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    Using media queries from code

    This is an experimental technology
    Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for the proper prefixes to use in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the spec changes.

    The DOM provides features that make it possible to test the results of a media query programmatically. This is done using the MediaQueryList interface and its methods and properties. Once you've created a MediaQueryList object, you can check the result of the query or, alternatively, receive notifications automatically when the result changes.

    Creating a media query list

    Before you can evaluate the results of a query, you need to create the MediaQueryList object representing the media query. To do this, use the window.matchMedia method.

    For example, if you want to set up a query list that determines whether the device is in landscape or portrait orientation, you can do so like this:

    var mql = window.matchMedia("(orientation: portrait)");

    Checking the result of a query

    Once your media query list has been created, you can check the result of the query by looking at the value of its matches property, which reflects the result of the query:

    if (mql.matches) {
      /* The device is currently in portrait orientation */
    } else {
      /* The device is currently in landscape orientation */

    Receiving query notifications

    If you need to be aware of changes to the evaluated result of the query on an ongoing basis, it's more efficient to register a listener than to poll the query's result. To do this, you can call the addListener() method on the MediaQueryList object, specifying an observer that implements the MediaQueryListListener interface:

    var mql = window.matchMedia("(orientation: portrait)");

    This code creates the orientation testing media query list, mql, then adds a listener to it. Note that after adding the listener, we actually invoke the listener directly once. This lets our listener perform initial adjustments based on the current device orientation (otherwise, if our code assumes the device is in portrait mode but it's actually in landscape mode at startup, we could have inconsistencies).

    The handleOrientationChange() method we implement then would look at the result of the query and handle whatever we need to do on an orientation change:

    function handleOrientationChange(mql) {
      if (mql.matches) {
        /* The device is currently in portrait orientation */
      } else {
        /* The device is currently in landscape orientation */

    Ending query notifications

    When you no longer need to receive notifications about changes to the value of your media query, you can simply call removeListener() on the MediaQueryList:


    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
    Basic support 9 6.0 (6.0) 10 ? 5.1
    Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Basic support ? ? ? ? 5

    See also

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Contributors to this page: Sheppy
    Last updated by: Sheppy,