The :hover CSS pseudo-class matches when the user interacts with an element with a pointing device, but does not necessarily activate it. It is generally triggered when the user hovers over an element with the cursor (mouse pointer).

/* Selects any <a> element when "hovered" */
a:hover {
  color: orange;
}

Styles defined by the :active pseudo-class will be overridden by any subsequent link-related pseudo-class (:link, :visited, or :active) that has at least equal specificity. To style links appropriately, put the :hover rule after the :link and :visited rules but before the :active one, as defined by the LVHA-order: :link:visited:hover:active.

Note: The :hover pseudo-class is problematic on touchscreens. Depending on the browser, the :hover pseudo-class might never match, match only for a moment after touching an element, or continue to match even after the user has stopped touching and until the user touches another element. Web developers should make sure that content is accessible on devices with limited or non-existent hovering capabilities.

Syntax

:hover

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<a href="#">Try hovering over this link.</a>

CSS

a {
  background-color: powderblue;
  transition: background-color .5s;
}

a:hover {
  background-color: gold;
}

Result

You can use the :hover pseudo-class to build an image gallery with full-size images that show only when the mouse moves over a thumbnail. See this demo for a possible cue.

Note: For an analogous effect, but based on the :checked pseudo-class (applied to hidden radioboxes), see this demo, taken from the :checked reference page.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of ':hover' in that specification.
Living Standard  
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':hover' in that specification.
Working Draft Allows :hover to be applied to any pseudo-element.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':hover' in that specification.
Recommendation No significant change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of ':hover' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support 4Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 2WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes As of Safari for iOS 7.1.2, tapping a clickable element causes the element to enter the :hover state. The element will remain in the :hover state until a different element has entered the :hover state.
Samsung Internet Android ?
<a> element support
Non-standard
Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support 4Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 2WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
All elements support
Non-standard
Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes In Edge, hovering over an element and then scrolling up or down without moving the pointer will leave the element in the :hover state until the pointer is moved. See bug 5381673.
Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 7
Notes
Full support 7
Notes
Notes In Internet Explorer 8 to Internet Explorer 11, hovering over an element and then scrolling up or down without moving the pointer will leave the element in the :hover state until the pointer is moved. See bug 926665.
Notes In Internet Explorer 9 (and possibly earlier), if a <table> has a parent with a non-auto width, overflow-x: auto;, the <table> has enough content to horizontally overflow its parent, and there are :hover styles set on elements within the table, then hovering over said elements will cause the <table>'s height to increase. See a live demo that triggers the bug. One workaround for the bug is to set min-height: 0%; (the % unit must be specified, since unitless and px don't work) on the <table>'s parent element.
Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 2WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
Pseudo-element supportChrome ? Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 28IE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android ? Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: wbamberg,