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Returns the <body> or <frameset> node of the current document, or null if no such element exists.


var objRef = document.body; 
document.body = objRef;


// in HTML: <body id="oldBodyElement"></body>
alert(document.body.id); // "oldBodyElement"

var aNewBodyElement = document.createElement("body");

aNewBodyElement.id = "newBodyElement";
document.body = aNewBodyElement;
alert(document.body.id); // "newBodyElement"


document.body is the element that contains the content for the document. In documents with <body> contents, returns the <body> element, and in frameset documents, this returns the outermost <frameset> element.

Though body is settable, setting a new body on a document will effectively remove all the current children of the existing <body> element.


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'Document.body' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of 'Document.body' in that specification.
The definition of 'Document.body' in that specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML Specification
The definition of 'Document.body' in that specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'Document.body' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

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Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 (Yes) 2 6 9.6 (possibly earlier) 4 (possibly earlier)


  1. Although document.body is a perfectly acceptable way to select the <body> element in HTML, it's not implemented in Firefox if Content-Type is not set to text/html or application/xhtml+xml. A much safer way of selecting the <body> element is to use document.getElementsByTagName("body"), which should return an array with a single item. This is portable across HTML and XHTML where the Content-Type is not set within the HTTP response header.


Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) 5 (probably earlier)

See Also