JavaScript: Checking if the current window is closed or not

Updated: February 14, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


JavaScript is a powerful scripting language that enables developers to create dynamic and interactive web pages. One of the interesting aspects of web development is managing different browser windows or tabs. A common question arises: How can you check if a window is closed or not using JavaScript? This article will explore various methods and use cases for this functionality, bolstered by code examples.

Understanding Window Objects in JavaScript

Before diving into the methods, it’s essential to understand what window objects are. The window object represents an open window in a browser. It’s a part of the Browser Object Model (BOM), which allows JavaScript to ‘talk’ to the browser.

Accessing the window Object

let currentWindow = window;

This simple line of code allows access to the current window object, enabling manipulation and interrogation of its properties and functions.

Checking if a Window is Closed

To determine if a window has been closed, we can use the closed property of the window object.

if (window.closed) {
    alert('Window is closed.');
} else {
    alert('Window is still open.');

Opening and Monitoring a New Window

JavaScript allows opening new browser windows and tabs via the method. After opening a new window, we can periodically check if it’s been closed.

let newWindow ='');

function checkWindowStatus() {
  if (newWindow.closed) {
    console.log('New window is closed.');
  } else {
    console.log('New window is still open.');

setInterval(checkWindowStatus, 1000);

This code opens a new window and sets an interval to check the status of this window every second.

Cross-Origin Limitations

It’s important to note that due to security reasons and the same-origin policy, accessing properties of a window (including closed) opened by another domain might result in errors or restrictions. To circumvent these, ensure both pages originate from the same domain or implement CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) if necessary.

Use Cases and Practical Applications

Determining the status of a window has various applications:

  • User Experience Enhancements: Managing pop-up tutorials or information windows, ensuring they are closed before proceeding.
  • Session Management: Ensuring a user’s session or status is maintained across multiple windows.
  • Communications and Notifications: Sending data back to the parent window to notify it of the child window’s status.

Event Listeners for Window Closure

While directly checking the closed property is beneficial, another approach is to add event listeners for window closure. However, the browser does not directly provide an event that signals the closing of a window, but the beforeunload event can be a workaround:

newWindow.onbeforeunload = function() {
  // Perform actions before the window is closed

newWindow.onunload = function() {
  // Perform cleanup or notify parent window

These events can be useful for performing actions before the window is fully closed or for cleanup tasks.

Closing Thoughts

JavaScript’s capabilities in managing browser windows are vast, providing developers with the tools to create responsive and user-friendly web interfaces. By understanding how to check and manage the closure of windows, developers can ensure a seamless user experience across different parts of their web applications.

Remember to test your applications across different browsers to ensure consistent behavior, as implementations might slightly vary. With these techniques, your web applications can harness the full potential of JavaScript in managing browser windows effectively.