[javascript] Controller not a function, got undefined, while defining controllers globally

I am writing a sample application using angularjs. i got an error mentioned below on chrome browser.

Error is

Error: [ng:areq] http://errors.angularjs.org/1.3.0-beta.17/ng/areq?p0=ContactController&p1=not%20a%20function%2C%20got%20undefined

Which renders as

Argument 'ContactController' is not a function, got undefined


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html ng-app>
    <script src="../angular.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        function ContactController($scope) {
            $scope.contacts = ["[email protected]", "[email protected]"];

            $scope.add = function() {
                $scope.newcontact = "";                 

    <h1>  modules sample </h1>

    <div ng-controller="ContactController">
        Email:<input type="text" ng-model="newcontact">
        <button ng-click="add()">Add</button>

        <h2> Contacts </h2>
            <li ng-repeat="contact in contacts"> {{contact}} </li>

The answer is

With Angular 1.3+ you can no longer use global controller declaration on the global scope (Without explicit registration). You would need to register the controller using module.controller syntax.


angular.module('app', [])
    .controller('ContactController', ['$scope', function ContactController($scope) {
        $scope.contacts = ["[email protected]", "[email protected]"];

        $scope.add = function() {
            $scope.newcontact = "";



function ContactController($scope) {
    $scope.contacts = ["[email protected]", "[email protected]"];

    $scope.add = function() {
        $scope.newcontact = "";
ContactController.$inject = ['$scope'];
angular.module('app', []).controller('ContactController', ContactController);

It is a breaking change but it can be turned off to use globals by using allowGlobals.


    .config(['$controllerProvider', function($controllerProvider) {

Here is the comment from Angular source:-

  • check if a controller with given name is registered via $controllerProvider
  • check if evaluating the string on the current scope returns a constructor
  • if $controllerProvider#allowGlobals, check window[constructor] on the global window object (not recommended)

expression = controllers.hasOwnProperty(constructor)
            ? controllers[constructor]
            : getter(locals.$scope, constructor, true) ||
                (globals ? getter($window, constructor, true) : undefined);

Some additional checks:-

  • Do Make sure to put the appname in ng-app directive on your angular root element (eg:- html) as well. Example:- ng-app="myApp"

  • If everything is fine and you are still getting the issue do remember to make sure you have the right file included in the scripts.

  • You have not defined the same module twice in different places which results in any entities defined previously on the same module to be cleared out, Example angular.module('app',[]).controller(.. and again in another place angular.module('app',[]).service(.. (with both the scripts included of course) can cause the previously registered controller on the module app to be cleared out with the second recreation of module.

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