Can scripts be inserted with innerHTML?


I tried to load some scripts into a page using innerHTML on a <div>. It appears that the script loads into the DOM, but it is never executed (at least in Firefox and Chrome). Is there a way to have scripts execute when inserting them with innerHTML?

Sample code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <body onload="document.getElementById('loader').innerHTML = '<script>alert(\'hi\')<\/script>'">
    Shouldn't an alert saying 'hi' appear?
    <div id="loader"></div>
  </body>
</html>

You have to use eval() to execute any script code that you've inserted as DOM text.

MooTools will do this for you automatically, and I'm sure jQuery would as well (depending on the version. jQuery version 1.6+ uses eval). This saves a lot of hassle of parsing out <script> tags and escaping your content, as well as a bunch of other "gotchas".

Generally if you're going to eval() it yourself, you want to create/send the script code without any HTML markup such as <script>, as these will not eval() properly.


Here is a very interesting solution to your problem: http://24ways.org/2005/have-your-dom-and-script-it-too

So use this instead of script tags:

<img src="empty.gif" onload="alert('test');this.parentNode.removeChild(this);" />


Here is a method that recursively replaces all scripts with executable ones:

function nodeScriptReplace(node) {
        if ( nodeScriptIs(node) === true ) {
                node.parentNode.replaceChild( nodeScriptClone(node) , node );
        }
        else {
                var i        = 0;
                var children = node.childNodes;
                while ( i < children.length ) {
                        nodeScriptReplace( children[i++] );
                }
        }

        return node;
}
function nodeScriptIs(node) {
        return node.tagName === 'SCRIPT';
}
function nodeScriptClone(node){
        var script  = document.createElement("script");
        script.text = node.innerHTML;
        for( var i = node.attributes.length-1; i >= 0; i-- ) {
                script.setAttribute( node.attributes[i].name, node.attributes[i].value );
        }
        return script;
}

Example call:

nodeScriptReplace(document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]);

You can create script and then inject the content.

var g = document.createElement('script');
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
g.text = "alert(\"hi\");"
s.parentNode.insertBefore(g, s);

This works in all browsers :)


I used this code, it is working fine

var arr = MyDiv.getElementsByTagName('script')
for (var n = 0; n < arr.length; n++)
    eval(arr[n].innerHTML)//run script inside div

For anyone still trying to do this, no, you can't inject a script using innerHTML, but it is possible to load a string into a script tag using a Blob and URL.createObjectURL.

I've created an example that lets you run a string as a script and get the 'exports' of the script returned through a promise:

function loadScript(scriptContent, moduleId) {
    // create the script tag
    var scriptElement = document.createElement('SCRIPT');

    // create a promise which will resolve to the script's 'exports'
    // (i.e., the value returned by the script)
    var promise = new Promise(function(resolve) {
        scriptElement.onload = function() {
            var exports = window["__loadScript_exports_" + moduleId];
            delete window["__loadScript_exports_" + moduleId];
            resolve(exports);
        }
    });

    // wrap the script contents to expose exports through a special property
    // the promise will access the exports this way
    var wrappedScriptContent =
        "(function() { window['__loadScript_exports_" + moduleId + "'] = " + 
        scriptContent + "})()";

    // create a blob from the wrapped script content
    var scriptBlob = new Blob([wrappedScriptContent], {type: 'text/javascript'});

    // set the id attribute
    scriptElement.id = "__loadScript_module_" + moduleId;

    // set the src attribute to the blob's object url 
    // (this is the part that makes it work)
    scriptElement.src = URL.createObjectURL(scriptBlob);

    // append the script element
    document.body.appendChild(scriptElement);

    // return the promise, which will resolve to the script's exports
    return promise;
}

...

function doTheThing() {
    // no evals
    loadScript('5 + 5').then(function(exports) {
         // should log 10
        console.log(exports)
    });
}

I've simplified this from my actual implementation, so no promises that there aren't any bugs in it. But the principle works.

If you don't care about getting any value back after the script runs, it's even easier; just leave out the Promise and onload bits. You don't even need to wrap the script or create the global window.__load_script_exports_ property.


