This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The returnValue property of the HTMLDialogElement interface gets or sets the return value for the <dialog>, usually to indicate which button the user pressed to close it.


dialogInstance.returnValue = 'myReturnValue';
var myReturnValue = dialogInstance.returnValue;


A DOMString representing the returnValue of the dialog.


The following example displays a button to open a <dialog> containing a form via the showModal() method. From there, either button will close the dialog.

  <!-- Simple pop-up dialog box containing a form -->
  <dialog id="favDialog">
    <form method="dialog">
      <p><label>Favorite animal:
        <select name="favAnimal" required>
          <option>Brine shrimp</option>
          <option>Red panda</option>
          <option>Spider monkey</option>

    <button id="updateDetails">Update details</button>

    (function() {
      var updateButton = document.getElementById('updateDetails');
      var dialog = document.getElementById('favDialog');
      dialog.returnValue = 'favAnimal';

      function openCheck(dialog) {
        if ( {
          console.log('Dialog open');
        } else {
          console.log('Dialog closed');

      function handleUserInput(returnValue) {
        if (returnValue === 'Cancel' || returnValue == null) {
          // User canceled the dialog, do nothing
        } else if (returnValue === 'Confirm') {
          // User chose a favorite animal, do something with it

      // “Update details” button opens the <dialog> modally
      updateButton.addEventListener('click', function() {

Note: You can find this example on GitHub as htmldialogelement-basic (see it live also).


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'returnvalue' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of 'returnvalue' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support37 Yes531 2 No Yes No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support No No ?531 2 No No No

1. See bug 840640.

2. From version 53: this feature is behind the dom.dialog_element.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

See also

  • The HTML element implementing this interface: <dialog>.

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: Tigt, fscholz, chrisdavidmills
Last updated by: Tigt,