Creating a Blob from a base64 string in JavaScript

Creating a Blob from a base64 string in JavaScript

I have base64-encoded binary data in a string.
const contentType = ‘image/png’;
const b64Data = ‘iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAUAAAAFCAYAAACNbyblAAAAHElEQVQI12P4//8/w38GIAXDIBKE0DHxgljNBAAO9TXL0Y4OHwAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==’;

I would like to create a blob: URL containing this data and display it to the user.
const blob = new Blob(????, {type: contentType});
const blobUrl = URL.createObjectURL(blob);

window.location = blobUrl;

I haven’t been been able to figure out how to create the Blob.
In some cases I am able to avoid this by using a data: URL instead.
const dataUrl = `data:${contentType};base64,${b64Data}`;

window.location = dataUrl;

However in most cases the data: URLs are prohibitively large.

How can I decode a base64 string to a Blob object in JavaScript?

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

The atob function will decode a base64-encoded string into a new string with a character for each byte of the binary data.

const byteCharacters = atob(b64Data);

Each character’s code point (charCode) will be the value of the byte. We can create an array of byte values by applying this using the .charCodeAt method for each character in the string.

const byteNumbers = new Array(byteCharacters.length);
for (let i = 0; i < byteCharacters.length; i++) {
    byteNumbers[i] = byteCharacters.charCodeAt(i);
}

You can convert this array of byte values into a real typed byte array by passing it to the Uint8Array constructor.

const byteArray = new Uint8Array(byteNumbers);

This in turn can be converted to a Blob by wrapping it in an array and passing it to the Blob constructor.

const blob = new Blob([byteArray], {type: contentType});

The code above works. However the performance can be improved a little by processing the byteCharacters in smaller slices, rather than all at once. In my rough testing 512 bytes seems to be a good slice size. This gives us the following function.

const b64toBlob = (b64Data, contentType='', sliceSize=512) => {
  const byteCharacters = atob(b64Data);
  const byteArrays = [];

  for (let offset = 0; offset < byteCharacters.length; offset += sliceSize) {
    const slice = byteCharacters.slice(offset, offset + sliceSize);

    const byteNumbers = new Array(slice.length);
    for (let i = 0; i < slice.length; i++) {
      byteNumbers[i] = slice.charCodeAt(i);
    }

    const byteArray = new Uint8Array(byteNumbers);
    byteArrays.push(byteArray);
  }

  const blob = new Blob(byteArrays, {type: contentType});
  return blob;
}
const blob = b64toBlob(b64Data, contentType);
const blobUrl = URL.createObjectURL(blob);

window.location = blobUrl;

Full Example:

const b64toBlob = (b64Data, contentType='', sliceSize=512) => {
  const byteCharacters = atob(b64Data);
  const byteArrays = [];

  for (let offset = 0; offset < byteCharacters.length; offset += sliceSize) {
    const slice = byteCharacters.slice(offset, offset + sliceSize);

    const byteNumbers = new Array(slice.length);
    for (let i = 0; i < slice.length; i++) {
      byteNumbers[i] = slice.charCodeAt(i);
    }

    const byteArray = new Uint8Array(byteNumbers);
    byteArrays.push(byteArray);
  }
    
  const blob = new Blob(byteArrays, {type: contentType});
  return blob;
}

const contentType = 'image/png';
const b64Data = 'iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAUAAAAFCAYAAACNbyblAAAAHElEQVQI12P4//8/w38GIAXDIBKE0DHxgljNBAAO9TXL0Y4OHwAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==';

const blob = b64toBlob(b64Data, contentType);
const blobUrl = URL.createObjectURL(blob);

const img = document.createElement('img');
img.src = blobUrl;
document.body.appendChild(img);

Solution 2:

Here is a more minimal method without any dependencies or libraries.
It requires the new fetch API. (Can I use it?)

var url = "data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAUAAAAFCAYAAACNbyblAAAAHElEQVQI12P4//8/w38GIAXDIBKE0DHxgljNBAAO9TXL0Y4OHwAAAABJRU5ErkJggg=="

fetch(url)
.then(res => res.blob())
.then(blob => console.log(blob))

With this method you can also easily get ArrayBuffer, text, and JSON.

