The CSSStyleSheet.insertRule() method inserts a new CSS rule into the current style sheet.

Note: Although insertRule() is exclusively a method of CSSStyleSheet, it actually inserts the rule into CSSStyleSheet.cssRules — its internal CSSRuleList.


insertRule(rule, index)



A string containing the rule to be inserted. What the inserted rule must contain depends on its type:

index Optional

A positive integer less than or equal to stylesheet.cssRules.length, representing the newly inserted rule's position in CSSStyleSheet.cssRules. The default is 0. (In older implementations, this was required. See Browser compatibility for details.)

Return value

The newly inserted rule's index within the stylesheet's rule-list.


IndexSizeError DOMException

Thrown if index > CSSRuleList.length.

HierarchyRequestError DOMException

Thrown if rule cannot be inserted at index 0 due to some CSS constraint.


Thrown if more than one rule is given in the rule parameter.

HierarchyRequestError DOMException

Thrown if trying to insert an @import at-rule after a style rule.

InvalidStateError DOMException

Thrown if rule is @namespace and the rule-list has more than just @import at-rules and/or @namespace at-rules.


Inserting a new rule

This snippet pushes a new rule onto the top of my stylesheet.

myStyle.insertRule('#blanc { color: white }', 0);

Function to add a stylesheet rule

 * Add a stylesheet rule to the document (it may be better practice
 * to dynamically change classes, so style information can be kept in
 * genuine stylesheets and avoid adding extra elements to the DOM).
 * Note that an array is needed for declarations and rules since ECMAScript does
 * not guarantee a predictable object iteration order, and since CSS is
 * order-dependent.
 * @param {Array} rules Accepts an array of JSON-encoded declarations
 * @example
  ['h2', // Also accepts a second argument as an array of arrays instead
    ['color', 'red'],
    ['background-color', 'green', true] // 'true' for !important rules
    ['background-color', 'yellow']
function addStylesheetRules (rules) {
  const styleEl = document.createElement('style');

  // Append <style> element to <head>

  // Grab style element's sheet
  const styleSheet = styleEl.sheet;

  for (let i = 0; i < rules.length; i++) {
    let j = 1,
        rule = rules[i],
        selector = rule[0],
        propStr = '';
    // If the second argument of a rule is an array of arrays, correct our variables.
    if (Array.isArray(rule[1][0])) {
      rule = rule[1];
      j = 0;

    for (let pl = rule.length; j < pl; j++) {
      const prop = rule[j];
      propStr += prop[0] + ': ' + prop[1] + (prop[2] ? ' !important' : '') + ';\n';

    // Insert CSS Rule
    styleSheet.insertRule(selector + '{' + propStr + '}', styleSheet.cssRules.length);


The below polyfill will correct the input of the arguments of insertRule() to standardize them in Internet Explorer 5–8. It supplements insertRule() with a function that separates the selector from the rules before sending the arguments to the default native insertRule().

  var originalInsertRule = Sheet_proto.insertRule;

  if (originalInsertRule.length === 2){ // 2 mandatory arguments: (selector, rules)
    Sheet_proto.insertRule = function(selectorAndRule){
      // First, separate the selector from the rule
      a: for (var i=0, Len=selectorAndRule.length, isEscaped=0, newCharCode=0; i !== Len; ++i) {
        newCharCode = selectorAndRule.charCodeAt(i);
        if (!isEscaped && (newCharCode === 123)) { // 123 = "{".charCodeAt(0)
          // Secondly, find the last closing bracket
          var openBracketPos = i, closeBracketPos = -1;

          for (; i !== Len; ++i) {
            newCharCode = selectorAndRule.charCodeAt(i);
            if (!isEscaped && (newCharCode === 125)) { // 125 = "}".charCodeAt(0)
              closeBracketPos = i;
            isEscaped ^= newCharCode===92?1:isEscaped; // 92 = "\\".charCodeAt(0)

          if (closeBracketPos === -1) break a; // No closing bracket was found!
            /*else*/ return originalInsertRule.call(
            this, // the sheet to be changed
            selectorAndRule.substring(0, openBracketPos), // The selector
            selectorAndRule.substring(closeBracketPos), // The rule
            arguments[3] // The insert index

        // Works by if the char code is a backslash, then isEscaped
        // gets flipped (XOR-ed by 1), and if it is not a backslash
        // then isEscaped gets XORed by itself, zeroing it
        isEscaped ^= newCharCode===92?1:isEscaped; // 92 = "\\".charCodeAt(0)
      // Else, there is no unescaped bracket
      return originalInsertRule.call(this, selectorAndRule, "", arguments[2]);


CSS Object Model (CSSOM)
# dom-cssstylesheet-insertrule

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

Legacy browser support

To support Internet Explorer 8 and below, use: addRule(selector, rule [, index]);. Example: addRule('pre', 'font: 14px verdana'); // add rule at end

Also note the non-standard removeRule() and .rules instead of deleteRule() and .cssRules, respectively.

See also