File upload is a very common feature nowadays . Every second web application has this feature implemented in it .Javascript made it too handy to upload files using it’s tons pre-built libraries .

But why to load a whole library and make your website slower just for a single functionality which can be handled using vanilla javascript fetch() API ( modern version of XHR used for sending request ) .

In this I’m going to demonstrate you how you can upload files using javascript’s in-built fetch() API.

Steps to upload files using fetch() API are as follows :

Get File Data

First of all make an input of file type

<input type = 'file' id = 'file_to_upload' />

Now whenever user selects a file we need to trigger an event

//select the file input tag
var file = document.getElementById('file_to_upload');

//add event listener
file.addEventListener('change', () => {

In the above code uploadFile() is user-defined function we define it later . This function will recieve a object of file in the form of parameter and upload the file on backend server using fetch() API .

Now let’s define the uploadFile() function

function uploadFile(file){
   //validating file before upload

      // if file is valid 
      //making a formData object and appending file to it
      const fd = new FormData();

      //uploading file
       method : 'POST',
       body : fd
      .then(response => response.json())
      .then(data => console.log(data));

      //if file is not valid
      console.log('file size if greater then 2mb');

Validate File

isValid() is a user-defined function to validate file size and check if image is png , jpg , jpeg or not , if image is greater than 2mb or having different file format then it will throw an error . Let’s implement the isValid() function .

function isValid(file){

    // check file type
    if(!['image/jpeg', 'image/jpg', 'image/png'].includes(file.type)) {
        return false;

    // check file size (< 2MB)
    if(file.size > 2 * 1024 * 1024) {
        return false;


Handling File Upload on Backend Using PHP

Now if you are a PHP programmer then here is the code snippet of handling file upload using PHP on server side .


if (isset($_FILES['file_to_upload'])) {

   // get details of the uploaded file
   $fileTmpPath = $_FILES['file_to_upload']['tmp_name'];
   $fileName = $_FILES['file_to_upload']['name'];
   $fileSize = $_FILES['file_to_upload']['size'];
   $fileType = $_FILES['file_to_upload']['type'];
   $fileNameCmps = explode(".", $fileName);
   $fileExtension = strtolower(end($fileNameCmps));

   //making a new file name before storing on server
   $newFileName = md5(time() . $fileName) . '.' . $fileExtension;

   // directory in which the uploaded file will be moved
   $uploadFileDir = './uploaded_files/';
   $dest_path = $uploadFileDir . $newFileName;
   if(move_uploaded_file($fileTmpPath, $dest_path)){
     $message ='File is successfully uploaded.';
     echo $message;
     $message = 'There was some error';
     echo $message;

That’s how you can upload file using fetch() API and handle it on server side using PHP.

You can follow me on Linkedin : Anand Raj

Don’t forget to follow our Linkedin page for latest updates : BePractical

Next Article : Javascript asynchronous programming with XMLHttpRequest() method

Thank you for reading ✌