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The HTML <button> element represents a clickable button, which can be used in forms or anywhere in a document that needs simple, standard button functionality. By default, HTML buttons are typically presented in a style similar to that of the host platform the user agent is running on, but you can change the appearance of the button using CSS.

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, Interactive content, listed, labelable, and submittable form-associated element, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content but there must be no Interactive content
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Permitted ARIA roles checkbox, link, menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, menuitemradio, radio, switch, tab
DOM interface HTMLButtonElement

Attributes

This element's attributes include the global attributes.

autofocus HTML5
This Boolean attribute lets you specify that the button should have input focus when the page loads, unless the user overrides it, for example by typing in a different control. Only one form-associated element in a document can have this attribute specified.
autocomplete
The use of this attribute on a <button> is nonstandard and Firefox-specific. By default, unlike other browsers, Firefox persists the dynamic disabled state of a <button> across page loads. Setting the value of this attribute to off (i.e. autocomplete="off") disables this feature. See bug 654072.
disabled

This Boolean attribute indicates that the user cannot interact with the button. If this attribute is not specified, the button inherits its setting from the containing element, for example <fieldset>; if there is no containing element with the disabled attribute set, then the button is enabled.

Firefox will, unlike other browsers, by default, persist the dynamic disabled state of a <button> across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.

form HTML5
The form element that the button is associated with (its form owner). The value of the attribute must be the id attribute of a <form> element in the same document. If this attribute is not specified, the <button> element will be associated to an ancestor <form> element, if one exists. This attribute enables you to associate <button> elements to <form> elements anywhere within a document, not just as descendants of <form> elements.
formaction HTML5
The URI of a program that processes the information submitted by the button. If specified, it overrides the action attribute of the button's form owner.
formenctype HTML5
If the button is a submit button, this attribute specifies the type of content that is used to submit the form to the server. Possible values are:
  • application/x-www-form-urlencoded: The default value if the attribute is not specified.
  • multipart/form-data: Use this value if you are using an <input> element with the type attribute set to file.
  • text/plain

If this attribute is specified, it overrides the enctype attribute of the button's form owner.

formmethod HTML5
If the button is a submit button, this attribute specifies the HTTP method that the browser uses to submit the form. Possible values are:
  • post: The data from the form are included in the body of the form and sent to the server.
  • get: The data from the form are appended to the form attribute URI, with a '?' as a separator, and the resulting URI is sent to the server. Use this method when the form has no side-effects and contains only ASCII characters.

If specified, this attribute overrides the method attribute of the button's form owner.

formnovalidate HTML5
If the button is a submit button, this Boolean attribute specifies that the form is not to be validated when it is submitted. If this attribute is specified, it overrides the novalidate attribute of the button's form owner.
formtarget HTML5
If the button is a submit button, this attribute is a name or keyword indicating where to display the response that is received after submitting the form. This is a name of, or keyword for, a browsing context (for example, tab, window, or inline frame). If this attribute is specified, it overrides the target attribute of the button's form owner. The following keywords have special meanings:
  • _self: Load the response into the same browsing context as the current one. This value is the default if the attribute is not specified.
  • _blank: Load the response into a new unnamed browsing context.
  • _parent: Load the response into the parent browsing context of the current one. If there is no parent, this option behaves the same way as _self.
  • _top: Load the response into the top-level browsing context (that is, the browsing context that is an ancestor of the current one, and has no parent). If there is no parent, this option behaves the same way as _self.
name
The name of the button, which is submitted with the form data.
type
The type of the button. Possible values are:
  • submit: The button submits the form data to the server. This is the default if the attribute is not specified, or if the attribute is dynamically changed to an empty or invalid value.
  • reset: The button resets all the controls to their initial values.
  • button: The button has no default behavior. It can have client-side scripts associated with the element's events, which are triggered when the events occur.
value
The initial value of the button. It defines the value associated with the button which is submitted with the form data. This value is passed to the server in params when the form is submitted.

Notes

<button> elements are much easier to style than <input> elements. You can add inner HTML content (think <em>, <strong> or even <img>), and make use of ::after and ::before pseudo-element to achieve complex rendering while <input> only accepts a text value attribute.

If your buttons are not to submit form data to a server, be sure to set their type attribute to button. Otherwise they will try to submit form data and to load the (nonexistent) response, possibly destroying the current state of the document.

