The initial CSS keyword applies the initial value of a property to an element. It can be applied to any CSS property, including the CSS shorthand all.

Note: On inherited properties, the initial value may be unexpected. You should consider using the inherit, unset, or revert keywords instead.



  <span>This text is red.</span>
  <em>This text is in the initial color (typically black).</em>
  <span>This is red again.</span>


p {
  color: red;

em {
  color: initial;


Specification Status Comment
CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 4
The definition of 'initial' in that specification.
Working Draft No changes from Level 3.
CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 3
The definition of 'initial' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support1 Yes


1 — 24 -moz-

FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support1 Yes Yes


4 — 24 -moz-

Yes Yes ?

See also

  • Use unset to set a property to its inherited value if it inherits, or to its initial value if not.
  • Use revert to reset a property to the value established by the user-agent stylesheet (or by user styles, if any exist).
  • Use inherit to make an element's property the same as its parent.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: fscholz,