The :hover CSS pseudo-class matches when the user interacts with an element with a pointing device, but does not necessarily activate it. It is generally triggered when the user hovers over an element with the cursor (mouse pointer).

/* Selects any <a> element when "hovered" */
a:hover {
  color: orange;

Styles defined by the :active pseudo-class will be overridden by any subsequent link-related pseudo-class (:link, :visited, or :active) that has at least equal specificity. To style links appropriately, put the :hover rule after the :link and :visited rules but before the :active one, as defined by the LVHA-order: :link:visited:hover:active.

Note: The :hover pseudo-class is problematic on touchscreens. Depending on the browser, the :hover pseudo-class might never match, match only for a moment after touching an element, or continue to match even after the user has stopped touching and until the user touches another element. Web developers should make sure that content is accessible on devices with limited or non-existent hovering capabilities.




Basic example


<a href="#">Try hovering over this link.</a>


a {
  background-color: powderblue;
  transition: background-color .5s;

a:hover {
  background-color: gold;


You can use the :hover pseudo-class to build an image gallery with full-size images that show only when the mouse moves over a thumbnail. See this demo for a possible cue.

Note: For an analogous effect, but based on the :checked pseudo-class (applied to hidden radioboxes), see this demo, taken from the :checked reference page.


Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
:hover 1 12 1 4 4 2
<a> element support 1 12 1 4 4 2
All elements support 1 12
In Edge, hovering over an element and then scrolling up or down without moving the pointer will leave the element in the :hover state until the pointer is moved. See bug 5381673.
1 7
In Internet Explorer 8 to Internet Explorer 11, hovering over an element and then scrolling up or down without moving the pointer will leave the element in the :hover state until the pointer is moved. See bug 926665.
In Internet Explorer 9 (and possibly earlier), if a <table> has a parent with a non-auto width, overflow-x: auto;, the <table> has enough content to horizontally overflow its parent, and there are :hover styles set on elements within the table, then hovering over said elements will cause the <table>'s height to increase. See a live demo that triggers the bug. One workaround for the bug is to set min-height: 0%; (the % unit must be specified, since unitless and px don't work) on the <table>'s parent element.
7 2
Pseudo-element support 1 12 28 11 15 2
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
:hover 37 18 4 10.1 1
As of Safari for iOS 7.1.2, tapping a clickable element causes the element to enter the :hover state. The element will remain in the :hover state until a different element has entered the :hover state.
<a> element support 37 18 4 10.1 1 1.0
All elements support 37 18 4 10.1 1 1.0
Pseudo-element support ≤37 18 28 14 1 1.0

See also

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