The Node.appendChild() method adds a node to the end of the list of children of a specified parent node. If the given child is a reference to an existing node in the document, appendChild() moves it from its current position to the new position (there is no requirement to remove the node from its parent node before appending it to some other node).

This means that a node can't be in two points of the document simultaneously. So if the node already has a parent, the node is first removed, then appended at the new position. The Node.cloneNode() can be used to make a copy of the node before appending it under the new parent. Note that the copies made with cloneNode will not be automatically kept in sync.

Syntax

var aChild = element.appendChild(aChild);

Returns

The returned value is the appended child.

Notes

Chaining may not work as expected due to appendChild() returning the child element:

var aBlock = doc.createElement('block').appendChild(doc.createElement('b'));

Sets aBlock to <b></b> only, which is not what you probably want.

Example

// Create a new paragraph element, and append it to the end of the document body
var p = document.createElement("p");
document.body.appendChild(p);

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

 

See also