The HTML Root Element (<html>) represents the root of an HTML document. All other elements must be descendants of this element.

  • Content categories None.
  • Permitted content One <head> element, followed by one <body> element.
  • Tag omission The start tag may be omitted if the first thing inside the <html> element is not a comment.
    The end tag may be omitted if the <html> element is not immediately followed by a comment, and it contains a <body> element either that is not empty, or whose start tag is present.
  • Permitted parent elementsAs the root element of a document, or wherever a subdocument fragment is allowed in a compound document.
  • DOM interface HTMLHtmlElement


This element includes the global attributes.

manifest HTML5
Specifies the URI of a resource manifest indicating resources that should be cached locally. See Using the application cache for details.
version Deprecated since HTML4.01 Obsolete since HTML5
Specifies the version of the HTML Document Type Definition that governs the current document. This attribute is not needed, because it is redundant with the version information in the document type declaration.
Specifies the XML Namespace of the document. Default value is "". This is required in XHTML, and optional in HTML5.


The DOCTYPE used in the following example indicates HTML5.

<!DOCTYPE html>


Since the <html> element is the first in a document other than comments, it is called the root element. Although this tag can be implied, or not required, with HTML, it is required to be opened and closed in XHTML.


Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

  • MathML top-level element: <math>
  • SVG top-level element: <svg>