Using plain JavaScript (not jQuery), Is there any way to check if an element contains a class?

Currently, I'm doing this:

var test = document.getElementById("test");
var testClass = test.className;

switch (testClass) {
  case "class1":
    test.innerHTML = "I have class1";
  case "class2":
    test.innerHTML = "I have class2";
  case "class3":
    test.innerHTML = "I have class3";
  case "class4":
    test.innerHTML = "I have class4";
    test.innerHTML = "";
<div id="test" class="class1"></div>

The issue is that if I change the HTML to this...

<div id="test" class="class1 class5"></div>

...there's no longer an exact match, so I get the default output of nothing (""). But I still want the output to be I have class1 because the <div> still contains the .class1 class.

Solution 1

Use element.classList .contains method:


This works on all current browsers and there are polyfills to support older browsers too.

Alternatively, if you work with older browsers and don't want to use polyfills to fix them, using indexOf is correct, but you have to tweak it a little:

function hasClass(element, className) {
    return (' ' + element.className + ' ').indexOf(' ' + className+ ' ') > -1;

Otherwise you will also get true if the class you are looking for is part of another class name.


jQuery uses a similar (if not the same) method.

Applied to the example:

As this does not work together with the switch statement, you could achieve the same effect with this code:

var test = document.getElementById("test"),
    classes = ['class1', 'class2', 'class3', 'class4'];

test.innerHTML = "";

for(var i = 0, j = classes.length; i < j; i++) {
    if(hasClass(test, classes[i])) {
        test.innerHTML = "I have " + classes[i];

It's also less redundant ;)

Solution 2

The easy and effective solution is trying .contains method.


Solution 3

In modern browsers, you can just use the contains method of Element.classList :



var testElement = document.getElementById('test');

    'main' : testElement.classList.contains('main'),
    'cont' : testElement.classList.contains('cont'),
    'content' : testElement.classList.contains('content'),
    'main-cont' : testElement.classList.contains('main-cont'),
    'main-content' : testElement.classList.contains('main-content'),
    'main main-content' : testElement.classList.contains('main main-content')
<div id="test" class="main main-content content"></div>

Supported browsers



If you want to use Element.classList but you also want to support older browsers, consider using this polyfill by Eli Grey.

Solution 4



According to MDN Web Docs:

The Element.matches() method returns true if the element would be selected by the specified selector string; otherwise, returns false.

Therefore, you can use Element.matches() to determine if an element contains a class.

const element = document.querySelector('#example');

console.log(element.matches('.foo')); // true
<div id="example" class="foo bar"></div>

View Browser Compatibility

Solution 5

Since he wants to use switch(), I'm surprised no one has put this forth yet:

var test = document.getElementById("test");
var testClasses = test.className.split(" ");
test.innerHTML = "";
for(var i=0; i<testClasses.length; i++) {
    switch(testClasses[i]) {
        case "class1": test.innerHTML += "I have class1<br/>"; break;
        case "class2": test.innerHTML += "I have class2<br/>"; break;
        case "class3": test.innerHTML += "I have class3<br/>"; break;
        case "class4": test.innerHTML += "I have class4<br/>"; break;
        default: test.innerHTML += "(unknown class:" + testClasses[i] + ")<br/>";

Solution 6

Here is a little snippet If youre trying to check wether element contains a class, without using jQuery.

function hasClass(element, className) {
    return element.className && new RegExp("(^|\\s)" + className + "(\\s|$)").test(element.className);

This accounts for the fact that element might contain multiple class names separated by space.


You can also assign this function to element prototype.

Element.prototype.hasClass = function(className) {
    return this.className && new RegExp("(^|\\s)" + className + "(\\s|$)").test(this.className);

And trigger it like this (very similar to jQuerys .hasClass() function):


Solution 7

This is a little old, but maybe someone will find my solution helpfull:

// Fix IE's indexOf Array
if (!Array.prototype.indexOf) {
    Array.prototype.indexOf = function (searchElement) {
        if (this == null) throw new TypeError();
        var t = Object(this);
        var len = t.length >>> 0;
        if (len === 0) return -1;
        var n = 0;
        if (arguments.length > 0) {
            n = Number(arguments[1]);
            if (n != n) n = 0;
            else if (n != 0 && n != Infinity && n != -Infinity) n = (n > 0 || -1) * Math.floor(Math.abs(n));
        if (n >= len) return -1;
        var k = n >= 0 ? n : Math.max(len - Math.abs(n), 0);
        for (; k < len; k++) if (k in t && t[k] === searchElement) return k;
        return -1;
// add hasClass support
if (!Element.prototype.hasClass) {
    Element.prototype.hasClass = function (classname) {
        if (this == null) throw new TypeError();
        return this.className.split(' ').indexOf(classname) === -1 ? false : true;

Solution 8

className is just a string so you can use the regular indexOf function to see if the list of classes contains another string.

