Clearing using jQuery

Clearing using jQuery

Is it possible to clear an control value with jQuery? I’ve tried the following:
$(‘#control’).attr({ value: ” });

But it’s not working.

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

Easy: you wrap a <form> around the element, call reset on the form, then remove the form using .unwrap(). Unlike the .clone() solutions otherwise in this thread, you end up with the same element at the end (including custom properties that were set on it).

Tested and working in Opera, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE6+. Also works on other types of form elements, with the exception of type="hidden".

window.reset = function(e) {
  e.wrap('<form>').closest('form').get(0).reset();
  e.unwrap();
}
<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.3.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<form>
  <input id="file" type="file">
  <br>
  <input id="text" type="text" value="Original">
</form>

<button onclick="reset($('#file'))">Reset file</button>
<button onclick="reset($('#text'))">Reset text</button>

JSFiddle

As Timo notes below, if you have the buttons to trigger the reset of the field inside of the <form>, you must call .preventDefault() on the event to prevent the <button> from triggering a submit.


EDIT

Does not work in IE 11 due to an unfixed bug. The text (file name) is cleared on the input, but its File list remains populated.

Solution 2:

Quick answer: replace it.

In the code below I use the replaceWith jQuery method to replace the control with a clone of itself. In the event you have any handlers bound to events on this control, we’ll want to preserve those as well. To do this we pass in true as the first parameter of the clone method.

<input type="file" id="control"/>
<button id="clear">Clear</button>
var control = $("#control");

$("#clear").on("click", function () {
    control.replaceWith( control = control.clone( true ) );
});

Fiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/jonathansampson/dAQVM/

If cloning, while preserving event handlers, presents any issues you could consider using event delegation to handle clicks on this control from a parent element:

$("form").on("focus", "#control", doStuff);

This prevents the need for any handlers to be cloned along with the element when the control is being refreshed.

Solution 3:

Jquery is supposed to take care of the cross-browser/older browser issues for you.

This works on modern browsers that I tested: Chromium v25, Firefox v20, Opera v12.14

Using jquery 1.9.1

HTML

<input id="fileopen" type="file" value="" />
<button id="clear">Clear</button>

Jquery

$("#clear").click(function () {
    $("#fileopen").val("");
});

On jsfiddle

The following javascript solution also worked for me on the browsers mention above.

document.getElementById("clear").addEventListener("click", function () {
    document.getElementById("fileopen").value = "";
}, false);

On jsfiddle

I have no way to test with IE, but theoretically this should work. If IE is different enough that the Javascript version does not work because MS have done it in a different way, the jquery method should in my opinion deal with it for you, else it would be worth pointing it out to the jquery team along with the method that IE requires. (I see people saying “this won’t work on IE”, but no vanilla javascript to show how it does work on IE (supposedly a “security feature”?), perhaps report it as a bug to MS too (if they would count it as such), so that it gets fixed in any newer release)

Like mentioned in another answer, a post on the jquery forum

 if ($.browser.msie) {
      $('#file').replaceWith($('#file').clone());
 } else {
      $('#file').val('');
 }

But jquery have now removed support for browser testing, jquery.browser.

This javascript solution also worked for me, it is the vanilla equivalent of the jquery.replaceWith method.

document.getElementById("clear").addEventListener("click", function () {
    var fileopen = document.getElementById("fileopen"),
        clone = fileopen.cloneNode(true);

    fileopen.parentNode.replaceChild(clone, fileopen);
}, false);

On jsfiddle

The important thing to note is that the cloneNode method does not preserve associated event handlers.

See this example.

document.getElementById("fileopen").addEventListener("change", function () {
    alert("change");
}, false);

document.getElementById("clear").addEventListener("click", function () {
    var fileopen = document.getElementById("fileopen"),
        clone = fileopen.cloneNode(true);

    fileopen.parentNode.replaceChild(clone, fileopen);
}, false);

On jsfiddle

But jquery.clone offers this [*1]

$("#fileopen").change(function () {
    alert("change");
});

$("#clear").click(function () {
    var fileopen = $("#fileopen"),
        clone = fileopen.clone(true);

    fileopen.replaceWith(clone);
});

On jsfiddle

[*1] jquery is able to do this if the events were added by jquery’s methods as it keeps a copy in jquery.data, it does not work otherwise, so it’s a bit of a cheat/work-around and means things are not compatible between different methods or libraries.

document.getElementById("fileopen").addEventListener("change", function () {
    alert("change");
}, false);

$("#clear").click(function () {
    var fileopen = $("#fileopen"),
        clone = fileopen.clone(true);

    fileopen.replaceWith(clone);
});

On jsfiddle

You can not get the attached event handler direct from the element itself.

Here is the general principle in vanilla javascript, this is how jquery an all other libraries do it (roughly).

(function () {
    var listeners = [];

    function getListeners(node) {
        var length = listeners.length,
            i = 0,
            result = [],
            listener;

        while (i < length) {
            listener = listeners[i];
            if (listener.node === node) {
                result.push(listener);
            }

            i += 1;
        }

        return result;
    }

    function addEventListener(node, type, handler) {
        listeners.push({
            "node": node,
                "type": type,
                "handler": handler
        });

        node.addEventListener(type, handler, false);
    }

    function cloneNode(node, deep, withEvents) {
        var clone = node.cloneNode(deep),
            attached,
            length,
            evt,
            i = 0;

        if (withEvents) {
            attached = getListeners(node);
            if (attached) {
                length = attached.length;
                while (i < length) {
                    evt = attached[i];
                    addEventListener(clone, evt.type, evt.handler);

                    i += 1;
                }
            }
        }

        return clone;
    }

    addEventListener(document.getElementById("fileopen"), "change", function () {
        alert("change");
    });

    addEventListener(document.getElementById("clear"), "click", function () {
        var fileopen = document.getElementById("fileopen"),
            clone = cloneNode(fileopen, true, true);

        fileopen.parentNode.replaceChild(clone, fileopen);
    });
}());

On jsfiddle

Of course jquery and other libraries have all the other support methods required for maintaining such a list, this is just a demonstration.

Solution 4:

For obvious security reasons you can’t set the value of a file input, even to an empty string.

All you have to do is reset the form where the field or if you only want to reset the file input of a form containing other fields, use this:

function reset_field (e) {
    e.wrap('<form>').parent('form').trigger('reset');
    e.unwrap();
}​

Here is an exemple: http://jsfiddle.net/v2SZJ/1/

Solution 5:

This works for me.

$("#file").replaceWith($("#file").clone());

http://forum.jquery.com/topic/how-to-clear-a-file-input-in-ie

Hope it helps.

Solution 6:

In IE8 they made the File Upload field read-only for security. See the IE team blog post:

Historically, the HTML File Upload Control () has been the source of a significant number of information disclosure vulnerabilities. To resolve these issues, two changes were made to the behavior of the control.

To block attacks that rely on “stealing” keystrokes to surreptitiously trick the user into typing a local file path into the control, the File Path edit box is now read-only. The user must explicitly select a file for upload using the File Browse dialog.

Additionally, the “Include local directory path when uploading files” URLAction has been set to “Disable” for the Internet Zone. This change prevents leakage of potentially sensitive local file-system information to the Internet. For instance, rather than submitting the full path C:\users\ericlaw\documents\secret\image.png, Internet Explorer 8 will now submit only the filename image.png.