html – Change :hover CSS properties with JavaScript-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I need to find a way to change CSS :hover properties using JavaScript.

For example, suppose I have this HTML code:

    <td>Hover 1</td>
    <td>Hover 2</td>

And the following CSS code:

table td:hover {

I would like to use JavaScript to change the <td> hover properties to, say, background:#00ff00. know I could access the style background property using JavaScript as:


But I don’t know of a JavaScript equivalent for :hover. How do I change these <td>’s :hover background using JavaScript?

Your help is greatly appreciated!

How to solve:

Pseudo classes like :hover never refer to an element, but to any element that satisfies the conditions of the stylesheet rule. You need to edit the stylesheet rule, append a new rule, or add a new stylesheet that includes the new :hover rule.

var css = 'table td:hover{ background-color: #00ff00 }';
var style = document.createElement('style');

if (style.styleSheet) {
    style.styleSheet.cssText = css;
} else {



You can’t change or alter the actual :hover selector through Javascript. You can, however, use mouseenter to change the style, and revert back on mouseleave (thanks, @Bryan).


What you can do is change the class of your object and define two classes with different hover properties. For example:

.stategood_enabled:hover  { background-color:green}
.stategood_enabled        { background-color:black}
.stategood_disabled:hover { background-color:red}
.stategood_disabled       { background-color:black}

And this I found on:
Change an element's class with JavaScript

function changeClass(object,oldClass,newClass)
    // remove:
    //object.className = object.className.replace( /(?:^|\s)oldClass(?!\S)/g , '' );
    // replace:
    var regExp = new RegExp('(?:^|\\s)' + oldClass + '(?!\\S)', 'g');
    object.className = object.className.replace( regExp , newClass );
    // add
    //object.className += " "+newClass;

changeClass(myInput.submit,"stategood_disabled"," stategood_enabled");


If it fits your purpose you can add the hover functionality without using css and using the onmouseover event in javascript

Here is a code snippet

<div id="mydiv">foo</div>

document.getElementById("mydiv").onmouseover = function() 
{ = "blue";


Sorry to find this page 7 years too late, but here is a much simpler way to solve this problem (changing hover styles arbitrarily):


<button id=Button>Button Title</button>


.HoverClass1:hover {color: blue !important; background-color: green !important;}
.HoverClass2:hover {color: red !important; background-color: yellow !important;}


var Button=document.getElementById('Button');
/* Clear all previous hover classes */
/* Set the desired hover class */


I had this need once and created a small library for, which maintains the CSS documents

With that you can state

css().bind("TD:hover", {
        "background" : "00ff00"

It uses the techniques mentioned above and also tries to take care of the cross-browser issues. If there for some reason exists an old browser like IE9 it will limit the number of STYLE tags, because the older IE browser had this strange limit for number of STYLE tags available on the page.

Also, it limits the traffic to the tags by updating tags only periodically. There is also a limited support for creating animation classes.


I’d recommend to replace all :hover properties to :active when you detect that device supports touch. Just call this function when you do so as touch()

   function touch() {
      if ('ontouchstart' in document.documentElement) {
        for (var sheetI = document.styleSheets.length - 1; sheetI >= 0; sheetI--) {
          var sheet = document.styleSheets[sheetI];
          if (sheet.cssRules) {
            for (var ruleI = sheet.cssRules.length - 1; ruleI >= 0; ruleI--) {
              var rule = sheet.cssRules[ruleI];

              if (rule.selectorText) {
                rule.selectorText = rule.selectorText.replace(':hover', ':active');


Declare a global var:

var td

Then select your guiena pig <td> getting it by its id, if you want to change all of them then

window.onload = function () {
  td = document.getElementsByTagName("td"); 

Make a function to be triggered and a loop to change all of your desired td‘s

function trigger() {
    for(var x = 0; x < td.length; x++) { 
      td[x].className = "yournewclass"; 

Go to your CSS Sheet:

.yournewclass:hover { background-color: #00ff00; }

And that is it, with this you are able to to make all your <td> tags get a background-color: #00ff00; when hovered by changing its css propriety directly (switching between css classes).


This is not actually adding the CSS to the cell, but gives the same effect. While providing the same result as others above, this version is a little more intuitive to me, but I’m a novice, so take it for what it’s worth:

$(".hoverCell").bind('mouseover', function() {
    var old_color = $(this).css("background-color");
    $(this)[0].style.backgroundColor = '#ffff00';

    $(".hoverCell").bind('mouseout', function () {
        $(this)[0].style.backgroundColor = old_color;

This requires setting the Class for each of the cells you want to highlight to “hoverCell”.


Pretty old question so I figured I’ll add a more modern answer. Now that CSS variables are widely supported they can be used to achieve this without the need for JS events or !important.

Taking the OP’s example:

    <td>Hover 1</td>
    <td>Hover 2</td>

We can now do this in the CSS:

table td:hover {
  // fallback in case we need to support older/non-supported browsers (IE, Opera mini)
  background: #ff0000;
  background: var(--td-background-color);

And add the hover state using javascript like so:

const tds = document.querySelectorAll('td');
tds.forEach((td) => {'--td-background-color', '#00ff00');

Here’s a working example

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