The input value is automatically validated to ensure that it's either empty or a properly-formatted e-mail address (or list of addresses) before the form can be submitted. The
:invalid CSS pseudo-classes are automatically applied as appropriate to visually denote whether the current value of the field is a valid e-mail address or not.
On browsers that don't support inputs of type
value attribute contains a string which is automatically validated as conforming to e-mail syntax. More specifically, there are three possible value formats that will pass validation:
- An empty string ("") indicating that the user did not enter a value or that the value was removed.
- A single properly-formed e-mail address. This doesn't necessarily mean the e-mail address exists, but it is at least formatted correctly. In simple terms, this means
email@example.com. There's more to it than that, of course; see Validation for a regular expression that matches the e-mail address validation algorithm.
- If and only if the
multipleattribute is specified, the value can be a list of properly-formed comma-separated e-mail addresses. Any trailing and leading whitespace is removed from each address in the list.
See Validation for details on how e-mail addresses are validated to ensure that they're formatted properly.
In addition to the attributes that operate on all
<input> elements regardless of their type,
The values of the list attribute is the
id of a
<datalist> element located in the same document. The
<datalist> provides a list of predefined values to suggest to the user for this input. Any values in the list that are not compatible with the
type are not included in the suggested options. The values provided are suggestions, not requirements: users can select from this predefined list or provide a different value.
The maximum number of characters (as UTF-16 code units) the user can enter into the
maxlength is specified, or an invalid value is specified, the
The input will fail constraint validation if the length of the text value of the field is greater than
maxlength UTF-16 code units long. Constraint validation is only applied when the value is changed by the user.
The minimum number of characters (as UTF-16 code units) the user can enter into the
maxlength. If no
minlength is specified, or an invalid value is specified, the
The input will fail constraint validation if the length of the text entered into the field is fewer than
minlength UTF-16 code units long. Constraint validation is only applied when the value is changed by the user.
A Boolean attribute which, if present, indicates that the user can enter a list of multiple e-mail addresses, separated by commas and, optionally, whitespace characters. See Allowing multiple e-mail addresses for an example, or HTML attribute: multiple for more details.
Note: Normally, if you specify the
required attribute, the user must enter a valid e-mail address for the field to be considered valid. However, if you add the
multiple attribute, a list of zero e-mail addresses (an empty string, or one which is entirely whitespace) is a valid value. In other words, the user does not have to enter even one e-mail address when
multiple is specified, regardless of the value of
pattern attribute, when specified, is a regular expression that the input's
RegExp type, and as documented in our guide on regular expressions; the
'u' flag is specified when compiling the regular expression, so that the pattern is treated as a sequence of Unicode code points, instead of as ASCII. No forward slashes should be specified around the pattern text.
If the specified pattern is not specified or is invalid, no regular expression is applied and this attribute is ignored completely.
Note: Use the
title attribute to specify text that most browsers will display as a tooltip to explain what the requirements are to match the pattern. You should also include other explanatory text nearby.
See the section Pattern validation for details and an example.
placeholder attribute is a string that provides a brief hint to the user as to what kind of information is expected in the field. It should be a word or short phrase that demonstrates the expected type of data, rather than an explanatory message. The text must not include carriage returns or line feeds.
If the control's content has one directionality (LTR or RTL) but needs to present the placeholder in the opposite directionality, you can use Unicode bidirectional algorithm formatting characters to override directionality within the placeholder; see How to use Unicode controls for bidi text for more information.
A Boolean attribute which, if present, means this field cannot be edited by the user. Its
Note: Because a read-only field cannot have a value,
required does not have any effect on inputs with the
readonly attribute also specified.
size attribute is a numeric value indicating how many characters wide the input field should be. The value must be a number greater than zero, and the default value is 20. Since character widths vary, this may or may not be exact and should not be relied upon to be so; the resulting input may be narrower or wider than the specified number of characters, depending on the characters and the font (
font settings in use).
This does not set a limit on how many characters the user can enter into the field. It only specifies approximately how many can be seen at a time. To set an upper limit on the length of the input data, use the
E-mail addresses are among the most frequently-inputted textual data forms on the web; they're used when logging into web sites, when requesting information, to allow order confirmation, for webmail, and so forth. As such, the
It's important, however, to note that this is not enough to ensure that the specified text is an e-mail address which actually exists, corresponds to the user of the site, or is acceptable in any other way. It ensures that the value of the field is properly formatted to be an e-mail address.
