This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The HTMLDialogElement interface provides methods to manipulate <dialog> elements. It inherits properties and methods from the HTMLElement interface.


Inherits properties from its parent, HTMLElement.
A Boolean reflecting the open HTML attribute, indicating whether the dialog is available for interaction.
A DOMString that sets or returns the return value for the dialog.


Inherits methods from its parent, HTMLElement.

Closes the dialog. An optional DOMString may be passed as an argument, updating the returnValue of the dialog.
Displays the dialog modelessly, i.e. still allowing interaction with content outside of the dialog.
Displays the dialog as a modal, over the top of any other dialogs that might be present. Interaction outside the dialog is blocked.


Fired when the dialog is closed.
Also available via the onclose property.


The following example shows a simple button that, when clicked, opens a <dialog> containing a form via the HTMLDialogElement.showModal() function. From there you can click the Cancel button to close the dialog (via the HTMLDialogElement.close() function), or submit the form via the submit button.

  <!-- Simple pop-up dialog box, containing a form -->
  <dialog id="favDialog">
    <form method="dialog">
        <p><label for="favAnimal">Favorite animal:</label>
        <select id="favAnimal" name="favAnimal">
          <option>Brine shrimp</option>
          <option>Red panda</option>
          <option>Spider monkey</option>
        <button id="cancel" type="reset">Cancel</button>
        <button type="submit">Confirm</button>

    <button id="updateDetails">Update details</button>

    (function() {
      var updateButton = document.getElementById('updateDetails');
      var cancelButton = document.getElementById('cancel');
      var dialog = document.getElementById('favDialog');
      dialog.returnValue = 'favAnimal';

      function openCheck(dialog) {
        if( {
          console.log('Dialog open');
        } else {
          console.log('Dialog closed');

      // Update button opens a modal dialog
      updateButton.addEventListener('click', function() {

      // Form cancel button closes the dialog box
      cancelButton.addEventListener('click', function() {


Note: You can find this example on GitHub as htmldialogelement-basic (see it live also).


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'HTMLDialogElement' in that specification.
Living Standard
HTML 5.2
The definition of '<dialog>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also

  • The HTML element implementing this interface: <dialog>.