jQuery Form Reset

This post shows you how to reset HTML form using jQuery. Also, in the notes section below, you will find a list of special cases and things to keep in mind while resetting form.

Please note that this post discusses 2 cases of resetting a form:

  1. Resetting form values to their default/initial values (similar to clicking on form "reset" button);
  2. Clearing form values (clearing form values, no matter what their default values were).

1. Reset form values

Probably, you already tried to use $("your-form").reset() method and got the following error:

TypeError: $(...).reset is not a function

That is because jQuery does not have .reset() method. However, DOM form elements have .reset() method. It resets form values to their initial values. In other words, if we had an input field with value="set on server" attribute set, and then, user typed in some other random text. On reset() that input fields value would be reset to "set on server" again and not to " ".

That out of the way, here is how you can reset a form using "pure" JavaScript.

// JavaScript only syntax

// Using jQuery selectors

Here is a better way to reset your form with jQuery. Simply trigger a reset event on your form.

// jQuery syntax

Notes on method 1

Things to remember:

  • Form values are reset to their initial/default values. They are not cleared/emptied.
  • Hidden values are not reset. If you have changed hidden input field values, you will have to reset them manually. You can do it by subscribing to reset event.

2. Clear form

The difference between clearing and resetting a form is that in clearing form values we clear all form fields. In other words, we will not reset them to their default values, but will replace their content with "" (empty space).

In other to do that, we will have to go through each field in the form and set its' value to "".

UPDATE: Replaced the code with the one from learningjquery.com. It creates a clearForm jQuery plugin.

$.fn.clearForm = function() {
  return this.each(function() {
    var type = this.type, tag = this.tagName.toLowerCase();
    if (tag == 'form')
      return $(':input',this).clearForm();
    if (type == 'text' || type == 'password' || tag == 'textarea')
      this.value = '';
    else if (type == 'checkbox' || type == 'radio')
      this.checked = false;
    else if (tag == 'select')
      this.selectedIndex = -1;

Here is how to use clearForm jQuery plugin:

// Call it on your <form>

Notes on method 2

Put the plugin definition code into jquery.clearform.js file and include it your project.