The overflow CSS property sets what to do when an element's content is too big to fit in its block formatting context. It is a shorthand for overflow-x and overflow-y.

The options include clipping, showing scrollbars, or displaying the content flowing out of its container into the surrounding area.

Specifying a value other than visible (the default) creates a new block formatting context. This is necessary for technical reasons — if a float intersected with the scrolling element it would forcibly rewrap the content after each scroll step, leading to a slow scrolling experience.

In order for overflow to have an effect, the block-level container must have either a set height (height or max-height) or white-space set to nowrap.

Note: Setting one axis to visible (the default) while setting the other to a different value results in visible behaving as auto.

Note: The JavaScript Element.scrollTop property may be used to scroll an HTML element even when overflow is set to hidden.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
overflow: visible;
overflow: hidden;
overflow: scroll;
overflow: auto;
overflow: hidden visible;

/* Global values */
overflow: inherit;
overflow: initial;
overflow: unset;

The overflow property is specified as one or two keywords chosen from the list of values below. If two keywords are specified, the first applies to overflow-x and the second to overflow-y. Otherwise, both overflow-x and overflow-y are set to the same value.

Values

visible
Content is not clipped and may be rendered outside the padding box.
hidden
Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box. No scrollbars are provided.
scroll
Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box. Browsers display scrollbars whether or not any content is actually clipped. (This prevents scrollbars from appearing or disappearing when the content changes.) Printers may still print overflowing content.
auto
Depends on the user agent. If content fits inside the padding box, it looks the same as visible, but still establishes a new block-formatting context. Desktop browsers provide scrollbars if content overflows.
overlay
Behaves the same as auto, but with the scrollbars drawn on top of content instead of taking up space. Only supported in WebKit-based (e.g., Safari) and Blink-based (e.g., Chrome or Opera) browsers.

Mozilla Extensions

-moz-scrollbars-none [1]
Use overflow: hidden instead.
-moz-scrollbars-horizontal [1]
Use overflow-x: scroll and overflow-y: hidden, or overflow: hidden scroll instead.
-moz-scrollbars-vertical [1]
Use overflow-x: hidden and overflow-y: scroll, or overflow: scroll hidden instead.
-moz-hidden-unscrollable
Intended mainly for internal use and by themes. Disables scrolling of XML root elements, <html>, and <body> with the keyboard's arrow keys and the mouse wheel.

[1] As of Firefox 63, this feature is behind a feature preference setting. In about:config, set layout.css.overflow.moz-scrollbars.enabled to true

Formal syntax

[ visible | hidden | clip | scroll | auto ]{1,2}

Examples

p {
  width: 12em;
  height: 6em;
  border: dotted;
  overflow: visible; /* content is not clipped */ 
}

visible (default)
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: hidden; /* no scrollbars are provided */ }

overflow: hidden
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: scroll; /* always show scrollbars */ }

overflow: scroll
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: auto; /* append scrollbars if necessary */ }

overflow: auto
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Overflow Module Level 3
The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
Working Draft

Changed syntax to allow one or two keywords instead of only one

CSS Basic Box Model
The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
Working Draft No change.
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Initial valuevisible
Applies toBlock-containers, flex containers, and grid containers
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
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 AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes After Firefox 3.6, the overflow property is correctly applied to table group elements (<thead>, <tbody>, <tfoot>).
IE Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes From version 4 to 6, Internet Explorer enlarges an element with overflow: visible (default value) to fit the content inside it. height and width behave like min-height and min-width, respectively.
Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 1WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
Multiple keyword syntax for overflow-x and overflow-y
Experimental
Chrome Full support 68Edge No support NoFirefox Full support 61IE No support NoOpera Full support 55Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 68Chrome Android Full support 68Edge Mobile No support NoFirefox Android Full support 61Opera Android Full support 55Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No

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.

See also