Solution 9

A simplified oneliner:1

function hasClassName(classname,id) {
 return  String ( ( document.getElementById(id)||{} ) .className )
         .indexOf(classname) >= 0;

1 indexOf for arrays is not supported by IE (ofcourse). There are plenty of monkey patches to be found on the net for that.

Solution 10

I know there a lot of answers but most of these are for additional functions and additional classes. This is the one I personally use; much cleaner and much less lines of code!

if( document.body.className.match('category-page') ) { 

Solution 11

This question is pretty solidly answered by element.classList.contains(), but people got pretty extravagant with their answers and made some bold claims, so I ran a benchmark.

Remember that each test is doing 1000 iterations, so most of these are still very fast. Unless you rely extensively on this for a specific operation, you won't see a performance difference.

I ran some tests with basically every way to do this. On my machine, (Win 10, 24gb, i7-8700), classList.contains performed super well. So did className.split(' ') which is effectively the same.

The winner though is classList.contains(). If you're not checking for classList to be undefined, ~(' ' + v.className + ' ').indexOf(' c' + i + ' ') creeps ahead 5-15%

Solution 12

I've created a prototype method which uses classList, if possible, else resorts to indexOf:

Element.prototype.hasClass = Element.prototype.hasClass || 
    var hasClass = 0,
        className = this.getAttribute('class');
    if( this == null || !classArr || !className ) return false;
    if( !(classArr instanceof Array) )
      classArr = classArr.split(' ');

    for( var i in classArr )
      // this.classList.contains(classArr[i]) // for modern browsers
      if( className.split(classArr[i]).length > 1 )  

    return hasClass == classArr.length;

// TESTS (see browser's console when inspecting the output)

var elm1 = document.querySelector('p');
var elm2 = document.querySelector('b');
var elm3 = elm1.firstChild; // textNode
var elm4 = document.querySelector('text'); // SVG text

console.log( elm1, ' has class "a": ', elm1.hasClass('a') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "b": ', elm1.hasClass('b') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "c": ', elm1.hasClass('c') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "d": ', elm1.hasClass('d') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "a c": ', elm1.hasClass('a c') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "a d": ', elm1.hasClass('a d') );
console.log( elm1, ' has class "": ', elm1.hasClass('') );

console.log( elm2, ' has class "a": ', elm2.hasClass('a') );

// console.log( elm3, ' has class "a": ', elm3.hasClass('a') );

console.log( elm4, ' has class "a": ', elm4.hasClass('a') );
<p class='a b c'>This is a <b>test</b> string</p>
<svg xmlns="" width="100px" height="50px">
    <text x="10" y="20" class='a'>SVG Text Example</text>

Test page

Solution 13

To check if an element contains a class, you use the contains() method of the classList property of the element:*


*Suppose you have the following element:

<div class="secondary info">Item</div>*

To check if the element contains the secondary class, you use the following code:

 const div = document.querySelector('div');
 div.classList.contains('secondary'); // true

The following returns false because the element doesnt have the class error:

 const div = document.querySelector('div');
 div.classList.contains('error'); // false

Solution 14

Here's a case-insensitive trivial solution:

function hasClass(element, classNameToTestFor) {
    var classNames = element.className.split(' ');
    for (var i = 0; i < classNames.length; i++) {
        if (classNames[i].toLowerCase() == classNameToTestFor.toLowerCase()) {
            return true;
    return false;

Solution 15

  1. Felix's trick of adding spaces to flank the className and the string you're searching for is the right approach to determining whether the elements has the class or not.

  2. To have different behaviour according to the class, you may use function references, or functions, within a map:

    function fn1(element){ /* code for element with class1 */ }
    function fn2(element){ /* code for element with class2 */ }
    function fn2(element){ /* code for element with class3 */ }
    var fns={'class1': fn1, 'class2': fn2, 'class3': fn3};
    for(var i in fns) {
        if(hasClass(test, i)) {
    • for(var i in fns) iterates through the keys within the fns map.
    • Having no break after fnsi allows the code to be executed whenever there is a match - so that if the element has, f.i., class1 and class2, both fn1 and fn2 will be executed.
    • The advantage of this approach is that the code to execute for each class is arbitrary, like the one in the switch statement; in your example all the cases performed a similar operation, but tomorrow you may need to do different things for each.
    • You may simulate the default case by having a status variable telling whether a match was found in the loop or not.

