Not allowed

{
  let x = 4;   // Allowed
  var x = 5;   // Not allowed
}

Redeclaring a variable with let, in another scope, or in another block, is allowed:

Example

let x = 2;       // Allowed

{
  let x = 3;   // Allowed
}

{
  let x = 4;   // Allowed
}
Try it Yourself »

Hoisting

Variables defined with var are hoisted to the top. (Js Hoisting)

You can use a variable before it is declared:

Example

// you CAN use carName here
var carName;
Try it Yourself »

Variables defined with let are not hoisted to the top.

Using a let variable before it is declared will result in a ReferenceError.

The variable is in a "temporal dead zone" from the start of the block until it is declared:

Example

// you can NOT use carName here
let carName;