The encodeURI() function encodes a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) by replacing each instance of certain characters by one, two, three, or four escape sequences representing the UTF-8 encoding of the character (will only be four escape sequences for characters composed of two "surrogate" characters).




A complete Uniform Resource Identifier.

Return value

A new string representing the provided string encoded as a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).


Does not encode characters that have special meaning (reserved characters) for a URI. The following example shows all the parts that a URI "scheme" can possibly contain. Note how certain characters are used to signify special meaning:

http://username:[email protected]:80/path/to/file.php?foo=316&bar=this+has+spaces#anchor

Hence encodeURI does not encode characters that are necessary to formulate a complete URI. Also, encodeURI does not encode a few additional characters, known as "unreserved marks", which do not have a reserved purpose but are allowed in a URI "as is". (See RFC2396)

encodeURI escapes all characters except:

Not Escaped:

    A-Z a-z 0-9 ; , / ? : @ & = + $ - _ . ! ~ * ' ( ) #

encodeURI differs from encodeURIComponent as follows:

var set1 = ";,/?:@&=+$#";  // Reserved Characters
var set2 = "-_.!~*'()";   // Unreserved Marks
var set3 = "ABC abc 123"; // Alphanumeric Characters + Space

console.log(encodeURI(set1)); // ;,/?:@&=+$#
console.log(encodeURI(set2)); // -_.!~*'()
console.log(encodeURI(set3)); // ABC%20abc%20123 (the space gets encoded as %20)

console.log(encodeURIComponent(set1)); // %3B%2C%2F%3F%3A%40%26%3D%2B%24%23
console.log(encodeURIComponent(set2)); // -_.!~*'()
console.log(encodeURIComponent(set3)); // ABC%20abc%20123 (the space gets encoded as %20)

Note that a URIError will be thrown if one attempts to encode a surrogate which is not part of a high-low pair, e.g.,

// high-low pair ok

// lone high surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

// lone low surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

Note that encodeURI by itself cannot form proper HTTP GET and POST requests, such as for XMLHTTPRequests, because "&", "+", and "=" are not encoded, which are treated as special characters in GET and POST requests. encodeURIComponent, however, does encode these characters.

Note that an URIError will be thrown if one attempts to encode a surrogate which is not part of a high-low pair, e.g.,

// high-low pair ok

// lone high surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

// lone low surrogate throws "URIError: malformed URI sequence"

Also note that if one wishes to follow the more recent RFC3986 for URLs, which makes square brackets reserved (for IPv6) and thus not encoded when forming something which could be part of a URL (such as a host), the following code snippet may help:

function fixedEncodeURI(str) {
    return encodeURI(str).replace(/%5B/g, '[').replace(/%5D/g, ']');

Alternative URI encoding scheme is Base62x, which has been ported into NPM.


Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support Yes Yes 1 Yes Yes Yes
Android webview Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android Opera for Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes 4 Yes Yes Yes
Basic support Yes

See also

© 2005–2018 Mozilla Developer Network and individual contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.