Solution 16

If the element only has one class name you can quickly check it by getting the class attribute. The other answers are much more robust but this certainly has it's use cases.

if ( element.getAttribute('class') === 'classname' ) {


Solution 17

See this Codepen link for faster and easy way of checking an element if it has a specific class using vanilla JavaScript~!

hasClass (Vanilla JS)

function hasClass(element, cls) {
    return (' ' + element.className + ' ').indexOf(' ' + cls + ' ') > -1;

Solution 18

This is supported on IE8+.

First we check if classList exists if it does we can use the contains method which is supported by IE10+. If we are on IE9 or 8 it falls back to using a regex, which is not as efficient but is a concise polyfill.

if (el.classList) {
} else {
  new RegExp('(^| )' + className + '( |$)', 'gi').test(el.className);

Alternatively if you are compiling with babel you can simply use: el.classList.contains(className);

Solution 19

I would Poly fill the classList functionality and use the new syntax. This way newer browser will use the new implementation (which is much faster) and only old browsers will take the performance hit from the code.

Solution 20

This is a bit off, but if you have an event that triggers switch, you can do without classes:

<div id="classOne1"></div>
<div id="classOne2"></div>
<div id="classTwo3"></div>

You can do

$('body').click( function() {

    switch ([0-9]/g, '') ) {
        case 'classOne': this.innerHTML = "I have classOne"; break;
        case 'classTwo': this.innerHTML = "I have classTwo"; break;
        default: this.innerHTML = "";


.replace(/[0-9]/g, '') removes digits from id.

It is a bit hacky, but works for long switches without extra functions or loops

Solution 21

Using the classList is also ideal


<div id="box" class="myClass"></div>


const element = document.querySelector("#box");


Solution 22

As the accepted answer suggests, Element.className returns a string, so you can easily check if a class exists by using the indexOf() method:

element.className.indexOf('animated') > -1

If you are interested in the performance difference between indexOf vs classList.contains, using indexOf seems to be slightly faster. I did a quick benchmark performance test to check that. Here are my findings: ClassName.indexOf vs ClassList.contains.

Solution 23

Try this one:

document.getElementsByClassName = function(cl) {
   var retnode = [];
   var myclass = new RegExp('\\b'+cl+'\\b');
   var elem = this.getElementsByTagName('*');
   for (var i = 0; i < elem.length; i++) {
       var classes = elem[i].className;
       if (myclass.test(classes)) retnode.push(elem[i]);
    return retnode;

Solution 24

I think that perfect solution will be this

if ($(this).hasClass("your_Class")) 

Solution 25

in which element is currently the class '.bar' ? Here is another solution but it's up to you.

var reg = /Image/g, // regexp for an image element
query = document.querySelector('.bar'); // returns [object HTMLImageElement]
query += this.toString(); // turns object into a string

if (query.match(reg)) { // checks if it matches
  alert('the class .bar is attached to the following Element:\n' + query);

jsfiddle demo

Of course this is only a lookup for 1 simple element <img>(/Image/g) but you can put all in an array like <li> is /LI/g, <ul> = /UL/g etc.

Solution 26

Just to add to the answer for people trying to find class names within inline SVG elements.

Change the hasCLass() function to:

function hasClass(element, cls) {
    return (' ' + element.getAttribute('class') + ' ').indexOf(' ' + cls + ' ') > -1;

Instead of using the className property you'll need to use the getAttribute() method to grab the class name.

Solution 27

I created these functions for my website, I use only vanilla javascript, maybe it will help someone. First I created a function to get any HTML element:

//return an HTML element by ID, class or tag name
    var getElement = function(selector) {
        var elements = [];
        if(selector[0] == '#') {
            elements.push(document.getElementById(selector.substring(1, selector.length)));
        } else if(selector[0] == '.') {
            elements = document.getElementsByClassName(selector.substring(1, selector.length));
        } else {
            elements = document.getElementsByTagName(selector);
        return elements;

Then the function that recieve the class to remove and the selector of the element:

var hasClass = function(selector, _class) {
        var elements = getElement(selector);
        var contains = false;
        for (let index = 0; index < elements.length; index++) {
            const curElement = elements[index];
            if(curElement.classList.contains(_class)) {
                contains = true;
        return contains;

Now you can use it like this:

hasClass('body', 'gray')
hasClass('#like', 'green')
hasClass('.button', 'active')

Hope it will help.

Solution 28

Tip: Try to remove dependencies of jQuery in your projects as much as you can - VanillaJS.

document.firstElementChild returns <html> tag then the classList attribute returns all classes added to it.

    // <html> has 'your-class'
} else {
    // <html> doesn't have 'your-class'

Solution 29

Since .className is a string, you can use the string includes() method to check if your .className includes your class name:


Solution 30

For me the most elegant and faster way to achieve it is:

function hasClass(el, cl) {
        return el.classList ? el.classList.contains(cl) : !!el.className && !!el.className.match(new RegExp('(?: |^)' + cl + '(?: |$)'));