As an async function:

const b64toBlob = async (b64Data, contentType='application/octet-stream') => {
  const url = `data:${contentType};base64,${b64Data}`;
  const response = await fetch(url);
  const blob = await response.blob();
  return blob;
};

I did a simple performance test towards Jeremy’s ES6 sync version.
The sync version will block UI for a while.
keeping the devtool open can slow the fetch performance

document.body.innerHTML += '<input autofocus placeholder="try writing">'
// get some dummy gradient image
var img=function(){var a=document.createElement("canvas"),b=a.getContext("2d"),c=b.createLinearGradient(0,0,1500,1500);a.width=a.height=3000;c.addColorStop(0,"red");c.addColorStop(1,"blue");b.fillStyle=c;b.fillRect(0,0,a.width,a.height);return a.toDataURL()}();


async function perf() {
  
  const blob = await fetch(img).then(res => res.blob())
  // turn it to a dataURI
  const url = img
  const b64Data = url.split(',')[1]

  // Jeremy Banks solution
  const b64toBlob = (b64Data, contentType = '', sliceSize=512) => {
    const byteCharacters = atob(b64Data);
    const byteArrays = [];
    
    for (let offset = 0; offset < byteCharacters.length; offset += sliceSize) {
      const slice = byteCharacters.slice(offset, offset + sliceSize);
      
      const byteNumbers = new Array(slice.length);
      for (let i = 0; i < slice.length; i++) {
        byteNumbers[i] = slice.charCodeAt(i);
      }
      
      const byteArray = new Uint8Array(byteNumbers);
      
      byteArrays.push(byteArray);
    }
    
    const blob = new Blob(byteArrays, {type: contentType});
    return blob;
  }

  // bench blocking method
  let i = 1000
  console.time('b64')
  while (i--) {
    await b64toBlob(b64Data)
  }
  console.timeEnd('b64')
  
  // bench non blocking
  i = 1000

  // so that the function is not reconstructed each time
  const toBlob = res => res.blob()
  console.time('fetch')
  while (i--) {
    await fetch(url).then(toBlob)
  }
  console.timeEnd('fetch')
  console.log('done')
}

perf()

Solution 3:

Optimized (but less readable) implementation:

function base64toBlob(base64Data, contentType) {
    contentType = contentType || '';
    var sliceSize = 1024;
    var byteCharacters = atob(base64Data);
    var bytesLength = byteCharacters.length;
    var slicesCount = Math.ceil(bytesLength / sliceSize);
    var byteArrays = new Array(slicesCount);

    for (var sliceIndex = 0; sliceIndex < slicesCount; ++sliceIndex) {
        var begin = sliceIndex * sliceSize;
        var end = Math.min(begin + sliceSize, bytesLength);

        var bytes = new Array(end - begin);
        for (var offset = begin, i = 0; offset < end; ++i, ++offset) {
            bytes[i] = byteCharacters[offset].charCodeAt(0);
        }
        byteArrays[sliceIndex] = new Uint8Array(bytes);
    }
    return new Blob(byteArrays, { type: contentType });
}

Solution 4:

For all browser support, especially on android.
Perhaps you can add this

   try{
       blob = new Blob( byteArrays, {type : contentType});
    }
    catch(e){
        // TypeError old chrome and FF
        window.BlobBuilder = window.BlobBuilder || 
                             window.WebKitBlobBuilder || 
                             window.MozBlobBuilder || 
                             window.MSBlobBuilder;
        if(e.name == 'TypeError' && window.BlobBuilder){
            var bb = new BlobBuilder();
            bb.append(byteArrays);
            blob = bb.getBlob(contentType);
        }
        else if(e.name == "InvalidStateError"){
            // InvalidStateError (tested on FF13 WinXP)
            blob = new Blob(byteArrays, {type : contentType});
        }
        else{
            // We're screwed, blob constructor unsupported entirely   
        }
    }

Solution 5:

For image data, I find it simpler to use canvas.toBlob (asynchronous)

function b64toBlob(b64, onsuccess, onerror) {
    var img = new Image();

    img.onerror = onerror;

    img.onload = function onload() {
        var canvas = document.createElement('canvas');
        canvas.width = img.width;
        canvas.height = img.height;

        var ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');
        ctx.drawImage(img, 0, 0, canvas.width, canvas.height);

        canvas.toBlob(onsuccess);
    };

    img.src = b64;
}

var base64Data = 'data:image/jpg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQA...';
b64toBlob(base64Data,
    function(blob) {
        var url = window.URL.createObjectURL(blob);
        // do something with url
    }, function(error) {
        // handle error
    });

Solution 6:

See this example: https://jsfiddle.net/pqhdce2L/

function b64toBlob(b64Data, contentType, sliceSize) {
  contentType = contentType || '';
  sliceSize = sliceSize || 512;

  var byteCharacters = atob(b64Data);
  var byteArrays = [];

  for (var offset = 0; offset < byteCharacters.length; offset += sliceSize) {
    var slice = byteCharacters.slice(offset, offset + sliceSize);

    var byteNumbers = new Array(slice.length);
    for (var i = 0; i < slice.length; i++) {
      byteNumbers[i] = slice.charCodeAt(i);
    }

    var byteArray = new Uint8Array(byteNumbers);

    byteArrays.push(byteArray);
  }
    
  var blob = new Blob(byteArrays, {type: contentType});
  return blob;
}


var contentType = 'image/png';
var b64Data = Your Base64 encode;

var blob = b64toBlob(b64Data, contentType);
var blobUrl = URL.createObjectURL(blob);

var img = document.createElement('img');
img.src = blobUrl;
document.body.appendChild(img);