The background-image CSS property sets one or more background images on an element.

The background images are drawn on stacking context layers on top of each other. The first layer specified is drawn as if it is closest to the user.

The borders of the element are then drawn on top of them, and the background-color is drawn beneath them. How the images are drawn relative to the box and its borders is defined by the background-clip and background-origin CSS properties.

If a specified image cannot be drawn (for example, when the file denoted by the specified URI cannot be loaded), browsers handle it as they would a none value.

Note: Even if the images are opaque and the color won't be displayed in normal circumstances, web developers should always specify a background-color. If the images cannot be loaded—for instance, when the network is down—the background color will be used as a fallback.
Single quotes may work around the URL when double quotes have failed.

Syntax

Each background image is specified either as the keyword none or as an <image> value.

To specify multiple background images, supply multiple values, separated by a comma:

background-image:
  linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,0,0.5), rgba(0,0,255,0.5)),
  url('https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/7693/catfront.png');

Values

none
Is a keyword denoting the absence of images.
<image>
Is an <image> denoting the image to display. There can be several of them, separated by commas, as multiple backgrounds are supported.

Formal syntax

<bg-image>#

where
<bg-image> = none | <image>

where
<image> = <url> | <image()> | <image-set()> | <element()> | <cross-fade()> | <gradient>

where
<image()> = image( [ [ <image> | <string> ]? , <color>? ]! )
<image-set()> = image-set( <image-set-option># )
<element()> = element( <id-selector> )
<cross-fade()> = cross-fade( <cf-mixing-image> , <cf-final-image>? )
<gradient> = <linear-gradient()> | <repeating-linear-gradient()> | <radial-gradient()> | <repeating-radial-gradient()>

where
<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>
<image-set-option> = [ <image> | <string> ] <resolution>
<id-selector> = <hash-token>
<cf-mixing-image> = <percentage>? && <image>
<cf-final-image> = <image> | <color>
<linear-gradient()> = linear-gradient( [ <angle> | to <side-or-corner> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<repeating-linear-gradient()> = repeating-linear-gradient( [ <angle> | to <side-or-corner> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<radial-gradient()> = radial-gradient( [ <ending-shape> || <size> ]? [ at <position> ]? , <color-stop-list> )
<repeating-radial-gradient()> = repeating-radial-gradient( [ <ending-shape> || <size> ]? [ at <position> ]? , <color-stop-list> )

where
<rgb()> = rgb( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgb( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<rgba()> = rgba( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgba( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<hsl()> = hsl( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsl( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )
<hsla()> = hsla( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsla( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )
<side-or-corner> = [ left | right ] || [ top | bottom ]
<color-stop-list> = <color-stop>#{2,}
<ending-shape> = circle | ellipse
<size> = closest-side | farthest-side | closest-corner | farthest-corner | <length> | <length-percentage>{2}
<position> = [ [ left | center | right ] || [ top | center | bottom ] | [ left | center | right | <length-percentage> ] [ top | center | bottom | <length-percentage> ]? | [ [ left | right ] <length-percentage> ] && [ [ top | bottom ] <length-percentage> ] ]

where
<alpha-value> = <number> | <percentage>
<hue> = <number> | <angle>
<color-stop> = <color> <length-percentage>?
<length-percentage> = <length> | <percentage>

Examples

Note that the star image is partially transparent and is layered over the cat image.

HTML

<div>
  <p class="catsandstars">
    This paragraph is full of cats<br />and stars.
  </p>
  <p>This paragraph is not.</p>
  <p class="catsandstars">
    Here are more cats for you.<br />Look at them!
  </p>
  <p>And no more.</p>
</div>

CSS

p {
  font-size: 1.5em;
  color: #FE7F88;
  background-image: none;
  background-color: transparent;
}

div {
  background-image:
      url("https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/6457/mdn_logo_only_color.png");
}

.catsandstars {
  background-image:
      url("https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/11991/startransparent.gif"), 
      url("https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/7693/catfront.png");
  background-color: transparent;
}

Result

Accessibility concerns

Assistive technology cannot parse background images. If the image contains information critical to understanding the page's overall purpose, it is better to describe it semantically in the document.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
The definition of 'background-image' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation From CSS2 Revision 1, the property has been extended to support multiple backgrounds and any <image> CSS data type.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'background-image' in that specification.
Recommendation From CSS1, the way images with and without intrinsic dimensions are handled is now described.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'background-image' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Initial valuenone
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified, but with <url> values made absolute
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

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 12Firefox Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes If the browser.display.use_document_colors user preference in about:config is set to false, background images will not be displayed.
IE Full support 4Opera Full support 3.5Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
Multiple backgroundsChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3.6IE Full support 9Opera Full support YesSafari Full support 1.3WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
GradientsChrome Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -webkit.
Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3.6
Notes
Full support 3.6
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -moz.
IE Full support 10Opera Full support 11
Notes
Full support 11
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -o.
Safari Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -webkit.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -webkit.
Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -moz.
Opera Android Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -o.
Safari iOS Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes Some versions support only experimental gradients prefixed with -webkit.
Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes
SVG imagesChrome Full support 8Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 4IE Full support 9Opera Full support 9.5Safari Full support 5
Notes
Full support 5
Notes
Notes Support of SVG in CSS background is incomplete.
WebView Android No support NoChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 5
Notes
Full support 5
Notes
Notes Support of SVG in CSS background is incomplete.
Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes
element()
Experimental
Chrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes element() is supported only in its -moz-element() prefixed version
IE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoEdge Mobile No support NoFirefox Android Full support Yes
Notes
Full support Yes
Notes
Notes element() is supported only in its -moz-element() prefixed version
Opera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No
image-rect()
Experimental
Chrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox Full support Yes
Prefixed Notes
Full support Yes
Prefixed Notes
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
Notes image-rect() is supported only in its -moz-image-rect() prefixed version.
IE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoEdge Mobile No support NoFirefox Android Full support Yes
Prefixed Notes
Full support Yes
Prefixed Notes
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
Notes image-rect() is supported only in its -moz-image-rect() prefixed version.
Opera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No
Any <image> valueChrome Full support YesEdge ? Firefox No support NoIE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android No support NoOpera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.

See also