The :disabled pseudo-class selector provides conditional styling to HTML elements that can receive user input, when the elements have the disabled attribute. It is defined in the CSS Selectors Level 3 spec as a “UI element state pseudo-class”, meaning it is used to style content based on the user's interaction with an input element.

Elements that can receive the disabled attribute include <button>, <input>, <textarea>, <optgroup>, <option> and <fieldset>. There are two valid syntaxes for setting this attribute: either disabled="disabled" or (in HTML5) simply the disabled Boolean keyword. An element is disabled if it can't be activated (e.g. selected, clicked on or accept text input) or accept focus.

Such an element can be styled using the :disabled pseudo-class selector:

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Points of Interest

  • :disabled can be “chained” with other pseudo-selectors: like :before or :after to generate icons or text to provide more user feedback.
  • Any property that can be animated with CSS Transitions or Animations will be properly animated when the disabled attribute is added or removed from the HTML element.

Other Resources

Browser Support

Chrome Safari Firefox Opera IE Android iOS
All 3.1 All 9 9 All All


  1. ram
    Permalink to comment#

    There is no description about this?

  2. nandu
    Permalink to comment#

    I would like to change the text color of disabled control select(dropdown list). Specially for ie 10 and 11. how can i do that..The one text color should be in red in below code.

    sample code


  3. dfg
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  4. s
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  5. asdasda
    Permalink to comment#

    Hola vengo a comentar. Bueno chau

  6. irth
    Permalink to comment#

    This isn’t working in my angular app that has ng-disabled set, fwiw

    • richard
      Permalink to comment#

      Seems to work fine for my angular application, for example:

      select option:disabled { background-color:#ddd; }

  7. Davide Rizzo
    Permalink to comment#

    Note that the :before and :after pseudo classes will not work on an <input/> because it is a self closing tag and cannot contain other element (even pseudo ones).

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