Using forEach for IE 11

Written by Andrew Rady

Supporting IE comes with challenges if you are using es6, and while babel helps greatly there is a few gotcheas. One of the main one is using forEach on DOM elements. In modern browsers it’s pretty easy to select DOM elements and loop through them to add something like an eventListener. Open up IE 11 and you will find “Object doesn’t support property or method ‘forEach’” in the console.

There are a few simple ways we can solve this, the first is to wrap the DOM selection in a to allow IE to iterate through it,

let navLinks ='.navigation-link'))
navLinks.forEach(nav => {

This is a simple way to solve this but if a developer forgets to do this we can break IE 11, so it’s better to write you own little polyfill and include it before our main scripts

if(window.NodeList && !NodeList.prototype.forEach) {
  NodeList.prototype.forEach = Array.prototype.forEach;
if(window.HTMLCollection && !HTMLCollection.prototype.forEach) {
  HTMLCollection.prototype.forEach = Array.prototype.forEach;

If you do some googling you will find a lot of responses on stackoverflow that include NodeList.prototype.forEach = Array.prototype.forEach;. Let me explain why we added the second section with the HTMLCollection. If you use document.querySelectorAll it will return it as a node list, but if you use document.getElementsByTagName or document.getElementsByClassName it will return it as a HTMLCollection. This is why we added the second conditional. Just make sure you include this at the top of your file or first in your webpack configuration.

es6 functions

A common use case people run into with this is if they are writing es6 and is using a native function like filter or find on the variable that is storing the navigation links. This polyfill only gives us the forEach ability. For example if you write let links = document.querySelector('.navigation').filter(x => x.value) you will get a console error. We will still need to convert the variable to an array which is pretty easy,

let links = document.querySelectorAll('.navigation-link');
links = [...links].filter(x => x.value);

Published November 04, 2019 by

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Andrew Rady Backend Developer

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