Document: wheel event

The wheel event fires when the user rotates a wheel button on a pointing device (typically a mouse).

Bubbles Yes
Cancelable Yes
Interface WheelEvent
Event handler property GlobalEventHandlers.onwheel

This event replaces the non-standard deprecated mousewheel event.

Note: Don't confuse the wheel event with the scroll event. The default action of a wheel event is implementation-specific, and doesn't necessarily dispatch a scroll event. Even when it does, the delta* values in the wheel event don't necessarily reflect the content's scrolling direction. Therefore, do not rely on the wheel event's delta* properties to get the scrolling direction. Instead, detect value changes of scrollLeft and scrollTop in the scroll event.


Scaling an element via the wheel

This example shows how to scale an element using the mouse (or other pointing device) wheel.

<div>Scale me with your mouse wheel.</div>
body {
  min-height: 100vh;
  margin: 0;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;

div {
  width: 105px;
  height: 105px;
  background: #cdf;
  padding: 5px;
function zoom(event) {

  if (event.deltaY < 0) {
    // Zoom in
    scale *= event.deltaY * -2;
  else {
    // Zoom out
    scale /= event.deltaY * 2;

  // Restrict scale
  scale = Math.min(Math.max(.125, scale), 4);

  // Apply scale transform = `scale(${scale})`;

let scale = 1;
const el = document.querySelector('div');
document.onwheel = zoom;

addEventListener equivalent

The event handler can also be set up using the addEventListener() method:

document.addEventListener('wheel', zoom);


Specification Status Comment
UI Events
The definition of 'wheel' in that specification.
Working Draft  

Browser compatibility

No compatibility data found. Please contribute data for "api.Document.wheel_event" (depth: 1) to the MDN compatibility data repository.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: chrisdavidmills, irenesmith
Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,