Element: shadowRoot property

Baseline Widely available

This feature is well established and works across many devices and browser versions. It’s been available across browsers since January 2020.

The Element.shadowRoot read-only property represents the shadow root hosted by the element.

Use Element.attachShadow() to add a shadow root to an existing element.


A ShadowRoot object instance, or null if the associated shadow root was attached with its mode set to closed. (See Element.attachShadow() for further details).


The following snippets are taken from our life-cycle-callbacks example (see it live also), which creates an element that displays a square of a size and color specified in the element's attributes.

Inside the <custom-square> element's class definition we include some life cycle callbacks that make a call to an external function, updateStyle(), which actually applies the size and color to the element. You'll see that we are passing it this (the custom element itself) as a parameter.

class Square extends HTMLElement {
  connectedCallback() {
    console.log("Custom square element added to page.");

  attributeChangedCallback(name, oldValue, newValue) {
    console.log("Custom square element attributes changed.");

In the updateStyle() function itself, we get a reference to the shadow DOM using Element.shadowRoot. From here we use standard DOM traversal techniques to find the <style> element inside the shadow DOM and then update the CSS found inside it:

function updateStyle(elem) {
  const shadow = elem.shadowRoot;
  const childNodes = Array.from(shadow.childNodes);

  childNodes.forEach((childNode) => {
    if (childNode.nodeName === "STYLE") {
      childNode.textContent = `
        div {
          width: ${elem.getAttribute("l")}px;
          height: ${elem.getAttribute("l")}px;
          background-color: ${elem.getAttribute("c")};


DOM Standard
# ref-for-dom-element-shadowroot①

Browser compatibility

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