How to Fix the Maximum Call Stack Size Exceeded Error in JavaScript

October 5, 2023
Justin Lumiere

maximum call stack size exceeded

The Maximum Call Stack Size Exceeded error in JavaScript occurs when a function calls itself too many times; often caused by recursive functions without base cases. In this article we'll show how to resolve and prevent this type of error in future projects.

Recursive functions

Recursive functions are useful when solving complex problems that can be broken into smaller components and solved independently recursively, like merge sort and quicksort algorithms that use them as part of their divide-and-conquer strategy by breaking them down further into subproblems that can then be solved recursively, before merging back together the solutions at the end.

Recursive functions require saving the current state of their variables on a stack to work, but this only has limited storage capacity. If recursion depth becomes too great, memory consumption may exceed this amount and cause Uncaught RangeError maximum call stack size exceeded errors to appear; so it is wise to refrain from employing such functions on problems with large recursion depths.

An ideal recursive program should contain at least one base case - the easiest scenario that does not necessitate additional recursion - as without one it would run forever, which would not be beneficial in terms of performance or memory usage.

To make recursive programs simpler to understand, using closures such as named let can make life much simpler. By reducing the number of parameters that must be passed at every call and eliminating duplicate variables altogether.

Infinite loops

Error "Maximum Call Stack Size Exceeded" can often be traced back to an infinite loop, whether that means calling one function from another in an infinite loop or calling multiple functions that call each other, leading to one another and then eventually terminating altogether. Sometimes this results from simple errors such as forgetting to increment a variable within the loop or failing to include a break statement; such errors often have simple solutions such as incrementing variables within loops properly or including break statements instead.

An infinite loop can be difficult to identify and fix, so it is critical that developers take time to trace its cause. This could involve reviewing code lines or calling into functions multiple times before trying again to diagnose and repair them. They should also ensure their conditions of the loops don't allow them to run forever.

This example demonstrates an infinite while loop with no ever-reaching condition, caused by the value of num not decreasing in the loop body. A potential solution would be to either remove i = 0 from its body or replace it with i -= 1, which will stop the loop from continuing indefinitely and thus prevent "Maximum Call Stack Size Exceeded" errors from appearing. By pinpointing its source, developers can eliminate it and move forward with their code development efforts.

Memory exhaustion

Memory exhaustion occurs when the stack used by a program reaches its hard-coded limit, either set by hardware or software and sometimes less than maximum memory available on a machine. Recursive functions without an end case typically lead to memory exhaustion which prevents further processing by browsers and therefore leads to error messages that prevent further processing from taking place.

Once memory allocation runs out, an operating system may issue an error message stating that memory allocation has reached capacity and urge applications to close down - however this doesn't free any of the memory held hostage by applications, leaving your system unusable until enough freed-up memory has been released to make it operational again.

Stack overflow is another common cause of this error and occurs when the required stack size exceeds that allocated to it. Local variables declared are directly proportional to how much stack memory they use; when declared local variables become too large this leads to an unexpected stack overflow error.

For this problem to be properly addressed, an effective solution lies in using tools that track errors and alert you when they arise. Airbrake Error Monitoring can detect issues before they impact users and give the code that caused it.


JavaScript's call stack is a data structure used to keep track of function calls that are being executed, which expands each time a function is called and contracts when its execution completes. Recursive functions often cause "Maximum Call Stack Size Exceeded", as they lack an exit point that would allow their call stack to grow too large before it eventually goes overflow. One method to avoid this error is adding an if check into your code that checks for conditions which allow the function to exit its loop and thus stop calling itself until its call stack becomes too large - another is adding an "if check into recursive code which checks for conditions which would cause it exit and leave.

Variables are quantifiable characteristics whose values are represented by symbols like +/-x// and can be used to perform various operations on them using operators like plus, minus, x and /. Variables may either be numerical or symbolic and continuous or discrete in nature.

Error RangeError "Maximum call stack size exceeded" occurs when a JavaScript function recurses excessively and therefore exceeds its call stack limit. This error can be caused by multiple factors including infinite recursion; lack of proper termination conditions and memory exhaustion; as well as improper optimization or using a better algorithm. Luckily there are ways to prevent such errors such as optimizing code and employing better algorithms that may reduce their frequency.

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