How to JS: Get Element by Class - Tips & Hacks

November 13, 2023
How to JS: Get Element by Class - Tips & Hacks
Table of Contents
  • getElementsByClassName()
  • Finding Specific Element
  • Checking if Element Exists
  • Getting Child Elements
  • Browser Compatibility

In JavaScript, a common task is to interact with HTML elements. Sometimes, you might want to find and manipulate elements based on their class name. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use JavaScript to get elements by class name.


The getElementsByClassName() method allows you to select HTML elements based on their class name. It returns a live HTMLCollection of found elements.

1var elements = document.getElementsByClassName("myClass");

This will return all elements with the class myClass.

Finding Specific Element

To find a specific element with a certain class in JavaScript, you can access it like an array.

1var firstElement = elements[0]; // gets the first element

Checking if Element Exists

Before manipulating elements, it's good practice to check if the element exists. Here's how to check if an element exists by class in JavaScript:

1if (elements.length > 0) {
2 // Element exists

Getting Child Elements

You can also use getElementsByClassName() to get child elements using class in JavaScript. Simply call the method on the parent element.

1var childElements = parentElement.getElementsByClassName("childClass");

Browser Compatibility

All modern browsers support getElementsByClassName(). However, if you're working with IE8 or below, consider using jQuery's $('.myClass') instead.

Check out our JavaScript course for more tutorials like this. If you're new to web development, our web development introduction course might be helpful.

For more details about getElementsByClassName(), visit MDN web docs.

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