The try...catch...finally statement defines one block of code to execute, a second block of code to be executed if the first block throws an exception, and a third block of code to be executed regardless of the error status.

The catch and finally blocks of code are optional, but any try blocks must be followed by one or the other.


try {
// Statements here are executed until an exception is thrown
} catch (err) {
// Statements here are executed once an exception is thrown in the try block
} finally {
// Statements here are always executed regardless of any exception

The Error Object

In the above, err is an optional variable that holds an error object for the associated catch block. This object contains information about the exception that was thrown, and is only available in the scope of the catch block.

The error object has two properties:

  • name: Sets or returns an error name. (Type of error)
  • message: Sets or returns an error message. (Description of specific instance)

The following types of error can be returned by the name property:

  • RangeError: A number “out of range” has occurred
  • ReferenceError: An illegal reference has occurred
  • SyntaxError: A syntax error has occurred
  • TypeError: A type error has occurred
  • URIError: An error in encodeURI() has occurred

The throw Statement

Exceptions can be thrown intentionally by the throw statement. This can be a custom exception consisting of a String, Number, Boolean or Object which will be caught by the next outer catch block.

This can be useful for things like validating input:

var input = 25;
try {
if (input < 10) {
throw 'too small!';
} else if (input > 20) {
throw 'too big!';
} else {
console.log('Input was ' + input);
} catch (e) {
console.log('Input was ' + e);
// Output: Input was too big!

The throw statement can also re-throw an error object caught by a catch block. This can be useful if only certain types of error should be handled:

try {
// Series of statements
} catch (e) {
if (e instanceof RangeError) {
// Here any instance of a RangeError exception is handled
} else {
// We re-throw any other exceptions
throw e;


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