The initial CSS keyword applies the initial (or default) value of a property to an element. It can be applied to any CSS property, including the CSS shorthand property all. With all set to initial, all CSS properties can be restored to their respective initial values in one go instead of restoring each one separately.

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


Using initial to reset color for an element


  <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;


With the initial keyword in this example, color value on the em element is restored to the initial value of color, as defined in the specification.


CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 4
# initial

Browser compatibility

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See also

  • Use the inherit keyword to make an element's property the same as its parent.
  • Use the revert keyword to reset a property to the value established by the user-agent stylesheet (or by user styles, if any exist).
  • Use the revert-layer keyword to reset a property to the value established in a previous cascade layer.
  • Use the unset keyword to set a property to its inherited value if it inherits or to its initial value if not.
  • The all property lets you reset all properties to their initial, inherited, reverted, or unset state at once.