The popstate event is fired when the active history entry changes. If the history entry being activated was created by a call to history.pushState() or was affected by a call to history.replaceState(), the popstate event's state property contains a copy of the history entry's state object.

Note that just calling history.pushState() or history.replaceState() won't trigger a popstate event. The popstate event will be triggered by doing a browser action such as a click on the back or forward button (or calling history.back() or history.forward() in JavaScript).

Browsers tend to handle the popstate event differently on page load. Chrome (prior to v34) and Safari always emit a popstate event on page load, but Firefox doesn't.

General info

Default Action


Property Type Description
target Read only EventTarget The browsing context (<code>window</code>).
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?
state Read only any The current history entry's state object (if any).

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 4.0 (2) 10.0 [3] (Yes) (Yes)[1]
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 3.0[2] (Yes) 4.0 (2) 10.0 (Yes) (Yes)[1]

[1] The implementation has limited support.

[2] The implementation in Android 2.2 and 2.3 was buggy.

[3] IE & Edge do not fire the popstate event when the URL's hash value changes, see the bug report.


A page at http://example.com/example.html running the following code will generate logs as indicated:

window.onpopstate = function(event) {
  console.log("location: " + document.location + ", state: " + JSON.stringify(event.state));
history.pushState({page: 1}, "title 1", "?page=1");
history.pushState({page: 2}, "title 2", "?page=2");
history.replaceState({page: 3}, "title 3", "?page=3");
history.back(); // Logs "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=1, state: {"page":1}"
history.back(); // Logs "location: http://example.com/example.html, state: null
history.go(2);  // Logs "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=3, state: {"page":3}

Note that even though the original history entry (for http://example.com/example.html) has no state object associated with it, a popstate event is still fired when we activate that entry after the second call to history.back().

See Also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: tiberiumaxim,