How to Check if Variable is Undefined or Null in Javascript

In this tutorial, you will learn how to check if a variable is undefined or null in javascript. Whenever you create a variable and do not assign any value to it, by default it is always undefined.  It simply represents a lack of value.

On the other hand, you can explicitly assign null to a variable.  This means we do not have any meaningful value to assign but we may assign something meaningful later in the code.  It simply represents an absence of value for the time being.

In javascript, null and undefined both are primitive types.  If you do a basic comparison with the help of the equality operator, you will find that both are equal, but they are not if you do the comparison with a strict equality operator.

In the following example, we have 2 global variables, one is undefined and the other one is null.  Since null and undefined both return true when you do the comparison with the equality operator, it does not matter what you use on the right-hand side either null or undefined while performing the check.  In our case, I am doing it by using undefined.  Please have a look over the code example and steps given below.


  • We have 3 elements in the HTML file (div, button, and h1). The div element is just a wrapper for the rest of the elements.
  • The inner text for the button element is “Check” and for the h1 element is “Result”.
  • We have done some basic styling using CSS and added the link to our style.css stylesheet inside the head element.
  • We have also included our javascript file script.js with a script tag at the bottom.
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">

    <script src="script.js"></script>
body {
    text-align: center;

div {
    display: inline-block;

button {
    display: inline-block;
    padding: 10px 20px;


  • We have 2 global variables user1 and user2. user1 is null and user2 is undefined.
  • We have selected 2 elements button and h1 using the document.querySelector() method and stored them in btnCheck and result variables respectively.
  • We have attached the click event listener to the button element.
  • In the event handler function, we are using the equality operator to check if user2 is equal to undefined. Depending upon the result, we will display a Boolean value in the h1 element. In our case, the result will be True.
  • The output of the above step will remain the same even if you change the variable from user2 to user1.
let user1 = null;
let user2;

let btnCheck = document.querySelector('button');
let result = document.querySelector('h1');

btnCheck.addEventListener('click', () =>{
    result.innerText = user2 == undefined ? 'True' : 'False';