The <html> represents the root (top-level element) of an HTML document, so it is also referred to as the root element. All other elements must be descendants of this element.

Content categories None.
Permitted content One <head> element, followed by one <body> element.
Tag omission The start tag may be omitted if the first thing inside the <html> element is not a comment.
The end tag may be omitted if the <html> element is not immediately followed by a comment.
Permitted parents None. This is the root element of a document.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles No role permitted
DOM interface HTMLHtmlElement


This element includes the global attributes.

Specifies the URI of a resource manifest indicating resources that should be cached locally. See Using the application cache for details.
Specifies the version of the HTML Document Type Definition that governs the current document. This attribute is not needed, because it is redundant with the version information in the document type declaration.
Specifies the XML Namespace of the document. Default value is "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml". This is required in documents parsed with XML parsers, and optional in text/html documents.


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">

Accessibility concerns

Providing a lang attribute with a valid IETF identifying language tag on the <html> element will help screen reading technology determine the proper language to announce. The identifying language tag should describe the language used by the majority of the content of the page. Without it, screen readers will typically default to the operating system's set language, which may cause mispronunciations.

Including a valid lang declaration on the <html> element also ensures that important metadata contained in the page's <head>, such as the page's <title>, are also announced properly.


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.
Living Standard
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.
Recommendation Added support for the manifest attribute (deprecated later).
Obsoleted the version attribute
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<html>' in that specification.
Recommendation Deprecated the version attribute

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
html Yes 12 Yes Yes Yes Yes
manifest 4 12 3.5
Versions of Firefox prior to 3.5 ignore the NETWORK and FALLBACK sections of the cache manifest file.
10 10.6 4
version Yes 12 Yes Yes Yes Yes
xmlns Yes 12 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
html Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
manifest 4 18 4 11 3.2 1.0
version Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
xmlns Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

See also

  • MathML top-level element: <math>
  • SVG top-level element: <svg>

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