IE7 has a bug where when submitting a form with <button type="submit" name="myButton" value="foo">Click me</button>, the POST data sent will result in myButton=Click me instead of myButton=foo.
IE6 has an even worse bug where submitting a form through a button will submit ALL buttons of the form, with the same bug as IE7.
This bug has been fixed in IE8.

Firefox will, unlike other browsers, by default, persist the dynamic disabled state of a <button> across page loads. Setting the value of the autocomplete attribute to off disables this feature. See bug 654072.

Firefox <35 for Android sets a default background-image gradient on all buttons (see bug 763671). This can be disabled using background-image: none.

Example

<button name="button">Click me</button>

Accessibility concerns

Icon buttons

Buttons that only use an icon to represent functionality do not have an accessible name. Accessible names provide a programmatic hook for assistive technology such as screen readers to access when they parse the document and generate an accessibility tree. Assistive technology then uses the accessibility tree to navigate and manipulate page content.

To give an icon button an accessible name, supply a string of text for the <button> element that concisely describes the button's functionality.

Example

<button name="favorite" type="button">
  <svg aria-hidden="true" viewBox="0 0 10 10"><path d="m7.4 8.8-2.4-1.3-2.4 1.3.46-2.7-2-1.9 2.7-.39 1.2-2.5 1.2 2.5 2.7.39-1.9 1.9z"/></svg>
  Add to favorites
</button>

If you want to visually hide the button's text, an accessible way to do so is to use a combination of properties to remove it visually from the screen but keep it parseable by assistive technology.

However, it is worth noting that leaving the button text visually apparent can aid people who may not be familiar with the icon's meaning or understand the button's purpose. This is especially relevant for people who are not as technologically sophisticated, or who may have different cultural interpretations for the imagery the icon button uses.

Proximity

Large amounts of interactive content—including buttons—placed in close visual proximity to each other should have space inserted to separate them. This spacing is beneficial for people who are experiencing motor control issues, who may accidentally activate the wrong interactive content.

Spacing may be created using CSS properties such as margin.

Firefox

Firefox will add a small dotted border on a focused button. This border is declared through CSS, in the browser stylesheet, but you can override it if necessary to add your own focused style using button::-moz-focus-inner { }.

If overridden, it is important to ensure that the state change when focus is moved to the button is high enough that people experiencing low vision conditions will be able to perceive it.

Color contrast ratio is determined by comparing the luminosity of the button text and background color values compared to the background the button is placed on. In order to meet current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a ratio of 4.5:1 is required for text content and 3:1 for larger text such as headings. Large text is defined as 18.66px and bold or larger, or 24px or larger.

Clicking and focus

Whether clicking on a <button> causes it to (by default) become focused varies by browser and OS. The results for <input> of type="button" and type="submit" were the same.

Does clicking on a <button> give it the focus?
Desktop Browsers Windows 8.1 OS X 10.X
Firefox Yes - Firefox 30.0 No (even with a tabindex) Firefox 63
Chrome Yes - Chrome 35 Yes - Chrome 65
Safari N/A No (even with a tabindex) Safari 12
Internet Explorer Yes - Internet Explorer 11 N/A
Presto Yes - Opera 12 Yes - Opera 12
Does tapping on a <button> give it the focus?
Mobile Browsers iOS 7.1.2 Android 4.4.4
Safari Mobile No (even with a tabindex) N/A
Chrome 35 No (even with a tabindex) Yes

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<button>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML5
The definition of '<button>' in that specification.
Recommendation  
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<button>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
autofocusChrome Full support 5Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 10Opera Full support 9.6Safari Full support 5WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile ? Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
autocomplete
Non-standard
Chrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox Full support YesIE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoEdge Mobile No support NoFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No
disabledChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
formChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 16Firefox Full support YesIE No support NoOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
formactionChrome Full support 9Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 10Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
formenctypeChrome Full support 9Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 10Opera Full support 10.6Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
formmethodChrome Full support 9Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 4IE Full support 10Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Edge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?
formnovalidateChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
formtargetChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
nameChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
typeChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
valueChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.

See also

Other elements that are used for creating forms: <form>, <datalist>, <fieldset>, <input>,<keygen>, <label>, <legend>, <meter>, <optgroup>, <option>, <output>, <progress>, <select>, <textarea>.