The :link CSS pseudo-class represents an element that has not yet been visited. It matches every unvisited <a>, <area>, or <link> element that has an href attribute.

/* Selects any <a> that has not been visited yet */
a:link {
  color: red;
}

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

Note: Use :any-link to select an element independent of whether it has been visited or not.

Syntax

:link

Examples

By default, most browsers apply a special color value to visited links. Thus, the links in this example will probably have special font colors only before you visit them. (After that, you'll need to clear your browser history to see them again.) However, the background-color values are likely to remain, as most browsers do not set that property on visited links by default.

HTML

<a href="#ordinary-target">This is an ordinary link.</a><br>
<a href="">You've already visited this link.</a><br>
<a>Placeholder link (won't get styled)</a>

CSS

a:link {
  background-color: gold;
  color: green;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of ':link' in that specification.
Living Standard  
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':link' in that specification.
Working Draft No change.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':link' in that specification.
Recommendation No change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of ':link' in that specification.
Recommendation Lift the restriction to only apply it for <a> element.
CSS Level 1
The definition of ':link' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 3.0 3.5 1.0
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.5 (Yes) 1.0 (1.9.2) ? ? 3.2

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: mfluehr,