Arrow functions in Javascript Part II

Dec 16, 2017

Hello, Everyone! In my last post, I wrote about how to write Arrow functions. Today, I am going to talk about how arrow functions do not change the value of this.

Let's start with an example and see, what I am talking about. I want to change the background-color of a button 500ms after it's clicked. Sounds simple right? Set a click listener on the button and inside it call a setTimeout function to change the color.

<!DOCTYPE html>
 <title>Arrow Functions</title>
  <!-- CSS -->
  <style type="text/css">
  /* Changes background to red */
  .red {
    background: red;

  <button>Click Me!</button>

   <!-- Javascript -->
  <script type="text/javascript">

    const btn = document.querySelector('button');
    btn.addEventListener('click', function() {
      console.log(this); // button
      setTimeout(function() {
        console.log(this); // window!!
      }, 500)


If you are like me and did what I did above then you must have got an error inside setTimeout function saying cannot read property toggle of undefined. That's because inside setTimeout function the value of this is window object rather than the button. This is not what we wanted. We didn't want to change the value of this. In such situations, we can use arrow functions. Arrow functions inherit the value of this from its parent scope. In this case, it's value will be button object. So, we can fix the code as below:

const btn = document.querySelector('button');
btn.addEventListener('click', function() {
  console.log(this); // button
  setTimeout(() => {
    console.log(this); // window!!
  }, 500);

Default Arguments

In ES6, we can have default arguments in functions. This is not limited to just arrow functions but normal functions as well. Let's see an example.

function sayHi(name = 'Anku') {
  console.log('Hi! ' + name);

sayHi(); // Hi! Anku

sayHi('Elliot'); // Hi! Elliot

In sayHi function, name parameter's default value is Anku. When we call sayHi without passing the argument, it uses the default value. But when we do pass the argument, it uses that instead. This feature allows us to set a default value for arguments.

This is all for this post. Thanks for reading. I am taking ES6 For Everyone course by Wes Bos. This is a great course if you want to learn ES6. I highly recommend it.