JavaScript Closures in 2 minutes

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A variable in javascript can be global or local. A global variable can be done private using a closure.

Closure can seems a difficult concept at the beginning, but if you did some code in JavaScript or you are a React developer, you already used closures thousand of times.

An example of a closure in a Immediately-invoked Function Expression (IIFE):

const counter = (function() {
  const resultBox = document.getElementById('result');
  let _counter = 0;
  resultBox.innerHTML = _counter;
  function addOne() {
    resultBox.innerHTML = _counter;
    return _counter;
  function subtractOne() {
    resultBox.innerHTML = _counter;
    return _counter;
  return {


console.log( counter.addOne() ); // 1
console.log( counter.addOne() ); // 2
console.log( counter.subtractOne() ); // 1

See code above at codepen.

At the code above we have a IIFE with some nested function, all these nested functions have access to the private function _counter. The const counter is assigned to the return value of a self-invoking function. The self-invoking function only runs once. It sets the counter to zero (0), and returns a function expression. This is called a JavaScript closure. It makes it possible for a function to have private variables. The _counter is protected by the scope of the anonymous function, and can only be changed using the add function. So, A closure is a function having access to the parent scope, even after the parent function has closed.

2006 - 2021 Alberto Fortes. Coded with React JavaScript, GatsbyJS, HTML5, CSS / SASS, Grunt. | Cookies