Event: currentTarget property

Note: This feature is available in Web Workers.

The currentTarget read-only property of the Event interface identifies the element to which the event handler has been attached.

This will not always be the same as the element on which the event was fired, because the event may have fired on a descendant of the element with the handler, and then bubbled up to the element with the handler. The element on which the event was fired is given by Event.target.

Note that the value of currentTarget is only available in a handler for the event. Outside an event handler it will be null. This means that, for example, if you take a reference to the Event object inside an event handler and then access its currentTarget property outside the event handler, its value will be null.


An EventTarget representing the object to which the current event handler is attached.


currentTarget versus target

This example illustrates the difference between currentTarget and target.


The page has a "parent" <div> containing a "child" <div>.

<div id="parent">
  Click parent
  <div id="child">Click child</div>

<button id="reset">Reset</button>
<pre id="output"></pre>


The event handler is attached to the parent. It logs the value of event.currentTarget and event.target.

We also have a "Reset" button that just reloads the example.

const output = document.querySelector("#output");
const parent = document.querySelector("#parent");
parent.addEventListener("click", (event) => {
  const currentTarget = event.currentTarget.getAttribute("id");
  const target = event.target.getAttribute("id");
  output.textContent = `Current target: ${currentTarget}\n`;
  output.textContent += `Target: ${target}`;

const reset = document.querySelector("#reset");
reset.addEventListener("click", () => document.location.reload());


If you click inside the child <div>, then target identifies the child. If you click inside the parent <div>, then target identifies the parent.

In both cases, currentTarget identifies the parent, because that's the element that the handler is attached to.


DOM Standard
# ref-for-dom-event-currenttarget②

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also