The TouchEvent interface represents an event sent when the state of contacts with a touch-sensitive surface changes. This surface can be a touch screen or trackpad, for example. The event can describe one or more points of contact with the screen and includes support for detecting movement, addition and removal of contact points, and so forth.

Touches are represented by the Touch object; each touch is described by a position, size and shape, amount of pressure, and target element. Lists of touches are represented by TouchList objects.

Constructor

TouchEvent()
Creates a TouchEvent object.

Properties

This interface inherits properties from its parent, UIEvent and Event.

TouchEvent.altKey Read only
A Boolean value indicating whether or not the alt key was down when the touch event was fired.
TouchEvent.changedTouches Read only
A TouchList of all the Touch objects representing individual points of contact whose states changed between the previous touch event and this one.
TouchEvent.ctrlKey Read only
A Boolean value indicating whether or not the control key was down when the touch event was fired.
TouchEvent.metaKey Read only
A Boolean value indicating whether or not the meta key was down when the touch event was fired.
TouchEvent.shiftKey Read only
A Boolean value indicating whether or not the shift key was down when the touch event was fired.
TouchEvent.targetTouchesRead only
A TouchList of all the Touch objects that are both currently in contact with the touch surface and were also started on the same element that is the target of the event.
TouchEvent.touches Read only
A TouchList of all the Touch objects representing all current points of contact with the surface, regardless of target or changed status.
TouchEvent.rotation Read only
Change in rotation (in degrees) since the event's beginning. Positive values indicate clockwise rotation; negative values indicate anticlockwise rotation. Initial value: 0.0
TouchEvent.scale Read only
Distance between two digits since the event's beginning. Expressed as a floating-point multiple of the initial distance between the digits at the beginning of the event. Values below 1.0 indicate an inward pinch (zoom out). Values above 1.0 indicate an outward unpinch (zoom in). Initial value: 1.0

Touch event types

There are several types of event that can be fired to indicate that touch-related changes have occurred. You can determine which of these has happened by looking at the event's TouchEvent.type property.

touchstart

Sent when the user places a touch point on the touch surface. The event's target will be the element in which the touch occurred.

touchend

Sent when the user removes a touch point from the surface (that is, when they lift a finger or stylus from the surface). This is also sent if the touch point moves off the edge of the surface; for example, if the user's finger slides off the edge of the screen.

The event's target is the same element that received the touchstart event corresponding to the touch point, even if the touch point has moved outside that element.

The touch point (or points) that were removed from the surface can be found in the TouchList specified by the changedTouches attribute.

touchmove

Sent when the user moves a touch point along the surface. The event's target is the same element that received the touchstart event corresponding to the touch point, even if the touch point has moved outside that element.

This event is also sent if the values of the radius, rotation angle, or force attributes of a touch point change.

Note: The rate at which touchmove events is sent is browser-specific, and may also vary depending on the capability of the user's hardware. You must not rely on a specific granularity of these events.

touchcancel

Sent when a touch point has been disrupted in some way. There are several possible reasons why this might happen (and the exact reasons will vary from device to device, as well as browser to browser):

  • An event of some kind occurred that canceled the touch; this might happen if a modal alert pops up during the interaction.
  • The touch point has left the document window and moved into the browser's UI area, a plug-in, or other external content.
  • The user has placed more touch points on the screen than can be supported, in which case the earliest Touch in the TouchList gets canceled.

Using with addEventListener() and preventDefault()

It's important to note that in many cases, both touch and mouse events get sent (in order to let non-touch-specific code still interact with the user). If you use touch events, you should call preventDefault() to keep the mouse event from being sent as well.

The exception to this is Chrome, starting with version 56 (desktop, Chrome for android, and android webview), where the default value for touchstart and touchmove is true and calls to preventDefault() are not needed. To override this behavior, you simply set the passive option to false as shown in the example below. This change prevents the listener from blocking page rendering while a user is scrolling. A demo is available on the Google Developer site.

GlobalEventHandlers

The GlobalEventHandlers mixin defines these events as global events that are available on any element in the DOM that the user can interact with.

GlobalEventHandlers.ontouchstart
A global event handler.0 for the touchstart event.
GlobalEventHandlers.ontouchend
A global event handler.0 for the touchend event.
GlobalEventHandlers.ontouchmove
A global event handler.0 for the touchmove event.
GlobalEventHandlers.ontouchcancel
A global event handler.0 for the touchcancel event.

Example

See the example on the main Touch events article.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Touch Events – Level 2
The definition of 'TouchEvent' in that specification.
Draft Added ontouchstart, ontouchend, ontouchmove, ontouchend global attribute handlers
Touch Events
The definition of 'TouchEvent' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 22Edge Full support Yes
Disabled
Full support Yes
Disabled
Disabled This feature is behind the Standards Preview preference (needs to be set to true).
Firefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
Notes
Notes Removed in bug 888304 due to web compatibility issues.
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
TouchEvent() constructorChrome Full support 48
Notes
Full support 48
Notes
Notes Chrome only supports the following touchEventInit properties: touches, targetTouches, changedTouches.
Edge ? Firefox ? IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support 48
Notes
Full support 48
Notes
Notes Chrome only supports the following touchEventInit properties: touches, targetTouches, changedTouches.
Chrome Android Full support 48
Notes
Full support 48
Notes
Notes Chrome only supports the following touchEventInit properties: touches, targetTouches, changedTouches.
Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support 12Safari iOS Full support 3.2Samsung Internet Android ?
altKeyChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
changedTouchesChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
ctrlKeyChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
metaKeyChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
shiftKeyChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
targetTouchesChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
touchesChrome Full support 22Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 52
Full support 52
No support 18 — 24
IE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari No support NoWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 6Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
User must explicitly enable this feature.
User must explicitly enable this feature.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: fscholz,