Note: It's also crucial to remember that a user can tinker with your HTML behind the scenes, so your site must not use this validation for any security purposes. You must verify the e-mail address on the server side of any transaction in which the provided text may have any security implications of any kind.
Currently, all browsers which implement this element implement it as a standard text input field with basic validation features. The specification does, however, allow browsers latitude on this. For example, the element could be integrated with the user's device's built-in address book to allow picking e-mail addresses from that list. In its most basic form, an
<input id="emailAddress" type="email">
Notice that it's considered valid when empty and when a single validly-formatted e-mail address is entered, but is otherwise not considered valid. By adding the
required attribute, only validly-formed e-mail addresses are allowed; the input is no longer considered valid when empty.
By adding the
multiple Boolean attribute, the input can be configured to accept multiple e-mail addresses.
<input id="emailAddress" type="email" multiple>
The input is now considered valid when a single e-mail address is entered, or when any number of e-mail addresses separated by commas and, optionally, some number of whitespace characters are present.
multiple is used, the value is allowed to be empty.
Some examples of valid strings when
multiple is specified:
Some examples of invalid strings:
Sometimes it's helpful to offer an in-context hint as to what form the input data should take. This can be especially important if the page design doesn't offer descriptive labels for each
<input>. This is where placeholders come in. A placeholder is a value that demonstrates the form the
value should take by presenting an example of a valid value, which is displayed inside the edit box when the element's
value is "". Once data is entered into the box, the placeholder disappears; if the box is emptied, the placeholder reappears.
Here, we have an
firstname.lastname@example.org. Note how the placeholder disappears and reappears as you manipulate the contents of the edit field.
<input type="email" placeholder="email@example.com">
You can control not only the physical length of the input box, but also the minimum and maximum lengths allowed for the input text itself.
Physical input element size
The physical size of the input box can be controlled using the
size attribute. With it, you can specify the number of characters the input box can display at a time. In this example the
<input type="email" size="15">
Element value length
size is separate from the length limitation on the entered e-mail address itself so that you can have fields fit in a small space while still allowing longer e-mail address strings to be entered. You can specify a minimum length, in characters, for the entered e-mail address using the
minlength attribute; similarly, use
maxlength to set the maximum length of the entered e-mail address.
The example below creates a 32 character-wide e-mail address entry box, requiring that the contents be no shorter than 3 characters and no longer than 64 characters.
<input type="email" size="32" minlength="3" maxlength="64">
Providing a single default using the value attribute
As always, you can provide a default value for an
<input type="email" value="firstname.lastname@example.org">
Offering suggested values
Taking it a step further, you can provide a list of default options from which the user can select by specifying the
list attribute. This doesn't limit the user to those options, but does allow them to select commonly-used e-mail addresses more quickly. This also offers hints to
list attribute specifies the ID of a
<datalist>, which in turn contains one
<option> element per suggested value; each
value is the corresponding suggested value for the email entry box.
<input type="email" size="40" list="defaultEmails"> <datalist id="defaultEmails"> <option value="email@example.com"> <option value="firstname.lastname@example.org"> <option value="email@example.com"> <option value="firstname.lastname@example.org"> <option value="email@example.com"> </datalist>
<datalist> element and its
<option>s in place, the browser will offer the specified values as potential values for the e-mail address; this is typically presented as a popup or drop-down menu containing the suggestions. While the specific user experience may vary from one browser to another, typically clicking in the edit box presents a drop-down of the suggested e-mail addresses. Then, as the user types, the list is filtered to show only matching values. Each typed character narrows down the list until the user makes a selection or types a custom value.
There are two levels of content validation available for
<input>s, which automatically ensures that the contents meet the requirements to be a valid e-mail address. But there's also the option to add additional filtering to ensure that your own specialized needs are met, if you have any.
Warning: HTML form validation is not a substitute for scripts that ensure that the entered data is in the proper format.It's far too easy for someone to make adjustments to the HTML that allow them to bypass the validation, or to remove it completely. It's also possible for someone to bypass your HTML entirely and submit the data directly to your server. If your server-side code fails to validate the data it receives, disaster could strike when improperly-formatted data (or data which is too large, is of the wrong type, and so forth) is entered into your database.
Browsers that support the
To learn more about how form validation works and how to take advantage of the
:invalid CSS properties to style the input based on whether or not the current value is valid, see Form data validation.
Note: There are known specification issues related to international domain names and the validation of e-mail addresses in HTML. See W3C bug 15489 for details.
