How to access parent Iframe from JavaScript

Well, I have an IFrame, which calls a same domain page. My problem is that I want to access some information from this parent Iframe from this called page (from JavaScript). How can I access this Iframe?

Details: There are several Iframes just like this one, that can have the same page loaded, because I am programming a Windows environment. I intend to close this Iframe, that's why I need to know which I should close from inside him. I have an array keeping references to these Iframes.

EDIT: There iframes are generated dynamically

Also you can set name and ID to equal values

<iframe id="frame1" name="frame1" src="any.html"></iframe>

so you will be able to use next code inside child page


Simply call window.frameElement from your framed page. If the page is not in a frame then frameElement will be null.

The other way (getting the window element inside a frame is less trivial) but for sake of completeness:

 * @param f, iframe or frame element
 * @return Window object inside the given frame
 * @effect will append f to document.body if f not yet part of the DOM
 * @see Window.frameElement
 * @usage myFrame.document = getFramedWindow(myFrame).document;
function getFramedWindow(f)
    if(f.parentNode == null)
        f = document.body.appendChild(f);
    var w = (f.contentWindow || f.contentDocument);
    if(w && w.nodeType && w.nodeType==9)
        w = (w.defaultView || w.parentWindow);
    return w;

I would recommend using the postMessage API.

In your iframe, call:

window.parent.postMessage({message: 'Hello world'}, 'http://localhost/');

In the page you're including the iframe you can listen for events like this:

window.addEventListener('message', function(event) {
      if(event.origin === 'http://localhost/')
        alert('Received message: ' +;
        alert('Origin not allowed!');

    }, false);

By the way, it is also possible to do calls to other windows, and not only iframes.

Read more about the postMessage API on John Resigs blog here

Old question, but I just had this same issue and found a way to get the iframe. It's simply a matter of iterating through the parent window's frames[] array and testing each frame's contentWindow against the window in which your code is running. Example:

var arrFrames = parent.document.getElementsByTagName("IFRAME");
for (var i = 0; i < arrFrames.length; i++) {
  if (arrFrames[i].contentWindow === window) alert("yay!");

Or, using jQuery:

parent.$("iframe").each(function(iel, el) {
  if(el.contentWindow === window) alert("got it");

This method saves assigning an ID to each iframe, which is good in your case as they are dynamically created. I couldn't find a more direct way, since you can't get the iframe element using window.parent - it goes straight to the parent window element (skipping the iframe). So looping through them seems the only way, unless you want to use IDs.

you can use parent to access the parent page. So to access a function it would be:

var obj = parent.getElementById('foo');

Once id of iframe is set, you can access iframe from inner document as shown below.

var iframe = parent.document.getElementById(;

Works well in IE, Chrome and FF.

Maybe just use


into your iframe to get the calling frame / windows. If you had multiple calling frame, you can use

Try this, in your parent frame set up you IFRAMEs like this:

<iframe id="frame1" src="inner.html#frame1"></iframe>
<iframe id="frame2" src="inner.html#frame2"></iframe>
<iframe id="frame3" src="inner.html#frame3"></iframe>

Note that the id of each frame is passed as an anchor in the src.

then in your inner html you can access the id of the frame it is loaded in via location.hash:

<button onclick="alert('I am frame: ' + location.hash.substr(1))">Who Am I?</button>

then you can access parent.document.getElementById() to access the iframe tag from inside the iframe

// just in case some one is searching for a solution
function get_parent_frame_dom_element(win)
    win = (win || window);
    var parentJQuery = window.parent.jQuery;
    var ifrms = parentJQuery("iframe.upload_iframe");
    for (var i = 0; i < ifrms.length; i++)
        if (ifrms[i].contentDocument === win.document)
            return ifrms[i];
    return null;