This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

This method is used to break up long running operations and run a callback function immediately after the browser has completed other operations such as events and display updates.

This method is not expected to become standard, and is only implemented by recent builds of Internet Explorer and Node.js 0.10+. It meets resistance both from Gecko (Firefox) and Webkit (Google/Apple).


var immediateID = setImmediate(func, [param1, param2, ...]);
var immediateID = setImmediate(func);
  • where immediateID is the ID of the immediate which can be used later with window.clearImmediate.
  • func is the function you wish to call.

All parameters will be passed directly to your function.


The clearImmediate method can be used to clear the immediate actions, just like clearTimeout for setTimeout.

This method can be used instead of the setTimeout(fn, 0) method to execute heavy operations.

The feature can be emulated in a few different ways:

  • postMessage can be used to trigger an immediate but yielding callback. Do note that Internet Explorer 8 includes a synchronous version of postMessage, which means it cannot be used as a fallback.
  • MessageChannel can be used reliably inside of Web Workers whereas the semantics of postMessage mean it cannot be used there.
  • setTimeout(fn, 0) can potentially be used, however as it is clamped to 4ms for timers nested more than 5 levels deep per the HTML spec, it does not make for a suitable polyfill for the natural immediacy of setImmediate.

All of these techniques are incorporated into a robust setImmediate polyfill.


Specification Status Comment
Efficient Script Yielding
The definition of 'setImmediate' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Chrome No support NoEdge No support 12 — 79Firefox No support NoIE Full support 10Opera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoFirefox Android No support NoOpera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No


Full support
Full support
No support
No support
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.

See also