<dialog>: The Dialog element

The <dialog> HTML element represents a dialog box or other interactive component, such as a dismissible alert, inspector, or subwindow.

Content categories Flow content, sectioning root
Permitted content Flow content
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content
Implicit ARIA role dialog
Permitted ARIA roles alertdialog
DOM interface HTMLDialogElement


This element includes the global attributes.

Warning: The tabindex attribute must not be used on the <dialog> element.


Indicates that the dialog is active and can be interacted with. When the open attribute is not set, the dialog shouldn't be shown to the user. It is recommended to use the .show() or .showModal() methods to render dialogs, rather than the open attribute.

Accessibility considerations

The dialog element still has usability issues with some forms of assistive technology. Because of this, it is advised to use an interim solution such as a11y-dialog as support continues to improve.

Usage notes

  • <form> elements can close a dialog if they have the attribute method="dialog". When such a form is submitted, the dialog closes with its returnValue property set to the value of the button that was used to submit the form.
  • The ::backdrop CSS pseudo-element can be used to style behind a <dialog> element when the dialog is displayed with HTMLDialogElement.showModal(). For example, to dim unreachable content behind the modal dialog.


Simple example

The following will render a modeless (non-modal) dialog. The "OK" button allows the dialog to be closed when activated. It is important to provide a mechanism to close a dialog within the dialog element. For instance, the Esc key does not close modeless dialogs by default, nor can one assume that a user will even have access to a physical keyboard (e.g., someone using a touch screen device without access to a keyboard).

<dialog open>
  <p>Greetings, one and all!</p>
  <form method="dialog">

Advanced example

This example opens a modal dialog that contains a form, when the "Update details" button is activated.


<!-- Simple modal dialog containing a form -->
<dialog id="favDialog">
  <form method="dialog">
    <p><label>Favorite animal:
        <option value="default">Choose...</option>
        <option>Brine shrimp</option>
        <option>Red panda</option>
        <option>Spider monkey</option>
      <button value="cancel">Cancel</button>
      <button id="confirmBtn" value="default">Confirm</button>
  <button id="updateDetails">Update details</button>


const updateButton = document.getElementById('updateDetails');
const favDialog = document.getElementById('favDialog');
const outputBox = document.querySelector('output');
const selectEl = favDialog.querySelector('select');
const confirmBtn = favDialog.querySelector('#confirmBtn');

// If a browser doesn't support the dialog, then hide the
// dialog contents by default.
if ( typeof favDialog.showModal !== 'function' ) {
  favDialog.hidden = true;
  /* a fallback script to allow this dialog/form to function
     for legacy browsers that do not support <dialog>
     could be provided here.
// "Update details" button opens the <dialog> modally
updateButton.addEventListener('click', function onOpen() {
  if (typeof favDialog.showModal === "function") {
  } else {
    outputBox.value = "Sorry, the <dialog> API is not supported by this browser.";
// "Favorite animal" input sets the value of the submit button
selectEl.addEventListener('change', function onSelect(e) {
  confirmBtn.value = selectEl.value;
// "Confirm" button of form triggers "close" on dialog because of [method="dialog"]
favDialog.addEventListener('close', function onClose() {
  outputBox.value = favDialog.returnValue + " button clicked - " + (new Date()).toString();



HTML Standard
# the-dialog-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also