Here is a recursive function to set the innerHTML of an element that I use in our ad server:

// o: container to set the innerHTML
// html: html text to set.
// clear: if true, the container is cleared first (children removed)
function setHTML(o, html, clear) {
    if (clear) o.innerHTML = "";

    // Generate a parseable object with the html:
    var dv = document.createElement("div");
    dv.innerHTML = html;

    // Handle edge case where innerHTML contains no tags, just text:
    if (dv.children.length===0){ o.innerHTML = html; return; }

    for (var i = 0; i < dv.children.length; i++) {
        var c = dv.children[i];

        // n: new node with the same type as c
        var n = document.createElement(c.nodeName);

        // copy all attributes from c to n
        for (var j = 0; j < c.attributes.length; j++)
            n.setAttribute(c.attributes[j].nodeName, c.attributes[j].nodeValue);

        // If current node is a leaf, just copy the appropriate property (text or innerHTML)
        if (c.children.length == 0)
        {
            switch (c.nodeName)
            {
                case "SCRIPT":
                    if (c.text) n.text = c.text;
                    break;
                default:
                    if (c.innerHTML) n.innerHTML = c.innerHTML;
                    break;
            }
        }
        // If current node has sub nodes, call itself recursively:
        else setHTML(n, c.innerHTML, false);
        o.appendChild(n);
    }
}

You can see the demo here.


You could do it like this:

var mydiv = document.getElementById("mydiv");
var content = "<script>alert(\"hi\");<\/script>";

mydiv.innerHTML = content;
var scripts = mydiv.getElementsByTagName("script");
for (var i = 0; i < scripts.length; i++) {
    eval(scripts[i].innerText);
}

Krasimir Tsonev has a great solution that overcome all problems. His method doesn't need using eval, so no performance nor security problems exist. It allows you to set innerHTML string contains html with js and translate it immediately to an DOM element while also executes the js parts exist along the code. short ,simple, and works exactly as you want.

Enjoy his solution:

http://krasimirtsonev.com/blog/article/Convert-HTML-string-to-DOM-element

Important notes:

  1. You need to wrap the target element with div tag
  2. You need to wrap the src string with div tag.
  3. If you write the src string directly and it includes js parts, please take attention to write the closing script tags correctly (with \ before /) as this is a string.

Use $(parent).html(code) instead of parent.innerHTML = code.

The following also fixes scripts that use document.write and scripts loaded via src attribute. Unfortunately even this doesn't work with Google AdSense scripts.

var oldDocumentWrite = document.write;
var oldDocumentWriteln = document.writeln;
try {
    document.write = function(code) {
        $(parent).append(code);
    }
    document.writeln = function(code) {
        document.write(code + "<br/>");
    }
    $(parent).html(html); 
} finally {
    $(window).load(function() {
        document.write = oldDocumentWrite
        document.writeln = oldDocumentWriteln
    })
}

Source


Try using template and document.importNode. Here is an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Sample</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1 id="hello_world">Sample</h1>
<script type="text/javascript">
 var div = document.createElement("div");
  var t = document.createElement('template');
  t.innerHTML =  "Check Console tab for javascript output: Hello world!!!<br/><script type='text/javascript' >console.log('Hello world!!!');<\/script>";
  
  for (var i=0; i < t.content.childNodes.length; i++){
    var node = document.importNode(t.content.childNodes[i], true);
    div.appendChild(node);
  }
 document.body.appendChild(div);
</script>
 
</body>
</html>


Here a solution that does not use eval, and works with scripts, linked scripts , as well as with modules.

The function accepts 3 parameters :

  • html : String with the html code to insert
  • dest : reference to the target element
  • append : boolean flag to enable appending at the end of the target element html
function insertHTML(html, dest, append=false){
    // if no append is requested, clear the target element
    if(!append) dest.innerHTML = '';
    // create a temporary container and insert provided HTML code
    let container = document.createElement('div');
    container.innerHTML = html;
    // cache a reference to all the scripts in the container
    let scripts = container.querySelectorAll('script');
    // get all child elements and clone them in the target element
    let nodes = container.childNodes;
    for( let i=0; i< nodes.length; i++) dest.appendChild( nodes[i].cloneNode(true) );
    // force the found scripts to execute...
    for( let i=0; i< scripts.length; i++){
        let script = document.createElement('script');
        script.type = scripts[i].type || 'text/javascript';
        if( scripts[i].hasAttribute('src') ) script.src = scripts[i].src;
        script.innerHTML = scripts[i].innerHTML;
        document.head.appendChild(script);
        document.head.removeChild(script);
    }
    // done!
    return true;
}

Yes you can, but you have to do it outside of the DOM and the order has to be right.

var scr = '<scr'+'ipt>alert("foo")</scr'+'ipt>';
window.onload = function(){
    var n = document.createElement("div");
    n.innerHTML = scr;
    document.body.appendChild(n);
}

...will alert 'foo'. This won't work:

document.getElementById("myDiv").innerHTML = scr;

