The toString() method returns a string representing the object.



Return value

A string representing the object.


Every object has a toString() method that is automatically called when the object is to be represented as a text value or when an object is referred to in a manner in which a string is expected. By default, the toString() method is inherited by every object descended from Object. If this method is not overridden in a custom object, toString() returns "[object type]", where type is the object type. The following code illustrates this:

const o = new Object();
o.toString(); // returns [object Object]

Note: Starting in JavaScript 1.8.5, toString() called on null returns [object Null], and undefined returns [object Undefined], as defined in the 5th Edition of ECMAScript and subsequent Errata.

See Using toString() to detect object class.


For Numbers and BigInts toString() takes an optional parameter radix the value of radix must be minimum 2 and maximum 36.

By using radix you can also convert base 10 numbers (like 1,2,3,4,5,.........) to another base numbers, in example below we are converting base 10 number to a base 2 (binary) number

let baseTenInt = 10;
// Expected output is "1010"

and same for big integers

let bigNum = BigInt(20);
// Expected output is "10100"

Some common radix are


Overriding the default toString method

You can create a function to be called in place of the default toString() method. The toString() method takes no arguments and should return a string. The toString() method you create can be any value you want, but it will be most useful if it carries information about the object.

The following code defines the Dog object type and creates theDog, an object of type Dog:

function Dog(name, breed, color, sex) {
  this.name = name;
  this.breed = breed;
  this.color = color;
  this.sex = sex;

theDog = new Dog('Gabby', 'Lab', 'chocolate', 'female');

If you call the toString() method on this custom object, it returns the default value inherited from Object:

theDog.toString(); // returns [object Object]

The following code creates and assigns dogToString() to override the default toString() method. This function generates a string containing the name, breed, color, and sex of the object, in the form "property = value;".

Dog.prototype.toString = function dogToString() {
  const ret = 'Dog ' + this.name + ' is a ' + this.sex + ' ' + this.color + ' ' + this.breed;
  return ret;

Or, using ES6 template strings:

Dog.prototype.toString = function dogToString() {
  return `Dog ${this.name} is a ${this.sex} ${this.color} ${this.breed}`;

With the preceding code in place, any time theDog is used in a string context, JavaScript automatically calls the dogToString() function, which returns the following string:

"Dog Gabby is a female chocolate Lab"

Using toString() to detect object class

toString() can be used with every object and (by default) allows you to get its class.

To use the Object.prototype.toString() with every object, you need to call Function.prototype.call() or Function.prototype.apply() on it, passing the object you want to inspect as the first parameter (called thisArg).

const toString = Object.prototype.toString;

toString.call(new Date);    // [object Date]
toString.call(new String);  // [object String]
toString.call(Math);        // [object Math]

// Since JavaScript 1.8.5
toString.call(undefined);   // [object Undefined]
toString.call(null);        // [object Null]

Using toString() in this way is unreliable; objects can change the behavior of Object.prototype.toString() by defining a Symbol.toStringTag property, leading to unexpected results. For example:

const myDate = new Date();
Object.prototype.toString.call(myDate);     // [object Date]

myDate[Symbol.toStringTag] = 'myDate';
Object.prototype.toString.call(myDate);     // [object myDate]

Date.prototype[Symbol.toStringTag] = 'prototype polluted';
Object.prototype.toString.call(new Date()); // [object prototype polluted]


ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Object.prototype.toString' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
toString()Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 3Opera Full support 3Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0nodejs Full support Yes


Full support
Full support

See also