How to Solve the fetch() Unexpected End of Input Error: A Comprehensive Guide

The Fetch API is used for making HTTP requests in JavaScript, offering a powerful alternative to the traditional XMLHttpRequest. This API provides a more flexible and efficient way to make web requests and handle responses. 

However, developers can encounter a common stumbling block: “Uncaught (in promise) SyntaxError: Unexpected end of input.” This error typically arises when the API attempts to parse an empty or improperly formatted response as JSON. 

This blog aims to delve into the root causes of this error and present clear, actionable solutions to help developers tackle this issue, ensuring smooth and effective use of the Fetch API in their projects.

Common Causes and Solutions

This section delves into the most common culprits behind this issue and offers practical solutions to mitigate them, ensuring smoother development experiences.

Case 1: Non-JSON Response

A frequent trigger for this error is the attempt to parse a response that is not in JSON format as JSON. This usually happens when developers expect a JSON response without verifying the actual format of the returned data. The Fetch API, being inherently flexible, does not automatically ensure that responses are in JSON format, leading to potential syntax errors during parsing.

Solution: The first step is to inspect the MIME type of the response using the Content-Type header. This can be done by examining the response.headers object. If, and only if, the Content-Type is application/json, should the response be parsed as JSON. This approach helps avoid unnecessary errors and ensures that only valid JSON responses are processed as such.

Case 2: Incorrect Headers

Another common source of this error stems from incorrectly configured request headers. Specifically, when the Content-Type header is not properly set to application/json, it can lead to the server returning responses in an unexpected format or even an empty response body, both of which are potential triggers for the “unexpected end of input” error.

Solution: Ensure the correctness of request headers by explicitly setting the Content-Type header to application/json when making requests that are expected to return JSON data. This signals both the intent to the server and clarifies the expected format of the response, reducing the likelihood of encountering parsing errors.

Case 3: CORS Policy

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) policies can also contribute to the occurrence of this error, particularly when making requests to servers that do not return appropriate CORS headers. This scenario can result in receiving an opaque response from the Fetch API, which, due to security restrictions, cannot be read or parsed, thus contributing to confusion and potential syntax errors.

Solution: Addressing CORS-related issues often requires server-side adjustments. If you have control over the server, ensure that it is configured to return the appropriate Access-Control-Allow-Origin headers. For development purposes, consider utilizing CORS proxies or enabling CORS through server settings or middleware. This can help alleviate issues related to opaque responses and ensure that responses can be successfully parsed as needed.

By understanding and addressing these common causes, developers can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering the “unexpected end of input” error, leading to a more seamless and efficient development process with the Fetch API.

Step-by-Step Guide to Solving “Unexpected End of Input” in Fetch API

1. Handling Empty or Invalid JSON Responses

To prevent errors when the response body is empty, you can check if the response body is present before attempting to parse it as JSON.

fetch('', {

 method: 'GET'


.then(response => response.text()) // Use text() instead of json()

.then(data => {

 const result = data ? JSON.parse(data) : {};



.catch(error => console.error('Error:', error));

2. Dealing with Opaque Responses

When dealing with opaque responses due to no-cors mode, consider the following approaches:

  • Enable CORS on the Server: If you control the server, enable CORS by setting the appropriate headers. For instance, in Node.js with Express:
app.use((req, res, next) => {

 res.header('Access-Control-Allow-Origin', '*'); // Adjust as needed

 res.header('Access-Control-Allow-Headers', 'Origin, X-Requested-With, Content-Type, Accept');


  • Use a CORS Proxy: If you cannot modify server configurations, a CORS proxy can help by acting as an intermediary that adds the necessary CORS headers to the response.

3. Checking Response Validity Before Parsing

Before converting the response to JSON, check if the response is okay. This approach helps in identifying not just empty responses but also other issues like network failures or server errors.


.then(response => {

 if (!response.ok) throw new Error('Network response was not ok.');

 return response.json();


.then(data => console.log(data))

.catch(error => console.error('Error:', error));

4. Avoiding no-cors Unless Necessary

The no-cors mode is often misunderstood. It’s primarily used for making requests to resources that don’t send CORS headers and for which you don’t need to read the response. If you need to read the response, ensure the server supports CORS and remove the no-cors option from your request.


The SyntaxError: Unexpected end of input error can be frustrating, but understanding its causes helps in applying the correct solution. Whether by handling empty responses more gracefully, enabling CORS on the server, using a CORS proxy, or ensuring the response is valid before parsing, you can overcome this challenge and ensure your fetch() calls succeed as expected

Happy Learning !!

Jerry Richard
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