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onpopstate is an event handler for the popstate event on the window.

A popstate event is dispatched to the window each time the active history entry changes between two history entries for the same document. If the activated history entry was created by a call to history.pushState(), or was affected by a call to history.replaceState(), the popstate event's state property contains a copy of the history entry's state object.

Note: calling history.pushState() or history.replaceState() won't trigger a popstate event. The popstate event is only triggered by performing a browser action, such as clicking on the back button (or calling history.back() in JavaScript), when navigating between two history entries for the same document.

Note: Browsers used to handle the popstate event differently on page load, but now they behave the same. Firefox never emitted a popstate event on page load. Chrome did until version 34, while Safari did until version 10.0.


window.onpopstate = funcRef;
  • funcRef is a handler function.

The popstate event

For example, a page at http://example.com/example.html running the following code will generate alerts as indicated:

window.onpopstate = function(event) {
  alert("location: " + document.location + ", state: " + JSON.stringify(event.state));

history.pushState({page: 1}, "title 1", "?page=1");
history.pushState({page: 2}, "title 2", "?page=2");
history.replaceState({page: 3}, "title 3", "?page=3");
history.back(); // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=1, state: {"page":1}"
history.back(); // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html, state: null
history.go(2);  // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=3, state: {"page":3}

Note that even though the original history entry (for http://example.com/example.html) has no state object associated with it, a popstate event is still fired, when we activate that entry after the second call to history.back().


Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support ? ? ? ? ? ?
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,