If you need the entered e-mail address to be restricted further than just "any string that looks like an e-mail address," you can use the
pattern attribute to specify a regular expression the value must match for it to be valid. If the
multiple attribute is specified, each individual item in the comma-delineated list of values must match the regular expression.
For example, let's say you're building a page for employees of Best Startup Ever, Inc. which will let them contact their IT department for help. In our simplified form, the user needs to enter their e-mail address and a message describing the problem they need help with. We want to ensure that not only does the user provide a valid e-mail address, but for security purposes, we require that the address be an internal corporate e-mail address.
Since inputs of type
pattern, you can implement this easily. Let's see how:
<form> <div class="emailBox"> <label for="emailAddress">Your e-mail address</label><br> <input id="emailAddress" type="email" size="64" maxLength="64" required placeholder="firstname.lastname@example.org" pattern=".+@beststartupever\.com" title="Please provide only a Best Startup Ever corporate e-mail address"> </div> <div class="messageBox"> <label for="message">Request</label><br> <textarea id="message" cols="80" rows="8" required placeholder="My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance."></textarea> </div> <input type="submit" value="Send Request"> </form>
<form> contains one
<input> of type
<textarea> to enter their message for IT into, and an
<input> of type
"submit", which creates a button to submit the form. Each text entry box has a
<label> associated with it to let the user know what's expected of them.
Let's take a closer look at the e-mail address entry box. Its
maxlength attributes are both set to 64 in order to show room for 64 characters worth of e-mail address, and to limit the number of characters actually entered to a maximum of 64. The
required attribute is specified, making it mandatory that a valid e-mail address be provided.
placeholder is provided—
email@example.com—to demonstrate what constitutes a valid entry. This string demonstrates both that an e-mail address should be entered, and suggests that it should be a corporate beststartupever.com account. This is in addition to the fact that using type
If we left things at that, we would at least be validating on legitimate e-mail addresses. But we want to go one step farther: we want to make sure that the e-mail address is in fact in the form "firstname.lastname@example.org". This is where we'll use
pattern. We set
.+@beststartupever.com. This simple regular expression requests a string that consists of at least one character of any kind, then an "@" followed by the domain name "beststartupever.com".
Note that this is not even close to an adequate filter for valid e-mail addresses; it would allow things such as " @beststartupever.com" (note the leading space) or "@@beststartupever.com", neither of which is valid. However, the browser runs both the standard e-mail address filter and our custom pattern against the specified text. As a result, we wind up with a validation which says "make sure this resembles a valid e-mail address, and if it is, make sure it's also a beststartupever.com address."
It's advisable to use the
title attribute along with
pattern. If you do, the
title must describe the pattern. That is, it should explain what format the data should take on, rather than any other information. That's because the
title may be displayed or spoken as part of a validation error message. For example, the browser might present the message "The entered text doesn't match the required pattern." followed by your specified
title. If your
title is something like "E-mail address", the result would be the message "The entered text doesn't match the required pattern. E-mail address", which isn't very good.
That's why, instead, we specify the string "Please provide only a Best Startup Ever corporate e-mail address" By doing that, the resulting full error message might be something like "The entered text doesn't match the required pattern. Please provide only a Best Startup Ever corporate e-mail address."
Note: If you run into trouble while writing your validation regular expressions and they're not working properly, check your browser's console; there may be helpful error messages there to aid you in solving the problem.
Here we have an email input with the ID
emailAddress which is allowed to be up to a maximum of 256 characters long. The input box itself is physically 64 characters wide, and displays the text
email@example.com as a placeholder anytime the field is empty. In addition, by using the
multiple attribute, the box is configured to allow the user to enter zero or more e-mail addresses, separated by commas, as described in Allowing multiple e-mail addresses. As a final touch, the
list attribute contains the ID of a
<option>s specify a set of suggested values the user can choose from.
As an added touch, the
<label> element is used to establish a label for the email entry box, with its
for attribute referencing the
emailAddress ID of the
<input> element. By associating the two elements in this way, clicking on the label will focus the input element.
<label for="emailAddress">Email</label><br/> <input id="emailAddress" type="email" placeholder="firstname.lastname@example.org" list="defaultEmails" size="64" maxlength="256" multiple> <datalist id="defaultEmails"> <option value="email@example.com"> <option value="firstname.lastname@example.org"> <option value="email@example.com"> <option value="firstname.lastname@example.org"> <option value="email@example.com"> </datalist>
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