Solving 'Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow' Error: A Comprehensive Guide to Target Origin Issues

Learn how to fix the 'Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow' error and understand target origin issues in web development.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the postMessage Method
  3. Identifying the Target Origin Issue
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Fix the Error
  5. FAQ
  6. Conclusion


The Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow error is a common issue encountered by web developers when implementing cross-domain communication using the postMessage method. The error is usually caused by a mismatch between the specified target origin and the recipient window's origin. This guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of the postMessage method, target origin issues, and a step-by-step solution to fix the error.

Understanding the postMessage Method

The postMessage method enables secure communication between windows (e.g., iframes, popups, or parent windows) from different origins. It allows developers to send messages across domains without violating the same-origin policy.

The method has the following syntax:

window.postMessage(message, targetOrigin, [transfer]);
  • message: The data to be sent to the target window. It can be a string, an object, or any other data structure supported by the structured clone algorithm.
  • targetOrigin: A string specifying the target window's origin. The message will only be sent if the target window's origin matches this value.
  • transfer (optional): An array of transferable objects to be transferred with the message.

For more details, refer to the MDN Web Docs.

Identifying the Target Origin Issue

The Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow error occurs when the targetOrigin parameter in the postMessage method does not match the target window's origin. This is usually caused by:

  1. An incorrect or misspelled target origin.
  2. Using a wildcard (*) as the target origin, which is not recommended for security reasons.
  3. The target window's origin changing after the postMessage method is called.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix the Error

Follow these steps to resolve the 'Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow' error:

Verify the target origin: Ensure that the target origin specified in the postMessage method is correct and matches the target window's origin. Double-check the spelling and protocol (http or https).

Avoid using wildcards: It is highly recommended not to use a wildcard (*) as the target origin, as it can expose your application to security risks. Always specify the exact target origin.

Handle changing origins: If the target window's origin changes dynamically (e.g., due to redirects, user actions, or load events), ensure that you update the target origin in the postMessage method accordingly. You can use the window.location object to access the current origin.

  1. Listen for the 'message' event: Ensure that the target window is listening for the 'message' event using the window.addEventListener method. The event handler should also validate the event's origin property before processing the message.


What is the same-origin policy?

The same-origin policy is a security mechanism implemented by web browsers to restrict web pages from making requests to a different domain than the one that served the web page. It prevents malicious websites from making unauthorized requests to a different site on behalf of the user. Read more

Can I use the postMessage method with Web Workers?

Yes, you can use the postMessage method to communicate between the main thread and a Web Worker. The syntax is similar to the one used for cross-domain communication.

What are the alternatives to the postMessage method for cross-domain communication?

Some alternatives to the postMessage method for cross-domain communication include CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) and JSONP (JSON with Padding). However, both of these methods have their limitations and security concerns.

Can I send objects or functions using the postMessage method?

Yes, you can send objects using the postMessage method, thanks to the structured clone algorithm. However, you cannot send functions directly, as they are not supported by the algorithm.

Can I use the postMessage method in older browsers?

The postMessage method is supported in all modern browsers, including Internet Explorer 8 and above. For older browsers, you may need to use alternative methods or polyfills, such as pmxdr or easyXDM.


The 'Failed to Execute postMessage on DOMWindow' error is a common issue caused by target origin mismatches in the postMessage method. By following the steps provided in this guide and understanding the underlying concepts, you can efficiently fix the error and ensure secure cross-domain communication in your web applications.

Related resources:

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