Michael Mikowski Michael Mikowski - 1 month ago 5x
jQuery Question

check if cached jquery object is still in DOM

Does anyone know how to tell if a cached jQuery object has gone stale, e.g. is no longer in the DOM? For example:

var $cached_elem = $('.the_button');

// .. and then later


I have recently encountered the situation where the $cached_elem is removed from the DOM due to some other event. So what I would like to do:

if ( $cache_elem.isStillInDOM() ){
// now do time consuming stuff with $cached_elem in DOM

Before anyone offers, I have already employed this, which is a fair analog for what I'm trying to do:

if ( $cached_elem.is(':visible') === true ){ ... }

However, this is not really the same thing and could fail in some cases.

So can anyone think of a simple way to check directly if a cached jQuery object is "stale"? I may be forced to write a plugin if not ...


if($elem.closest('body').length > 0) seems like it could do the trick.

$(function() {
    var $button = $(".the_button");
    alert (isStale($button));
    alert (isStale($button));
function isStale($elem)
    return $elem.closest("body").length > 0;
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <span class="the_button">Hello World</span>

Edit: Updated in response to Yi Jiang's comment so that it will return correctly if its parent element is removed

Edit 2: Updated in response to lonesomeday's comment - changed parents() to 'closest()` for performance improvement