HTMLButtonElement: popoverTargetElement property

Baseline 2024

Newly available

Since April 2024, this feature works across the latest devices and browser versions. This feature might not work in older devices or browsers.

The popoverTargetElement property of the HTMLButtonElement interface gets and sets the popover element to control via a button.

It is the JavaScript equivalent of the popovertarget HTML attribute.


A reference to a popover element in the DOM.


Toggle popover action with an auto popover

This example shows the basic use of the popover API, setting a <div> element as a popover, and then setting it as the popoverTargetElement of a <button>. The popover attribute is set to "manual", so the popover must be closed using a button, and not "light dismissed" by selecting outside the popover area.

First we define an HTML <button> element that we will use to show and hide the popover, and a <div> that will be the popover. In this case we don't set the popovertargetaction HTML attribute on the <button> or the popover attribute on the <div>, as we will be doing so programmatically.

<button id="toggleBtn">Toggle popover</button>
<div id="mypopover">This is popover content!</div>

The JavaScript code first gets a handle to the <div> and <button> elements. It then defines a function to check for popover support.

const popover = document.getElementById("mypopover");
const toggleBtn = document.getElementById("toggleBtn");

// Check for popover API support.
function supportsPopover() {
  return HTMLElement.prototype.hasOwnProperty("popover");

If the popover API is supported the code sets the <div> element's popover attribute to "auto" and makes it the popover target of the toggle button. We then set the popoverTargetAction of the <button> to "toggle". If the popover API is not supported we change the text content of the <div> element to state this, and hide the toggle button.

if (supportsPopover()) {
  // Set the <div> element to be an auto popover
  popover.popover = "auto";

  // Set the button popover target to be the popover
  toggleBtn.popoverTargetElement = popover;

  // Set that the button toggles popover visibility
  toggleBtn.popoverTargetAction = "toggle";
} else {
  popover.textContent = "Popover API not supported.";
  toggleBtn.hidden = true;

Note: A popover element is hidden by default, but if the API is not supported your element will display "as usual".

You can try out the example below. Show and hide the popover by toggling the button. The "auto" popover can also be dismissed by selecting outside the bounds of the popover text.


HTML Standard
# dom-popovertargetelement

Browser compatibility

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See also