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Self-invoking function JavaScript | Example code

Self-invoking function is not a part of JavaScript, it’s just a term that people are calling a specific pattern of code (like AJAX, etc.); these patterns should work anywhere that JavaScript works.

The “self-invoking function” is just creating an anonymous function and immediately calling it.

That is, the following are the same:

var f = function(){...}; f()


( function(){...} )()

Here’s a breakdown of the syntax:

  1. The function is defined inside a set of parentheses (function() { /* code */ }).
  2. The entire function is wrapped in an additional set of parentheses (...) to create a function expression.
  3. At the end of the function expression, there is an additional pair of parentheses () that immediately invokes (calls) the function.

Self-invoking function JavaScript

A simple example of a self-executing function.

<!DOCTYPE html>

    (function () {
      console.log("Self-invoking functions")



Self-invoking function JavaScript

Self-invoking function vs regular function

A “self-invoking function” is a name for a common JavaScript idiom. It’s not a type of function; it’s the immediate execution of a function. You can call it an IIFE for “immediately invoked function expression” instead if that helps.

(function () { // Anonymous function expression
    // IIFE!
})(); // Invocation happens here with the ()!
var f = (function () { // Still anonymous
    // Almost immediately invoked function expression!

f(); // Invocation happens here!
var f = (function f() { // Not anonymous – now called “f”
    // Almost immediately invoked function expression!

f(); // Invocation happens here!
function f() { // Not anonymous
    // Almost immediately invoked function *declaration* – not an expression!

f(); // Invocation happens here!

What is the purpose of a self-executing function in JavaScript?

Answer: It’s all about variable scoping. By default, variables declared in the self-executing function are only available to code within the self-executing function. This allows code to be written without concern of how variables are named in other blocks of JavaScript code.

For example:

(function() {
  var foo = 3;


This will first log 3 and then throw an error on the next console.log because foo is not defined.


Do comment if you have any doubts or suggestions on this JS function topic.

Note: The All JS Examples codes are tested on the Firefox browser and the Chrome browser.

OS: Windows 10

Code: HTML 5 Version

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