The :active CSS pseudo-class represents an element (such as a button) that is being activated by the user. When using a mouse, "activation" typically starts when the user presses down the primary mouse button.

Try it

The :active pseudo-class is commonly used on <a> and <button> elements. Other common targets of this pseudo-class include elements that are contained in an activated element, and form elements that are being activated through their associated <label>.

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

Note: On systems with multi-button mice, CSS specifies that the :active pseudo-class must only apply to the primary button; on right-handed mice, this is typically the leftmost button.


:active {
  /* ... */



  This paragraph contains a link:
  <a href="#">This link will turn red while you click on it.</a>
  The paragraph will get a gray background while you click on it or the link.


/* Unvisited links */
a:link {
  color: blue;
/* Visited links */
a:visited {
  color: purple;
/* Hovered links */
a:hover {
  background: yellow;
/* Active links */
a:active {
  color: red;

/* Active paragraphs */
p:active {
  background: #eee;


Active form elements


  <label for="my-button">My button: </label>
  <button id="my-button" type="button">Try Clicking Me or My Label!</button>


form :active {
  color: red;

form button {
  background: white;



HTML Standard
# selector-active
Selectors Level 4
# the-active-pseudo

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also