The overflow shorthand CSS property sets what to do when an element's content is too big to fit in its block formatting context. It is a shorthand for overflow-x and overflow-y.

The options include clipping, showing scrollbars, or displaying the content flowing out of its container into the surrounding area.

Specifying a value other than visible (the default) creates a new block formatting context. This is necessary for technical reasons — if a float intersected with the scrolling element it would forcibly rewrap the content after each scroll step, leading to a slow scrolling experience.

In order for overflow to have an effect, the block-level container must have either a set height (height or max-height) or white-space set to nowrap.

Note: Setting one axis to visible (the default) while setting the other to a different value results in visible behaving as auto.

Note: The JavaScript Element.scrollTop property may be used to scroll an HTML element even when overflow is set to hidden.


/* Keyword values */
overflow: visible;
overflow: hidden;
overflow: clip;
overflow: scroll;
overflow: auto;
overflow: hidden visible;

/* Global values */
overflow: inherit;
overflow: initial;
overflow: unset;

The overflow property is specified as one or two keywords chosen from the list of values below. If two keywords are specified, the first applies to overflow-x and the second to overflow-y. Otherwise, both overflow-x and overflow-y are set to the same value.


Content is not clipped and may be rendered outside the padding box.
Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box. No scrollbars are provided, and no support for allowing the user to scroll (such as by dragging or using a scroll wheel) is allowed. The content can be scrolled programmatically (for example, by setting the value of a property such as offsetLeft), so the element is still a scroll container.
Like for hidden, the content is clipped to the element's padding box. The difference between clip and hidden is that the clip keyword also forbids all scrolling, including programmatic scrolling. The box is not a scroll container, and does not start a new formatting context. If you wish to start a new formatting context, you can use display: flow-root to do so.
Content is clipped if necessary to fit the padding box. Browsers always display scrollbars whether or not any content is actually clipped, preventing scrollbars from appearing or disappearing as content changes. Printers may still print overflowing content.
Depends on the user agent. If content fits inside the padding box, it looks the same as visible, but still establishes a new block formatting context. Desktop browsers provide scrollbars if content overflows.
Behaves the same as auto, but with the scrollbars drawn on top of content instead of taking up space. Only supported in WebKit-based (e.g., Safari) and Blink-based (e.g., Chrome or Opera) browsers.

Mozilla extensions

-moz-scrollbars-none [1]
Use overflow: hidden instead.
-moz-scrollbars-horizontal [1]
Use overflow-x: scroll and overflow-y: hidden, or overflow: hidden scroll instead.
-moz-scrollbars-vertical [1]
Use overflow-x: hidden and overflow-y: scroll, or overflow: scroll hidden instead.
Intended mainly for internal use and by themes. Disables scrolling of XML root elements, <html>, and <body> with the keyboard's arrow keys and the mouse wheel.

[1] As of Firefox 63, this feature is behind a feature preference setting. In about:config, set layout.css.overflow.moz-scrollbars.enabled to true

Formal syntax

[ visible | hidden | clip | scroll | auto ]{1,2}


p {
  width: 12em;
  height: 6em;
  border: dotted;
  overflow: visible; /* content is not clipped */ 

visible (default)
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: hidden; /* no scrollbars are provided */ }

overflow: hidden
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: scroll; /* always show scrollbars */ }

overflow: scroll
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.

p { overflow: auto; /* append scrollbars if necessary */ }

overflow: auto
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium.


Specification Status Comment
CSS Overflow Module Level 3
The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
Working Draft

Changed syntax to allow one or two keywords instead of only one

CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'overflow' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.
Initial valuevisible
Applies toBlock-containers, flex containers, and grid containers
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
overflowChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1
Full support 1
Notes After Firefox 3.6, the overflow property is correctly applied to table group elements (<thead>, <tbody>, <tfoot>).
IE Full support 4
Full support 4
Notes From version 4 to 6, Internet Explorer enlarges an element with overflow: visible (default value) to fit the content inside it. height and width behave like min-height and min-width, respectively.
Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 37Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
clip value
Chrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox No support NoIE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoFirefox Android No support NoOpera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No
Multiple keyword syntax for overflow-x and overflow-yChrome Full support 68Edge No support NoFirefox Full support 61IE No support NoOpera Full support 55Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 68Chrome Android Full support 68Firefox Android Full support 61Opera Android Full support 48Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 10.0


Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.

See also