/Web APIs

SubtleCrypto: deriveBits() method

Secure context: This feature is available only in secure contexts (HTTPS), in some or all supporting browsers.

The deriveBits() method of the SubtleCrypto interface can be used to derive an array of bits from a base key.

It takes as its arguments the base key, the derivation algorithm to use, and the length of the bits to derive. It returns a Promise which will be fulfilled with an ArrayBuffer containing the derived bits.

This method is very similar to SubtleCrypto.deriveKey(), except that deriveKey() returns a CryptoKey object rather than an ArrayBuffer. Essentially deriveKey() is composed of deriveBits() followed by importKey().

This function supports the same derivation algorithms as deriveKey(): ECDH, HKDF, and PBKDF2. See Supported algorithms for some more detail on these algorithms.



deriveBits(algorithm, baseKey, length)



An object defining the derivation algorithm to use.


A CryptoKey representing the input to the derivation algorithm. If algorithm is ECDH, this will be the ECDH private key. Otherwise it will be the initial key material for the derivation function: for example, for PBKDF2 it might be a password, imported as a CryptoKey using SubtleCrypto.importKey().


A number representing the number of bits to derive. To be compatible with all browsers, the number should be a multiple of 8.

Return value

A Promise that fulfills with an ArrayBuffer containing the derived bits.


The promise is rejected when one of the following exceptions are encountered:

OperationError DOMException

Raised if the length parameter of the deriveBits() call is null, and also in some cases if the length parameter is not a multiple of 8.

InvalidAccessError DOMException

Raised when the base key is not a key for the requested derivation algorithm or if the CryptoKey.usages value of that key doesn't contain deriveBits.

NotSupported DOMException

Raised when trying to use an algorithm that is either unknown or isn't suitable for derivation.

Supported algorithms


Note: You can try the working examples on GitHub.


In this example Alice and Bob each generate an ECDH key pair.

We then use Alice's private key and Bob's public key to derive a shared secret. See the complete code on GitHub.


async function deriveSharedSecret(privateKey, publicKey) {
  const sharedSecret = await window.crypto.subtle.deriveBits(
      name: "ECDH",
      namedCurve: "P-384",
      public: publicKey,

  const buffer = new Uint8Array(sharedSecret, 0, 5);
  const sharedSecretValue = document.querySelector(".ecdh .derived-bits-value");
  sharedSecretValue.addEventListener("animationend", () => {
  sharedSecretValue.textContent = `${buffer}…[${sharedSecret.byteLength} bytes total]`;

// Generate 2 ECDH key pairs: one for Alice and one for Bob
// In more normal usage, they would generate their key pairs
// separately and exchange public keys securely
const generateAlicesKeyPair = window.crypto.subtle.generateKey(
    name: "ECDH",
    namedCurve: "P-384",

const generateBobsKeyPair = window.crypto.subtle.generateKey(
    name: "ECDH",
    namedCurve: "P-384",

Promise.all([generateAlicesKeyPair, generateBobsKeyPair]).then((values) => {
  const alicesKeyPair = values[0];
  const bobsKeyPair = values[1];

  const deriveBitsButton = document.querySelector(".ecdh .derive-bits-button");
  deriveBitsButton.addEventListener("click", () => {
    // Alice then generates a secret using her private key and Bob's public key.
    // Bob could generate the same secret using his private key and Alice's public key.
    deriveSharedSecret(alicesKeyPair.privateKey, bobsKeyPair.publicKey);


In this example we ask the user for a password, then use it to derive some bits using PBKDF2. See the complete code on GitHub.


let salt;

Get some key material to use as input to the deriveBits method.
The key material is a password supplied by the user.
function getKeyMaterial() {
  const password = window.prompt("Enter your password");
  const enc = new TextEncoder();
  return window.crypto.subtle.importKey(
    { name: "PBKDF2" },
    ["deriveBits", "deriveKey"],

Derive some bits from a password supplied by the user.
async function getDerivedBits() {
  const keyMaterial = await getKeyMaterial();
  salt = window.crypto.getRandomValues(new Uint8Array(16));
  const derivedBits = await window.crypto.subtle.deriveBits(
      name: "PBKDF2",
      iterations: 100000,
      hash: "SHA-256",

  const buffer = new Uint8Array(derivedBits, 0, 5);
  const derivedBitsValue = document.querySelector(
    ".pbkdf2 .derived-bits-value",
  derivedBitsValue.addEventListener("animationend", () => {
  derivedBitsValue.textContent = `${buffer}…[${derivedBits.byteLength} bytes total]`;

const deriveBitsButton = document.querySelector(".pbkdf2 .derive-bits-button");
deriveBitsButton.addEventListener("click", () => {


Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet
deriveBits 41 79
12–79["Not supported: ECDH.", "Not supported: HKDF, PBKDF2."]
34 No 28 11 41 41 34 28 11 4.0

See also

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