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The HTML <main> element represents the dominant content of the <body> of a document, portion of a document or application. The main content area consists of content that is directly related to or expands upon the central topic of a document, or the central functionality of an application.

A document must not have more than one <main> element that does not have the hidden attribute specified

Content categories Flow content, palpable content.
Permitted content Flow content.
Tag omission None; both the starting and ending tags are mandatory.
Permitted parents Where flow content is expected, but only if it is a hierarchically correct main element.
Permitted ARIA roles The main role is applied to <main> by default, and the presentation role is permitted as well.
DOM interface HTMLElement


This element only includes the global attributes.

Usage notes

The content of a <main> element should be unique to the document. Content that is repeated across a set of documents or document sections such as sidebars, navigation links, copyright information, site logos, and search forms should not be included unless the search form is the main function of the page.

<main> doesn't contribute to the document's outline; that is, unlike elements such as <body>, headings such as <h2>, and such, <main> doesn't affect the DOM's concept of the structure of the page. It's strictly informative.


<!-- other content -->

  <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
    <h2>Red Delicious</h2>
    <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>

    <h2>Granny Smith</h2>
    <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for
    apple pies.</p>
    <p>... </p>
    <p>... </p>

<!-- other content -->


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation No change from HTML5.
The definition of '<main>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

The <main> element is widely supported. For Internet Explorer 11 and below, it is suggested that an ARIA role of "main" be added to the <main> element to ensure it is accessible (screen readers like JAWS, used in combination with older versions of Internet Explorer, will be able to understand the semantic meaning of the <main> element once this role attribute is included).

<main role="main">

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support261221 No167
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes1221 Yes7.1 ?

See also