How to find event listeners on a DOM node when debugging or from the JavaScript code?

How to find event listeners on a DOM node when debugging or from the JavaScript code?

I have a page where some event listeners are attached to input boxes and select boxes. Is there a way to find out which event listeners are observing a particular DOM node and for what event?
Events are attached using:

Prototype’s Event.observe;
DOM’s addEventListener;
As element attribute element.onclick.


Solution 1:

If you just need to inspect what’s happening on a page, you might try the Visual Event bookmarklet.

Update: Visual Event 2 available;

Solution 2:

It depends on how the events are attached. For illustration presume we have the following click handler:

var handler = function() { alert('clicked!') };

We’re going to attach it to our element using different methods, some which allow inspection and some that don’t.

Method A) single event handler

element.onclick = handler;
// inspect
alert(element.onclick); // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"

Method B) multiple event handlers

if(element.addEventListener) { // DOM standard
    element.addEventListener('click', handler, false)
} else if(element.attachEvent) { // IE
    element.attachEvent('onclick', handler)
// cannot inspect element to find handlers

Method C): jQuery

  • 1.3.x

    // inspect
    var clickEvents = $(element).data("events").click;
    jQuery.each(clickEvents, function(key, value) {
        alert(value) // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"
  • 1.4.x (stores the handler inside an object)

    // inspect
    var clickEvents = $(element).data("events").click;
    jQuery.each(clickEvents, function(key, handlerObj) {
        alert(handlerObj.handler) // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"
        // also available: handlerObj.type, handlerObj.namespace

(See and

Method D): Prototype (messy)

$(element).observe('click', handler);
  • 1.5.x

    // inspect
    Event.observers.each(function(item) {
        if(item[0] == element) {
            alert(item[2]) // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"
  • 1.6 to, inclusive (got very difficult here)

    // inspect. "_eventId" is for < while 
    // "_prototypeEventID" was introduced in
    var clickEvents = Event.cache[element._eventId || (element._prototypeEventID || [])[0]].click;
        alert(wrapper.handler) // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"
  • 1.6.1 (little better)

    // inspect
    var clickEvents = element.getStorage().get('prototype_event_registry').get('click');
        alert(wrapper.handler) // alerts "function() { alert('clicked!') }"

Solution 3:

Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi and Safari support getEventListeners(domElement) in their Developer Tools console.

For majority of the debugging purposes, this could be used.

Below is a very good reference to use it:

Solution 4:

WebKit Inspector in Chrome or Safari browsers now does this. It will display the event listeners for a DOM element when you select it in the Elements pane.

Solution 5:

It is possible to list all event listeners in JavaScript: It’s not that hard; you just have to hack the prototype‘s method of the HTML elements (before adding the listeners).

function reportIn(e){
    var a = this.lastListenerInfo[this.lastListenerInfo.length-1];

HTMLAnchorElement.prototype.realAddEventListener = HTMLAnchorElement.prototype.addEventListener;

HTMLAnchorElement.prototype.addEventListener = function(a,b,c){
    if(!this.lastListenerInfo){  this.lastListenerInfo = new Array()};
    this.lastListenerInfo.push({a : a, b : b , c : c});

Now every anchor element (a) will have a lastListenerInfo property wich contains all of its listeners. And it even works for removing listeners with anonymous functions.

Solution 6:

Use getEventListeners in Google Chrome: