The scrollbar-gutter CSS property allows authors to reserve space for the scrollbar, preventing unwanted layout changes as the content grows while also avoiding unnecessary visuals when scrolling isn't needed.

An element's scrollbar gutter is the space between the inner border edge and the outer padding edge, where the browser may display a scrollbar. If no scrollbar is present, the gutter will be painted as an extension of the padding.

The browser determines whether classic scrollbars or overlay scrollbars are used:

  • Classic scrollbars are always placed in a gutter, consuming space when present.
  • Overlay scrollbars are placed over the content, not in a gutter, and are usually partially transparent.


/* Initial value */
scrollbar-gutter: auto;

/* "stable" keyword, with optional modifier */
scrollbar-gutter: stable;
scrollbar-gutter: stable both-edges;

/* Global values */
scrollbar-gutter: inherit;
scrollbar-gutter: initial;
scrollbar-gutter: revert;
scrollbar-gutter: unset;



The initial value. Classic scrollbars create a gutter when overflow is scroll, or when overflow is auto and the box is overflowing. Overlay scrollbars do not consume space.


When using classic scrollbars, the gutter will be present if overflow is auto, scroll, or hidden even if the box is not overflowing. When using overlay scrollbars, the gutter will not be present.


If a gutter would be present on one of the inline start/end edges of the box, another will be present on the opposite edge as well.

Formal definition

Initial valueauto
Applies toscrolling boxes
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

auto | stable && both-edges?


Example 1

Prevent unneeded layout changes as the content growing or shrinking causes the scrollbar to appear/disappear:

.container {
    scrollbar-gutter: stable;

Example 3

Add symmetric spacing to both sides of the box so the content is centered:

.container {
    scrollbar-gutter: stable both-edges;

Example 4

Align the contents of a non-scrolling element and a scrolling one adjacent to it:

.header {
    overflow: hidden;
    scrollbar-gutter: stable;

.container {
    scrollbar-gutter: stable;


CSS Overflow Module Level 3 (CSS Overflow 3)
# scrollbar-gutter-property

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also