Upload Files or Images to Server Using Node.js

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Upload Files or Images to Server Using Node.js

In this post, we tackle the question of how to quickly and easily upload files to a server using Node.js, without writing a single line of server side code.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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In this post, we will see how we can upload files or images to the server using Node.js. Here we are going to use Visual Studio for our development and the following NPM packages for our easy development:

  • Express
  • Multer
  • Body-parser
  • We will briefly explain the use of these packages. As you all know, Node.js is a runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine for server-side and networking application. And it is an open source which supports cross-platform. Node.js applications are written in pure JavaScript. If you are new to Node.js, I strongly recommend you read my previous posts about Node.js here.

    Download the Source Code for This Post

  • Upload Files Or Images To Server Using Node.js
  • Background

    A few years back, if you needed to upload any files or images to a server, you were completely dependent on server side languages like C# and PHP. Everything has changed after the Node.js revolution. Here I will show you how to upload the files to a server using Node.js, without writing even a single line of server-side code. Enjoy!

    Create a Blank Node.js Web Application

    Create a blank Node.js web application.


    Set Up Dependencies in package.json

    To get started, we will set up our dependencies first. To do so, please open your package.json file and paste the preceding code.

         "name": "node_js_file_upload",
         "version": "0.0.1",
         "description": "Node_JS_File_Upload",
         "main": "server.js",
         "dependencies": {
             "body-parser": "^1.15.2",
             "express": "^4.14.0",
             "multer": "^1.2.0"
         "author": {
             "name": "Sibeesh"

    Now, run the NPM install command as follows.

     npm install 

    Once you run the command, you can see that the dependencies are installed in the solution.


    Now we can understand what are these dependencies used for.


    As per the Express Team, Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications. Express provides a thin layer of fundamental web application features, without obscuring Node.js features that you know and love. You can always learn more about Express Package here.


    Multer is a Node.js middleware for handling multipart/form-data, which is primarily used for uploading files. It is written on top of busboy for maximum efficiency. You can find out more about the multer package here.

    Start Using Our Dependencies

    You can create the instances of our dependencies as follows.

     var Express = require('express');
     var multer = require('multer');
     var bodyParser = require('body-parser');
     var app = Express();

    Then, it is time to create a storage which says where and how the files/images should be saved.

     var Storage = multer.diskStorage({
         destination: function(req, file, callback) {
             callback(null, "./Images");
         filename: function(req, file, callback) {
             callback(null, file.fieldname + "_" + Date.now() + "_" + file.originalname);

    Each file contains the following information:

    fieldname: Field name specified in the form.
    originalname: Name of the file on the user’s computer.
    encoding: Encoding type of the file.
    mimetype: Mime type of the file.
    size: Size of the file in bytes.
    destination: The folder to which the file has been saved.
    filename: The name of the file in the destination.
    path: The full path to the uploaded file.
    buffer: A Buffer of the entire file.

    Now, create a multer object as follows.

     var upload = multer({
         storage: Storage
     }).array("imgUploader", 3); //Field name and max count

    Here, multer accepts the storage we created in our previous step as the parameter. The function

    array(fieldname[, maxCount])

    accepts an array of files, all with the name fieldname.

    Now it is time to write our post and get action.

     app.get("/", function(req, res) {
         res.sendFile(__dirname + "/index.html");
     app.post("/api/Upload", function(req, res) {
         upload(req, res, function(err) {
             if (err) {
                 return res.end("Something went wrong!");
             return res.end("File uploaded sucessfully!.");

    Here /api/Upload is the action name we are going to set in our HTML page which we will create soon. And last but not the least, we need to make sure that the app is listening to our particular port, in this case, it is port 2000.

     app.listen(2000, function(a) {
         console.log("Listening to port 2000");

    Create an HTML Page and Set Up Uploading

    You can create the page as follows with the references of the jquery-3.1.1.min.js and jquery.form.min.js.

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>Upload images to server using Node JS</title>
        <script src="Scripts/jquery-3.1.1.min.js"></script>
        <script src="Scripts/jquery.form.min.js"></script>
        <form id="frmUploader" enctype="multipart/form-data" action="api/Upload/" method="post">
            <input type="file" name="imgUploader" multiple />
            <input type="submit" name="submit" id="btnSubmit" value="Upload" /> </form>

    Please be noted that the ecctype for your form must be multipart/form-data and the action must be same as we set in our API.

    Create an Ajax Submit Event

    Now it is time to create our ajax event where we are going to call our API.

        $(document).ready(function() {
                    var options = {
                            beforeSubmit: showRequest, // pre-submit callback success: showResponse // post-submit callback }; // bind to the form's submit event $('#frmUploader').submit(function () { $(this).ajaxSubmit(options); // always return false to prevent standard browser submit and page navigation return false; }); }); // pre-submit callback function showRequest(formData, jqForm, options) { alert('Uploading is starting.'); return true; } // post-submit callback function showResponse(responseText, statusText, xhr, $form) { alert('status: ' + statusText + '\n\nresponseText: \n' + responseText ); }

    ajaxSubmit function is part of the plugin jquery.form.min.js, so please make sure that you have included it.

    Run Your Application

    Now, run your application. Before running your application, you can always set your script file as your startup file, to set it, just right-click on your project and click on properties.


    Now you can open your command prompt, and manually locate your project in the command prompt, or you can use the ‘Open command prompt here’ option. To select, right-click on your project and select the option as follows:


    Now type nodeserver.js in your command prompt which will make sure that your server is running. And if everything is fine, you will see this: 


    Our server is now ready, and we can run our web page! Now, go to your browser and type the URL as http://localhost:2000. Select few files using the file uploader we have created.


    If you click submit, you can see we are calling our method action and the files are uploaded.



    You can always download the source code attached to see the complete code and application. Happy coding!

    backend development, javascript tutorials, node.js tutorial, web dev

    Published at DZone with permission of Sibeesh Venu , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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