Detecting change to Knockout view model

Sure this is a very easy question to answer but is there an easy way to determine if any property of a knockout view model has changed?



Use extenders:

ko.extenders.trackChange = function (target, track) {
    if (track) {
        target.isDirty = ko.observable(false);
        target.originalValue = target();
        target.setOriginalValue = function(startingValue) {
            target.originalValue = startingValue; 
        target.subscribe(function (newValue) {
            // use != not !== so numbers will equate naturally
            target.isDirty(newValue != target.originalValue);
    return target;


self.MyProperty= ko.observable("Property Value").extend({ trackChange: true });

Now you can inspect like this:


You can also write some generic viewModel traversing to see if anything's changed:

self.isDirty = ko.computed(function () {
    for (key in self) {
        if (self.hasOwnProperty(key) && ko.isObservable(self[key]) && typeof self[key].isDirty === 'function' && self[key].isDirty()) {
            return true;

... and then just check at the viewModel level


You can subscribe to the properties that you want to monitor:

myViewModel.personName.subscribe(function(newValue) {
    alert("The person's new name is " + newValue); 

This will alert when personName changes.

Ok, so you want to know when anything changes in your model...

var viewModel = … // define your viewModel

var changeLog = new Array();  

function catchChanges(property, value){
    changeLog.push({property: property, value: value});
    viewModel.isDirty = true;

function initialiseViewModel()
    // loop through all the properties in the model
    for (var property in viewModel) {

        if (viewModel.hasOwnProperty(property)) { 

            // if they're observable

                // subscribe to changes
                viewModel[property].subscribe(function(value) {
                    catchChanges(property, value);
    viewModel.isDirty = false;

function resetViewModel() {
    changeLog = new Array();  
    viewModel.isDirty = false;

(haven't tested it - but you should get the idea)


Consider using Knockout-Validation plug-in

It implements the following:

yourProperty.isModified() - Checks if the user modified the value.

yourProperty.originalValue - So you can check if the value really changed.

Along with other validation stuff which comes in handy!



You might use the plugin below for this:

The code for example will allow you to keep track of all changes within any viewModel:, { depth: -1 }, function(parents, child) { 
    alert('New value is: ' + child());

PS: As of now this will not work with subscribables nested within an array but a new version that supports it is on the way.

Update: The sample code was upgraded to work with v1.2b which adds support for array items and subscribable-in-subscribable properties.


I had the same problem, i needed to observe any change on the viewModel, in order to send the data back to the server, If anyone still intersted, i did some research and this is the best solution iv'e managed to assemble:

function GlobalObserver(viewModel, callback) {  
    var self = this;
    viewModel.allChangesObserver = ko.computed(function() {
        self.viewModelRaw = ko.mapping.toJS(viewModel);
    viewModel.allChangesObserver.subscribe(function() {
    self.dispose = function() {
        if (viewModel.allChangesObserver)
        delete viewModel.allChangesObserver;

in order to use this 'global observer':

function updateEntireViewModel() {
    var rawViewModel = Ajax_GetItemEntity(); //fetch the json object..    
    //enter validation code here, to ensure entity is correct.
    if (koGlobalObserver)
        koGlobalObserver.dispose(); //If already observing the older ViewModel, stop doing that!
    var viewModel = ko.mapping.fromJS(rawViewModel);        
    koGlobalObserver = new GlobalObserver(viewModel, Ajax_Submit);
    ko.applyBindings(viewModel [ ,optional dom element]);   

Note that the callback given (in this case 'Ajax_Submit') will be fired on ANY change that occurs on the view model, so i think it's really recommended to make some sort of delay mechanism to send the entity only when the user finished to edit the properties:

var _entitiesUpdateTimers = {};

function Ajax_Submit(entity) { 
    var key = entity.ID; //or whatever uniquely related to the current view model..
    if (typeof _entitiesUpdateTimers[key] !== 'undefined')
    _entitiesUpdateTimers[key] = 
        setTimeout(function() { SendEntityFunction(entity); }, 500);           

I'm new to JavaScript and the knockout framework, (only yestarday i started to work with this wonderfull framework), so don't get mad at me if i did something wrong.. (-:

Hope this helps!


I've adapted @Brett Green code and extended it so that we can have AcceptChanges, marking the model as not dirty plus having a nicer way of marking models as trackables. Here is the code:

var viewModel = {
    name: ko.observable()   



I did this by taking a snapshot of the view model when the page loads, and then later comparing that snapshot to the current view model. I didn't care what properties changed, only if any changed.

Take a snapshot:

var originalViewModel = JSON.stringify(ko.toJS(viewModel));

Compare later:

if(originalViewModel != JSON.stringify(ko.toJS(viewModel))){
    // Something has changed, but we don't know what

Consider a view model as follows

function myViewModel(){
    var that = this;
    that.Name = ko.observable();
    that.OldState = ko.observable();
    that.NewState = ko.observable();

    that.dirtyCalcultions - ko.computed(function(){
    // Code to execute when state of an observable changes.

After you Bind your Data you can store the state using ko.toJS(myViewModel) function.


You can declare a variable inside your view model as a computed observable like

that.dirtyCalculations = ko.computed(function () {});

This computed function will be entered when there is change to any of the other observables inside the view model.

Then you can compare the two view model states as:

that.dirtyCalculations = ko.computed(function () {

  //Compare old state to new state
  if(that.OldState().Name == that.NewState().Name()){
       // View model states are same.
      // View model states are different.


**Note: This computed observable function is also executed the first time when the view model is initialized. **

Hope this helps ! Cheers!!


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