The HTML <option> element is used to define an item contained in a <select>, an <optgroup>, or a <datalist> element. As such, <option> can represent menu items in popups and other lists of items in an HTML document.

Content categories None.
Permitted content Text, possibly with escaped characters (like &eacute;).
Tag omission The start tag is mandatory. The end tag is optional if this element is immediately followed by another <option> element or an <optgroup>, or if the parent element has no more content.
Permitted parents A <select>, an <optgroup> or a <datalist> element.
Permitted ARIA roles None
DOM interface HTMLOptionElement


This element includes the global attributes.

If this Boolean attribute is set, this option is not checkable. Often browsers grey out such control and it won't receive any browsing event, like mouse clicks or focus-related ones. If this attribute is not set, the element can still be disabled if one its ancestors is a disabled <optgroup> element.
This attribute is text for the label indicating the meaning of the option. If the label attribute isn't defined, its value is that of the element text content.
If present, this Boolean attribute indicates that the option is initially selected. If the <option> element is the descendant of a <select> element whose multiple attribute is not set, only one single <option> of this <select> element may have the selected attribute.
The content of this attribute represents the value to be submitted with the form, should this option be selected. If this attribute is omitted, the value is taken from the text content of the option element.


See <select> for examples.


Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<option>' in that specification.
Living Standard  
The definition of '<option>' in that specification.
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<option>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)[1][2][3] (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.0)[1] (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

[1] Gecko doesn't display the value of the label attribute as option text if element's content is empty. See bug 40545.

[2] Historically, Firefox has allowed keyboard and mouse events to bubble up from the <option> element to the parent <select> element. This doesn't happen in Chrome, however, although this behavior is inconsistent across many browsers. For better Web compatibility (and for technical reasons), when Firefox is in multi-process mode and the <select> element is displayed as a drop-down list. The behavior is unchanged if the <select> is presented inline and it has either the multiple attribute defined or a size attribute set to more than 1. Rather than watching <option> elements for events, you should watch for {event("change")}} events on <select>. See bug 1090602 for details.

[3] When Mozilla introduced dedicated content threads to Firefox (through the Electrolysis or e10s project), support for styling <option> elements was removed temporarily. Starting in Firefox 54, you can apply foreground and background colors to <option> elements again, using the color and background-color attributes. See bug 910022 for more information. Note that this is still disabled in Linux due to lack of contrast (see bug 1338283 for progress on this).

See also

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 Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,