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The HTML <header> element represents introductory content, typically a group of introductory or navigational aids. It may contain some heading elements but also a logo, a search form, an author name, and other elements.

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content, but with no <header> or <footer> descendant.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts flow content. Note that a <header> element must not be a descendant of an <address>, <footer> or another <header> element.
Permitted ARIA roles group, presentation
DOM interface HTMLElement

Usage notes

The <header> element is not sectioning content and therefore does not introduce a new section in the outline. That said, a <header> element is intended to usually contain the surrounding section's heading (an h1h6 element), but this is not required.

Historical Usage

Although the <header> element didn't make its way into specifications until HTML5, it actually existed at the very beginning of HTML. As seen in the very first website, it was originally used as the <head> element. At some point, it was decided to use a different name. This allowed <header> to be free to fill a different role later on.

Attributes

This element only includes the global attributes.

Examples

<header>
  <h1>Main Page Title</h1>
  <img src="mdn-logo-sm.png" alt="MDN logo">
</header> 

Article Header

<article>
  <header>
    <h2>The Planet Earth</h2>
    <p>Posted on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 by Jane Smith</p>
  </header>
  <p>We live on a planet that's blue and green, with so many things still unseen.</p>
  <p><a href="https://janesmith.com/the-planet-earth/">Continue reading....</a></p>
</article>

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<header>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of '<header>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
headerChrome Full support 5Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 9Opera Full support 11.1Safari Full support 4.1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 11.1Safari iOS Full support 4.2Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also