And even this won't work, because the node is inserted first:

var scr = '<scr'+'ipt>alert("foo")</scr'+'ipt>';
window.onload = function(){
    var n = document.createElement("div");
    document.body.appendChild(n);
    n.innerHTML = scr;  
}

My solution for this problem is to set a Mutation Observer to detect <script></script> nodes and then replace it with a new <script></script> node with the same src. For example:

let parentNode = /* node to observe */ void 0
let observer = new MutationObserver(mutations=>{
    mutations.map(mutation=>{
        Array.from(mutation.addedNodes).map(node=>{
            if ( node.parentNode == parentNode ) {
                let scripts = node.getElementsByTagName('script')
                Array.from(scripts).map(script=>{
                    let src = script.src
                    script = document.createElement('script')
                    script.src = src
                    return script
                })
            }
        })
    })
})
observer.observe(document.body, {childList: true, subtree: true});

Gabriel Garcia's mention of MutationObservers is on the right track, but didn't quite work for me. I am not sure if that was because of a browser quirk or due to a mistake on my end, but the version that ended up working for me was the following:

document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function(event) {
    var observer = new MutationObserver(mutations=>{
        mutations.map(mutation=>{
            Array.from(mutation.addedNodes).map(node=>{
                if (node.tagName === "SCRIPT") {
                    var s = document.createElement("script");
                    s.text=node.text;
                    if (typeof(node.parentElement.added) === 'undefined')
                        node.parentElement.added = [];
                    node.parentElement.added[node.parentElement.added.length] = s;
                    node.parentElement.removeChild(node);
                    document.head.appendChild(s);
                }
            })
        })
    })
    observer.observe(document.getElementById("element_to_watch"), {childList: true, subtree: true,attributes: false});
};

Of course, you should replace element_to_watch with the name of the element that is being modified.

node.parentElement.added is used to store the script tags that are added to document.head. In the function used to load the external page, you can use something like the following to remove no longer relevant script tags:

function freeScripts(node){
    if (node === null)
        return;
    if (typeof(node.added) === 'object') {
        for (var script in node.added) {
            document.head.removeChild(node.added[script]);
        }
        node.added = {};
    }
    for (var child in node.children) {
        freeScripts(node.children[child]);
    }
}

And an example of the beginning of a load function:

function load(url, id, replace) {
    if (document.getElementById(id) === null) {
        console.error("Element of ID "+id + " does not exist!");
        return;
    }
    freeScripts(document.getElementById(id));
    var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
    // proceed to load in the page and modify innerHTML
}

You can also wrap your <script> like this and it will get executed:

<your target node>.innerHTML = '<iframe srcdoc="<script>alert(top.document.title);</script>"></iframe>';

Please note: The scope inside srcdoc refers to the iframe, so you have to use top like in the example above to access the parent document.


I had this problem with innerHTML, I had to append a Hotjar script to the "head" tag of my Reactjs application and it would have to execute right after appending.

One of the good solutions for dynamic Node import into the "head" tag is React-helment module.


Also, there is a useful solution for the proposed issue:

No script tags in innerHTML!

It turns out that HTML5 does not allow script tags to be dynamically added using the innerHTML property. So the following will not execute and there will be no alert saying Hello World!

element.innerHTML = "<script>alert('Hello World!')</script>";

This is documented in the HTML5 spec:

Note: script elements inserted using innerHTML do not execute when they are inserted.

But beware, this doesn't mean innerHTML is safe from cross-site scripting. It is possible to execute JavaScript via innerHTML without using tags as illustrated on MDN's innerHTML page.

Solution: Dynamically adding scripts

To dynamically add a script tag, you need to create a new script element and append it to the target element.

You can do this for external scripts:

var newScript = document.createElement("script");
newScript.src = "http://www.example.com/my-script.js";
target.appendChild(newScript);

And inline scripts:

var newScript = document.createElement("script");
var inlineScript = document.createTextNode("alert('Hello World!');");
newScript.appendChild(inlineScript); 
target.appendChild(newScript);

Execute (Java Script) tag from innerHTML

Replace your script element with div having a class attribute class="javascript" and close it with </div>

Don't change the content that you want to execute (previously it was in script tag and now it is in div tag)

Add a style in your page...

<style type="text/css"> .javascript { display: none; } </style>

Now run eval using jquery(Jquery js should be already included)

   $('.javascript').each(function() {
      eval($(this).text());

    });`

You can explore more here, at my blog.


For me the best way is to insert the new HTML content through innerHtml and then use

setTimeout(() => {
        var script_el = document.createElement("script")
        script_el.src = 'script-to-add.js'
        document.body.appendChild(script_el)
    }, 500)

The setTimeout is not required but it works better. This worked for me.