Update parent scope variable in AngularJS

The question:

I have two controllers, one wrapped within another. Now I know the child scope inherits properties from the parent scope but is there a way to update the parent scope variable? So far I have not come across any obvious solutions.

In my situation I have a calendar controller within a form. I would like to update the start and end dates from the parent scope (which is the form) so that the form has the start and end dates when submitted.

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

You need to use an object (not a primitive) in the parent scope and then you will be able to update it directly from the child scope


    $scope.parentprimitive = "someprimitive";
    $scope.parentobj = {};
    $scope.parentobj.parentproperty = "someproperty";


    $scope.parentprimitive = "this will NOT modify the parent"; //new child scope variable
    $scope.parentobj.parentproperty = "this WILL modify the parent";

Working demo: http://jsfiddle.net/sh0ber/xxNxj/

See What are the nuances of scope prototypal / prototypical inheritance in AngularJS?

Method 2

There is one more way to do this task and to not use the $scope.$parent variable.

Just prepare a method for changing the value in parent scope and use it in child one. Like this:

app.controller('ctrlParent',function($scope) {
  $scope.simpleValue = 'x';
  $scope.changeSimpleValue = function(newVal) {
    $scope.simpleValue = newVal;


It also works and give you more control over the value changes.

You can then also call the method even in HTML like: <a ng-click="changeSimpleValue('y')" href="#" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">click me!</a>.

Method 3

This also works (but not sure whether this follows best practice or not)

app.controller('ctrlParent',function($scope) {
    $scope.simpleValue = 'x';

    $scope.$parent.simpleValue = 'y';

Method 4

When you assign a primitive attribute to a scope, it is always local to the scope (possibly created on the fly), even if a parent scope has an attribute with the same name. This is a design decision, and a good one IMHO.

If you need to change some primitive (ints, booleans, strings) in the parent scope, from the view, you need it to be an attribute of another object in that scope, so the assignment may read:

<a ng-click="viewData.myAttr = 4">Click me!</a>

and it will, in turn:

  1. get the viewData object from whatever scope it is defined in
  2. assign 4 to its myAttr attribute.

Method 5

For accessing variables declared in the parent, we should use $parent in child controller or template file

In controller


In html template


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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