How to declare a global variable in JavaScript?


How can I declare a global variable in JavaScript?

11/30/2016 3:53:08 PM

Accepted Answer

If you have to generate global variables in production code (which should be avoided) always declare them explicitly:

window.globalVar = "This is global!";

While it is possible to define a global variable by just omitting var (assuming there is no local variable of the same name), doing so generates an implicit global, which is a bad thing to do and would generate an error in strict mode.

9/9/2014 7:00:41 PM

If this is the only application where you're going to use this variable, Felix's approach is excellent. However, if you're writing a jQuery plugin, consider "namespacing" (details on the quotes later...) variables and functions needed under the jQuery object. For example, I'm currently working on a jQuery popup menu that I've called miniMenu. Thus, I've defined a "namespace" miniMenu under jQuery, and I place everything there.

The reason I use quotes when I talk about javascript namespaces is that they aren't really namespaces in the normal sense. Instead, I just use a javascript object and place all my functions and variables as properties of this object.

Also, for convenience, I usually sub-space the plugin namespace with an i namespace for stuff that should only be used internally within the plugin, so as to hide it from users of the plugin.

This is how it works:

// An object to define utility functions and global variables on:
$.miniMenu = new Object(); 
// An object to define internal stuff for the plugin:
$.miniMenu.i = new Object();

Now I can just do $.miniMenu.i.globalVar = 3 or $.miniMenu.i.parseSomeStuff = function(...) {...} whenever I need to save something globally, and I still keep it out of the global namespace.


EDIT The question is about JavaScript, the answer is about jQuery, which is wrong. This is an old answer, from times when jQuery was widespread.

Instead, I recommend understandig scopes and closures in JavaScript

Old, bad answer: With jQuery you can just do this, no matter where the declaration is:

$my_global_var = 'my value';

And will be available everywhere. I use it for making quick image galleries, when images are spread in different places, like so:

$gallery = $('img');
$current = 0;

    // preload images
    (new Image()).src = v;
$('div').eq(0).append('<a style="display:inline-block" class="prev">prev</a> <div id="gallery"></div> <a style="display:inline-block" class="next">next</a>');
    $current = ( $current == $gallery.length - 1 ) ? 0 : $current + 1;
    $current = ( $current == 0 ) ? $gallery.length - 1 : $current - 1;

Tip: run this whole code in the console in this page ;-)


Here is a basic example of a global variable that the rest of your functions can access. Here is a live example for you:

var myVariable = 'Hello';
alert('value: ' + myVariable);
alert('value: ' + myVariable);
alert('value: ' + myVariable);

function myFunction1() {
    myVariable = 'Hello 1';

function myFunction2() {
    myVariable = 'Hello 2';

If you are doing this within a jquery ready() function then make sure your variable is inside the ready() function alongwith your other functions.


Declare the variable outside of functions

function dosomething(){
  var i = 0; // can only be used inside function

var i = '';
function dosomething(){
  i = 0; // can be used inside and outside the function

The best way is to use closures, because the window object gets very, very cluttered with properties.


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="init.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      MYLIBRARY.init(["firstValue", 2, "thirdValue"]);
    <script src="script.js"></script>

    <h1>Hello !</h1>

init.js (Based on this answer)

var MYLIBRARY = MYLIBRARY || (function(){
    var _args = {}; // private

    return {
        init : function(Args) {
            _args = Args;
            // some other initialising
        helloWorld : function(i) {
            return _args[i];


// Here you can use the values defined in the html as if it were a global variable
var a = "Hello World " + MYLIBRARY.helloWorld(2);


Here's the plnkr. Hope it help !


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