This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

Call this method during the handling of a mousedown event to retarget all mouse events to this element until the mouse button is released or document.releaseCapture() is called.

Warning: This interface never had much cross-browser support and you probably looking for element.setPointerCapture instead, from the Pointer Events API.


If true, all events are targeted directly to this element; if false, events can also fire at descendants of this element.


In this example, the current mouse coordinates are drawn while you mouse around after clicking and holding down on an element.

  <title>Mouse Capture Example</title>
  <style type="text/css">
    #myButton {
      border: solid black 1px;
      color: black;
      padding: 2px;
      box-shadow: black 2px 2px;

  <script type="text/javascript">
    function init() {
      var btn = document.getElementById("myButton");
      if (btn.setCapture) {
        btn.addEventListener("mousedown", mouseDown, false);
        btn.addEventListener("mouseup", mouseUp, false);
      } else {
          = "Sorry, there appears to be no setCapture support on this browser";

    function mouseDown(e) {
      e.target.addEventListener("mousemove", mouseMoved, false);

    function mouseUp(e) {
      e.target.removeEventListener("mousemove", mouseMoved, false);

    function mouseMoved(e) {
      var output = document.getElementById("output");
      output.textContent = `Position: ${e.clientX}, ${e.clientY}`;
<body onload="init()">
  <p>This is an example of how to use mouse capture on elements in Gecko 2.0.</p>
  <p><a id="myButton" href="#">Test Me</a></p>
  <div id="output">No events yet</div>

View Live Examples


The element may not be scrolled completely to the top or bottom, depending on the layout of other elements.


Based on Internet Explorer's implementation.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also