The initial CSS keyword applies the initial (or default) value of a property to an element. It can be applied to any CSS property. This includes the CSS shorthand all, with which initial can be used to restore all CSS properties to their initial state.

On inherited properties, the initial value may be unexpected. You should consider using the inherit, unset, or revert 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;



CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 3 (CSS Cascading 3)
# initial

Browser compatibility

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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.
  • The all property lets you reset all properties to their initial, inherited, reverted, or unset state at once.