JavaScript Default Parameters

In this tutorial, you will learn about JavaScript default parameters with the help of examples.

The concept of default parameters is a new feature introduced in the ES6 version of JavaScript. This allows us to give default values to function parameters. Let's take an example,

function sum(x = 3, y = 5) {

    // return sum
    return x + y;
}

console.log(sum(5, 15));  // 20 
console.log(sum(7));        // 12
console.log(sum());          // 8

In the above example, the default value of x is 3 and the default value of y is 5.

  • sum(5, 15) - When both arguments are passed, x takes 5 and y takes 15.
  • sum(7) - When 7 is passed to the sum() function, x takes 7 and y takes default value 5.
  • sum() - When no argument is passed to the sum() function, x takes default value 3 and y takes default value 5.
How default arguments work in JavaScript
How default arguments work in JavaScript

Using Expressions as Default Values

It is also possible to provide expressions as default values.

Example 1: Passing Parameter as Default Values

function sum(x = 1, y = x,  z = x + y) {
    console.log( x + y + z );
}

sum(); // 4

In the above program,

  • The default value of x is 1
  • The default value of y is set to x parameter
  • The default value of z is the sum of x and y

If you reference the parameter that has not been initialized yet, you will get an error. For example,

function sum( x = y, y = 1 ) {
    console.log( x + y);
}

sum(); 
Output
ReferenceError: Cannot access 'y' before initialization

Example 2: Passing Function Value as Default Value

// using a function in default value expression

const sum = () => 15;

const calculate = function( x, y = x * sum() ) {
    return x + y;
}

const result = calculate(10);
console.log(result);            // 160

In the above program,

  • 10 is passed to the calculate() function.
  • x becomes 10, and y becomes 150 (the sum function returns 15).
  • The result will be 160.

Passing undefined Value

In JavaScript, when you pass undefined to a default parameter function, the function takes the default value. For example,

function test(x = 1) {
  console.log(x);
}

// passing undefined
// takes default value 1
test(undefined); // 1