The :empty CSS pseudo-class represents any element that has no children. Children can be either element nodes or text (including whitespace). Comments or processing instructions do not affect whether an element is considered empty.

/* Selects any <div> that contains no content */
div:empty {
  background: lime;
}

Syntax

:empty

Examples

HTML

<div class="box"><!-- I will be lime. --></div>
<div class="box">I will be pink.</div>
<div class="box">
    <!-- I will be pink because of the whitespace around this comment. -->
</div>

CSS

.box {
  background: pink;
  height: 80px;
  width: 80px;
}

.box:empty {
  background: lime;
}

Result

Accessibility concerns

Assistive technology such as screen readers cannot parse interactive content that is empty. All interactive content must have an accessible name, which is created by providing a text value for the interactive control's parent element (anchors, buttons, etc.). Accessible names expose the interactive control to the accessibility tree, an API that communicates information useful for assistive technologies.

The text that provides the interactive control's accessible name can be hidden using a combination of properties that remove it visually from the screen but keep it parseable by assistive technology. This is commonly used for buttons that rely solely on an icon to convey purpose.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':empty' in that specification.
Working Draft No change
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':empty' 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 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1
Notes Alternate Name
Full support 1
Notes Alternate Name
Notes See bug 1106296.
Alternate Name Uses the non-standard name: :-moz-only-whitespace
IE Full support 9Opera Full support 9.5Safari Full support 3.1WebView Android Full support 2Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4
Notes Alternate Name
Full support 4
Notes Alternate Name
Notes See bug 1106296.
Alternate Name Uses the non-standard name: :-moz-only-whitespace
Opera Android Full support 10Safari iOS Full support 3.1Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
Uses a non-standard name.
Uses a non-standard name.

See also