Javascript – the most efficient way to deep clone an object in JavaScript


What is the most efficient way to clone a JavaScript object? I've seen obj = eval(uneval(o)); being used, but that's non-standard and only supported by Firefox.

I've done things like obj = JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(o)); but question the efficiency.

I've also seen recursive copying functions with various flaws.

I'm surprised no canonical solution exists.

Best Solution

Native deep cloning

It's called "structured cloning", works experimentally in Node 11 and later, and hopefully will land in browsers. See this answer for more details.

Fast cloning with data loss - JSON.parse/stringify

If you do not use Dates, functions, undefined, Infinity, RegExps, Maps, Sets, Blobs, FileLists, ImageDatas, sparse Arrays, Typed Arrays or other complex types within your object, a very simple one liner to deep clone an object is:


const a = {
  string: 'string',
  number: 123,
  bool: false,
  nul: null,
  date: new Date(),  // stringified
  undef: undefined,  // lost
  inf: Infinity,  // forced to 'null'
  re: /.*/,  // lost
console.log(typeof;  // Date object
const clone = JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(a));
console.log(typeof;  // result of .toISOString()

See Corban's answer for benchmarks.

Reliable cloning using a library

Since cloning objects is not trivial (complex types, circular references, function etc.), most major libraries provide function to clone objects. Don't reinvent the wheel - if you're already using a library, check if it has an object cloning function. For example,

  • lodash - cloneDeep; can be imported separately via the lodash.clonedeep module and is probably your best choice if you're not already using a library that provides a deep cloning function
  • AngularJS - angular.copy
  • jQuery - jQuery.extend(true, { }, oldObject); .clone() only clones DOM elements
  • just library - just-clone; Part of a library of zero-dependency npm modules that do just do one thing. Guilt-free utilities for every occasion.

ES6 (shallow copy)

For completeness, note that ES6 offers two shallow copy mechanisms: Object.assign() and the spread syntax. which copies values of all enumerable own properties from one object to another. For example:

var A1 = {a: "2"};
var A2 = Object.assign({}, A1);
var A3 = {...A1};  // Spread Syntax