pre-load images from arrays or DOM lazy-loading.
JavaScript HTML
Clone or download


Event-driven sequential image preloading and lazyloading in vanilla js (no dependencies). Supports IE8 or higher, though the main lib should work even in IE6.


Either download it

...or, clone the repo:

$ git clone
$ cd pre-loader

...via npm:

$ npm i pre-loader

...or use bower:

$ bower install pre-loader --save

Basic use via JavaScript

Load an array, get a functional callback when done:

// under a normal browser
new preLoader(/*Array*/images, /*Object*/options/);

// AMD with requireJS
require(['../js/pre-loader'], function(preLoader){
	new preLoader(/*Array*/images, /*Object*/options/);

// under CJS / webpack
import preLoader from 'pre-loader';
// or just DOM lazy load
import { lazyLoad } from 'pre-loader';

To have a play, you can clone the repo and:

$ npm install
$ npm run start

Open a browser and point to http://localhost:8888 - this runs a Webpack dev server and serves from the examples folder.

NOTE: if RequireJS or any other AMD-compatible loader is available, pre-loader will not go to the global object but define itself as an AMD module that can be required.


The options object you can pass to the constructor supports 5 different keys.

	// use a single pipeline, default: false
	pipeline: false,
	// auto start loading when instantiated
	auto: true,
	// optional function to call on each image
	onProgress: function(src, imageEl, index){},
	// optional function to call when all done
	onComplete: function(loaded, errors){},
	// optional function to call when an error happens
	onError: function(src){}


The most basic example to prime the cache with 2 images:

new preLoader(['image1.jpg', ''], {
	onComplete: function(loaded, errors){
		console.log('cache primed with:', loaded);
		errors && errors.length && console.log('these failed:', errors);

Progress reporting

Loading an array of images, firing a callback with each one and in the end:

new preLoader(['image1.jpg', ''], {
	onProgress: function(src, element, index){
		if (element){
			console.log|('loaded ' + src);
			// gets optional reference to element you can use:
			// document.appendChild(element);
		else {
			console.log('failed ' + src);

		// output some stats
		var donePercent = Math.floor((100 / this.queue.length) * this.completed.length);
		console.log(donePercent + '% completed', this.completed.length + this.errors.length + ' / ' + this.queue.length + ' done');
	onComplete: function(loaded, errors){
		console.log('cache primed with:', loaded);
		errors && errors.length && console.log('these failed:', errors);

Pipeline vs parallel

Optionally, you can control how the loading takes place. You can either let the browser resolve the resource handling or you could stick to using a single thread with pipelining (each image that completes calls the next one in the stack).

new preLoader(['image1.jpg', ''], {
	// enable a single pipeline
	pipeline: true,
	onComplete: function(list, errors){
		// this will take longer but won't waste resources.

Waterfall with pipeline enabled: pipeline

Waterfall with parallel downloading enabled: parallel

For more info, see the example folder or look at

Lazy loading of images

Lazy loading works based upon existing DOM img elements with a data-preload attribute, pointing to the image to load.


<img src="loading.gif" data-preload="images/real-image.jpg" />
	// go with defaults, we're good.
	var instance = preLoader.lazyLoad();
	// or
	var instance = preLoader.lazyLoad('#portfolio img.preload', { onComplete: function(){ });

The lazyLoad method accepts arguments to the normal preLoader constructor and additionally, a selector property that defaults to img[data-preload]. It will return an instance and all the callbacks will fire as expected. When an image matches the DOM element, it will set the src property and remove the data-preload attribute.