forms – What’s the proper value for a checked attribute of an HTML checkbox?

The Question :

445 people think this question is useful

We all know how to form a checkbox input in HTML:

<input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox">

What I don’t know — what’s the technically correct value for a checked checkbox? I’ve seen these all work:

<input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox" checked>
    <input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox" checked="on">
    <input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox" checked="yes">
    <input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox" checked="checked">
    <input name="checkbox_name" id="checkbox_id" type="checkbox" checked="true">

Is the answer that it doesn’t matter? I see no evidence for the answer marked as correct here from the spec itself:

Checkboxes (and radio buttons) are on/off switches that may be toggled by the user. A switch is “on” when the control element’s checked attribute is set. When a form is submitted, only “on” checkbox controls can become successful. Several checkboxes in a form may share the same control name. Thus, for example, checkboxes allow users to select several values for the same property. The INPUT element is used to create a checkbox control.

What would a spec writer say is the correct answer? Please provide evidence-based answers.

The Question Comments :
  • In your question summary you mention value for the checked attribute, however in the question description you discuss the correct value for a checked checkbox. The “value” of the checkbox is different from the checked attribute, I believe in your question description you also meant the attribute’s value, perhaps you’d like to adjust the question description. For the “value” of a checkbox review…

The Answer 1

455 people think this answer is useful

Strictly speaking, you should put something that makes sense – according to the spec here, the most correct version is:

<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked=checked>

For HTML, you can also use the empty attribute syntax, checked="", or even simply checked (for stricter XHTML, this is not supported).

Effectively, however, most browsers will support just about any value between the quotes. All of the following will be checked:

<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked>
<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked="">
<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked="yes">
<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked="blue">
<input name=name id=id type=checkbox checked="false">

And only the following will be unchecked:

<input name=name id=id type=checkbox>

See also this similar question on disabled="disabled".

The Answer 2

60 people think this answer is useful

HTML5 spec: :

The disabled content attribute is a boolean attribute. :

The presence of a boolean attribute on an element represents the true value, and the absence of the attribute represents the false value.

If the attribute is present, its value must either be the empty string or a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the attribute’s canonical name, with no leading or trailing whitespace.


The following are valid, equivalent and true:

<input type="checkbox" checked />
<input type="checkbox" checked="" />
<input type="checkbox" checked="checked" />
<input type="checkbox" checked="ChEcKeD" />

The following are invalid:

<input type="checkbox" checked="0" />
<input type="checkbox" checked="1" />
<input type="checkbox" checked="false" />
<input type="checkbox" checked="true" />

The absence of the attribute is the only valid syntax for false:

<input />


If you care about writing valid XHTML, use checked="checked", since <input checked> is invalid XHTML (but valid HTML) and other alternatives are less readable. Else, just use <input checked> as it is shorter.

The Answer 3

35 people think this answer is useful
<input ... checked />
<input ... checked="checked" />

Those are equally valid. And in JavaScript:

input.checked = true;

The Answer 4

6 people think this answer is useful

you want this i think: checked='checked'

The Answer 5

5 people think this answer is useful
  1. checked
  2. checked=””
  3. checked=”checked”

    are equivalent;

according to spec checkbox ‘—-ⓘ checked = “checked” or “” (empty string) or empty Specifies that the element represents a selected control.—‘

The Answer 6

3 people think this answer is useful

It’s pretty crazy town that the only way to make checked false is to omit any values. With Angular 1.x, you can do this:

  <input type="radio" ng-checked="false">

which is a lot more sane, if you need to make it unchecked.

The Answer 7

2 people think this answer is useful

I think this may help:

First read all the specs from Microsoft and
You’d see that the setting the actual element of a checkbox needs to be done on the ELEMENT PROPERTY, not the UI or attribute.

Secondly, you need to be aware that the checked attribute RETURNS a string “true”, “false”
Why is this important? Because you need to use the correct Type. A string, not a boolean. This also important when parsing your checkbox.
$('mycheckbox')[0].checked = "true"

if($('mycheckbox')[0].checked === "true"){ //do something }

You also need to realize that the “checked” ATTRIBUTE is for setting the value of the checkbox initially. This doesn’t do much once the element is rendered to the DOM. Picture this working when the webpage loads and is initially parsed.
I’ll go with IE’s preference on this one: <input type="checkbox" checked="checked"/>

Lastly, the main aspect of confusion for a checkbox is that the checkbox UI element is not the same as the element’s property value. They do not correlate directly. If you work in .net, you’ll discover that the user “checking” a checkbox never reflects the actual bool value passed to the controller. To set the UI, I use both $('mycheckbox').val(true); and $('mycheckbox').attr('checked', 'checked');

In short, for a checked checkbox you need:
Initial DOM: <input type="checkbox" checked="checked">
Element Property: $('mycheckbox')[0].checked = "true";
UI: $('mycheckbox').val(true); and $('mycheckbox').attr('checked', 'checked');

The Answer 8

-3 people think this answer is useful

Well, to use it i dont think matters (similar to disabled and readonly), personally i use checked=”checked” but if you are trying to manipulate them with JavaScript, you use true/false

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