Node.appendChild()

The Node.appendChild() method adds a node to the end of the list of children of a specified parent node. If the given child is a reference to an existing node in the document, appendChild() moves it from its current position to the new position (there is no requirement to remove the node from its parent node before appending it to some other node).

This means that a node can't be in two points of the document simultaneously. So if the node already has a parent, the node is first removed, then appended at the new position. The Node.cloneNode() method can be used to make a copy of the node before appending it under the new parent. Note that the copies made with cloneNode will not be automatically kept in sync.

If the given child is a DocumentFragment, the entire contents of the DocumentFragment are moved into the child list of the specified parent node.

Newer API avaliable!
The ParentNode.append() method supports multiple arguments and appending strings.

Syntax

element.appendChild(aChild)

Parameters

aChild
The node to append to the given parent node (commonly an element).

Return value

The returned value is the appended child (aChild), except when aChild is a DocumentFragment, in which case the empty DocumentFragment is returned.

Notes

Chaining may not work as expected, due to appendChild() returning the child element:

let aBlock = document.createElement('block').appendChild( document.createElement('b') );

Sets aBlock to <b></b> only, which is probably not what you want.

Example

// Create a new paragraph element, and append it to the end of the document body
let p = document.createElement("p");
document.body.appendChild(p);

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete No change from Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'Node.appendChild()' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
appendChildChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 5Opera Full support 7Safari Full support 1.1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support

See also