What are Closures in JavaScript?

Closures are a fundamental concept in JavaScript that can make your code more efficient and encapsulated. They are functions that have access to the parent scope, even after the parent function has closed.

What are Closures?

In JavaScript, a closure is a function that has access to its own scope, the scope of the outer function, and the global scope. This means that a closure can access variables from three different scopes.

How Do Closures Work?

When a function is defined, a new scope is created. Any variables defined within this scope are not accessible from outside the function. However, these variables remain accessible to any functions defined within the same scope.

Here's a simple example of a closure:

function outerFunction(outerVariable) {
  return function innerFunction(innerVariable) {
    console.log('outerVariable:', outerVariable)
    console.log('innerVariable:', innerVariable)

const newFunction = outerFunction('outside')
newFunction('inside') // Logs: outerVariable: outside, innerVariable: inside

In the above example, innerFunction is a closure that has access to outerVariable, a variable from its parent scope.

Why Use Closures?

Closures have several practical uses in JavaScript:

  1. Data privacy: Closures can help to emulate private methods, a concept from object-oriented programming. Variables defined in the parent function are not accessible from outside the closure, providing a form of data privacy.

  2. Stateful functions: Closures can also be used to create stateful functions, functions that maintain their own state. This can be useful for things like counters or accumulators.

  3. Function factories: Closures can be used to create function factories, functions that return other functions with specific behaviors.

Practical Examples of Closures

Here's an example of a closure used to create a counter:

function createCounter() {
  let count = 0
  return function () {

const counter = createCounter()
counter() // Outputs: 1
counter() // Outputs: 2

In this example, createCounter returns a closure that has access to the count variable. Each time the closure is invoked, it increments the count and logs the current count.

Understanding closures can help you write more efficient and encapsulated JavaScript code.