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The change event is fired for <input>, <select>, and <textarea> elements when a change to the element's value is committed by the user. Unlike the input event, the change event is not necessarily fired for each change to an element's value.

General info

Default Action


Property Type Description
target Read only EventTarget The event target (the topmost target in the DOM tree).
type Read only DOMString The type of event.
bubbles Read only Boolean Whether the event normally bubbles or not.
cancelable Read only Boolean Whether the event is cancellable or not.


Depending on the kind of form element being changed and the way the user interacts with the element, the change event fires at a different moment:

  • When the element is activated (by clicking or using the keyboard) for <input type="radio"> and <input type="checkbox">;
  • When the user commits the change explicitly (e.g. by selecting a value from a <select>'s dropdown with a mouse click, by selecting a date from a date picker for <input type="date">, by selecting a file in the file picker for <input type="file">, etc.);
  • When the element loses focus after its value was changed, but not commited (e.g. after editing the value of <textarea> or <input type="text">).

Different browsers do not always agree whether a change event should be fired for certain types of interaction. For example, keyboard navigation in <select> elements never fires a change event in Gecko until the user hits Enter or switches the focus away from the <select> (see bug 126379).

The HTML specification lists the <input> types that should fire the change event.


Example: Change event on a select

The following code handles the change event on a <select> by calling the changeEventHandler() function in the onchange attribute. It reads the value of the event target and shows it in an alert.

<label>Choose an ice cream flavor:
    <select id="ice-cream" name="ice-cream">
        <option value="">Select One …</option>
        <option value="chocolate">Chocolate</option>
        <option value="strawberry">Strawberry</option>
        <option value="vanilla">Vanilla</option>


The JavaScript code is simple:

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded',function() {

function changeEventHandler(event) {
    // You can use “this” to refer to the selected element.
    if(!event.target.value) alert('Please Select One');
    else alert('You like ' + event.target.value + ' ice cream.'); 

The result looks like this:

Another, incomplete, example which may not work on all browsers, on JSFiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/nfakc/5/.

See also

This event is also fired in several non-standard APIs:


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'change' in that specification.
Living Standard  
The definition of 'change' in that specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Events Specification
The definition of 'change' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition

Browser compatibility

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Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)