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The initial CSS keyword applies the initial (or default) value of a property to an element. This initial value is set by the browser. It can be applied to any CSS property. This includes the CSS shorthand all, with which initial can be used to restore all CSS properties to their initial state.

Note: On inherited properties, the initial value may be unexpected. You should consider using the inherit, unset, or revert keywords instead.

Example

HTML

<p>
  <span>This text is red.</span>
  <em>This text is in the initial color (typically black).</em>
  <span>This is red again.</span>
</p>

CSS

p {
  color: red;
}

em {
  color: initial;
}

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 4
The definition of 'initial' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation No changes from Level 3.
CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 3
The definition of 'initial' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
initialChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 13Firefox Full support 19
Full support 19
No support 1 — 24
Prefixed
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
IE No support NoOpera Full support 15Safari Full support 1.2WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 19
Full support 19
No support 4 — 24
Prefixed
Prefixed Implemented with the vendor prefix: -moz-
Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.
Requires a vendor prefix or different name for use.

See also

  • Use unset to set a property to its inherited value if it inherits, or to its initial value if not.
  • Use revert to reset a property to the value established by the user-agent stylesheet (or by user styles, if any exist).
  • Use inherit to make an element's property the same as its parent.
  • The all property lets you reset all properties to their initial, inherited, reverted, or unset state at once.