cannot read property

What is "cannot read property" error?

As a web developer, you might have encountered the "cannot read property" error message while working with JavaScript. This error occurs when you try to access a property or method of an object that does not exist or is undefined.


let person = {};
console.log(; // Cannot read property 'name' of undefined

In the above example, we are trying to access the "name" property of an empty object "person". But since the "name" property does not exist in the "person" object, it throws the "cannot read property 'name' of undefined" error.

Causes of "cannot read property" error:

  • Trying to access an undefined or non-existent object.
  • Trying to access a property of a null object.
  • Misspelling or mistyping the property name.
  • The object might not have been initialized properly.
  • The property might not have been set before accessing it.

How to fix "cannot read property" error:

The best way to fix this error is to identify the root cause and then take necessary steps to handle the issue.

1. Check if the object exists:

if (typeof obj !== "undefined" && obj !== null) {
  // access properties of obj

In the above code, we are checking if the object "obj" exists and is not null before accessing its properties.

2. Check if the property exists:

if ("property" in obj) {
  // access property of obj

In the above code, we are checking if the property "property" exists in the object "obj" before accessing it.

3. Use optional chaining:


In the above code, we are using optional chaining to access nested properties. If any property in between is undefined, it will return undefined and will not throw an error.

4. Initialize the object with default values:

let person = {
  name: "",
  age: 0

console.log(; // ""

In the above code, we are initializing the "person" object with default values for its properties. So even if we access the property before setting its value, it will not throw an error.

5. Use try-catch block:

try {
  // access property of obj
} catch (err) {
  console.log("Error: " + err.message);

In the above code, we are using a try-catch block to catch any errors that might occur while accessing the object properties. This way, we can handle the error gracefully.

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