The MutationObserverInit dictionary's optional attributeFilter property is an array of strings specifying the names of the attributes whose values are to be monitored for changes. If this property is specified, there's no need to also set attributes to true, as it's implied.

If the attributes permission is true but no attributeFilter is included in the options object, all attributes' values are watched for changes.


var options = {
  attributeFilter: [ "list", "of", "attribute", "names" ]


An array of DOMString objects, each specifying the name of one attribute whose value is to be monitored for changes. There is no default value.

If this property exists on the options object when the MutationObserver() constructor is used to create a new MutationObserver, attribute monitoring is enabled regardless of whether or not the attributes property is true.


In this example, a Mutation Observer is set up to watch for changes to the status and username attributes in any elements contained within a subtree that displays the names of users in a chat room. This lets the code, for example, reflect changes to users' nicknames, or to mark them as away from keyboard (AFK) or offline.

function callback(mutationList) {
  mutationList.forEach(function(mutation) {
    switch(mutation.type) {
      case "attributes":
        switch(mutation.attributeName) {
          case "status":
          case "username":

var userListElement = document.querySelector("#userlist");

var observer = new MutationObserver(callback);
observer.observe(userListElement, {
  attributeFilter: [ "status", "username" ],
  attributeOldValue: true,
  subtree: true

The callback() function—which will be passed into the observe() method when starting the observer, looks at each item in the list of MutationRecord objects. For any items representing an attribute change (which can be detected by the value of MutationRecord.type being "attributes"), we use the attribute's name, obtained using MutationRecord.attributeName, to identify the type of change that occurred and then dispatch to the appropriate handler function.

Note the use of MutationRecord.oldValue to get the previous value of the "username" property so we have that information when doing lookups in our local array of users.

When observe() is called, the specified options include both attributeFilter and subtree, so that we monitor the attribute values for all of the nodes contained within the subtree rooted at the node with the ID "userlist". The attributeOldValue option is set to true because we want the prior value of the changed attributes recorded and reported in the mutation records we receive.


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'MutationObserverInit' in that specification.
Living Standard  

Browser compatibility

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

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Contributors to this page: Sheppy
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