How to hide a <option> in a <select> menu with CSS?

I've realized that Chrome, it seems, will not allow me to hide <option> in a <select>. Firefox will.

I need to hide the <option>s that match a search criteria. In the Chrome web tools I can see that they are correctly being set to display: none; by my JavaScript, but once then <select> menu is clicked they are shown.

How can I make these <option>s that match my search criteria NOT show when the menu is clicked? Thanks!

You have to implement two methods for hiding. display: none works for FF, but not Chrome or IE. So the second method is wrapping the <option> in a <span> with display: none. FF won't do it (technically invalid HTML, per the spec) but Chrome and IE will and it will hide the option.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I already implemented this in jQuery:

jQuery.fn.toggleOption = function( show ) {
    jQuery( this ).toggle( show );
    if( show ) {
        if( jQuery( this ).parent( 'span.toggleOption' ).length )
            jQuery( this ).unwrap( );
    } else {
        if( jQuery( this ).parent( 'span.toggleOption' ).length == 0 )
            jQuery( this ).wrap( '<span class="toggleOption" style="display: none;" />' );

EDIT 2: Here's how you would use this function:

jQuery(selector).toggleOption(true); // show option
jQuery(selector).toggleOption(false); // hide option

EDIT 3: Added extra check suggested by @user1521986

For HTML5, you can use the 'hidden' attribute.

<option hidden>Hidden option</option>

It is not supported by IE < 11. But if you need only to hide a few elements, maybe it would be better to just set the hidden attribute in combination with disabled in comparison to adding/removing elements or doing not semantically correct constructions.

  <option hidden>Hidden Option</option>


I would suggest that you do not use the solutions that use a <span> wrapper because it isn't valid HTML, which could cause problems down the road. I think the preferred solution is to actually remove any options that you wish to hide, and restore them as needed. Using jQuery, you'll only need these 3 functions:

The first function will save the original contents of the select. Just to be safe, you may want to call this function when you load the page.

function setOriginalSelect ($select) {
    if ($"originalHTML") == undefined) {
        $"originalHTML", $select.html());
    } // If it's already there, don't re-set it

This next function calls the above function to ensure that the original contents have been saved, and then simply removes the options from the DOM.

function removeOptions ($select, $options) {

The last function can be used whenever you want to "reset" back to all the original options.

function restoreOptions ($select) {
    var ogHTML = $"originalHTML");
    if (ogHTML != undefined) {

Note that all these functions expect that you're passing in jQuery elements. For example:

// in your search function...
var $s = $('select.someClass');
var $optionsThatDontMatchYourSearch= $s.find('options.someOtherClass');
restoreOptions($s); // Make sure you're working with a full deck
removeOptions($s, $optionsThatDontMatchYourSearch); // remove options not needed

Here is a working example:

Ryan P's answer should be changed to:

    jQuery.fn.toggleOption = function (show) {
        if (show) {
            if ($(this).parent('span.toggleOption').length)
        } else {
            **if ($(this).parent('span.toggleOption').length==0)**
                $(this).wrap('<span class="toggleOption" style="display: none;" />');

Otherwise it gets wrapped in too many tags

The toggleOption function is not perfect and introduced nasty bugs in my application. jQuery will get confused with .val() and .arraySerialize() Try to select options 4 and 5 to see what I mean:

<select id="t">
<option value="v1">options 1</option>
<option value="v2">options 2</option>
<option value="v3" id="o3">options 3</option>
<option value="v4">options 4</option>
<option value="v5">options 5</option>
jQuery.fn.toggleOption = function( show ) {
    jQuery( this ).toggle( show );
    if( show ) {
        if( jQuery( this ).parent( 'span.toggleOption' ).length )
            jQuery( this ).unwrap( );
    } else {
        jQuery( this ).wrap( '<span class="toggleOption" style="display: none;" />' );

$("#t").change(function(e) {
    if($(this).val() != this.value) {
    console.log("Error values not equal", this.value, $(this).val());

Select inputs are tricky in this way. What about disabling it instead, this will work cross-browser:

$('select').children(':nth-child(even)').prop('disabled', true);

This will disable every-other <option> element, but you can select which ever one you want.

Here is a demo:

Note: If you want to remove the disabled property of an element you can use .removeProp('disabled').


You could save the <option> elements you want to hide in hidden select element:

$('#visible').on('change', function () {

You can then add the <option> elements back to the original select element:


In these two examples it's expected that the visible select element has the id of visible and the hidden select element has the id of hidden.

Here is a demo:

Note that .on() is new in jQuery 1.7 and in the usage for this answer is the same as .bind():

Simple answer: You can't. Form elements have very limited styling capabilities.

The best alternative would be to set disabled=true on the option (and maybe a gray colour, since only IE does that automatically), and this will make the option unclickable.

Alternatively, if you can, completely remove the option element.

// Simplest way

var originalContent = $('select').html();

$('select').change(function() {
    $('select').html(originalContent); //Restore Original Content
    $('select option[myfilter=1]').remove(); // Filter my options

Since you're already using JS, you could create a hidden SELECT element on the page, and for each item you are trying to hide in that list, move it to the hidden list. This way, they can be easily restored.

I don't know a way offhand of doing it in pure CSS... I would have thought that the display:none trick would have worked.

!!! WARNING !!!

Replace the second "IF" by "WHILE" or doesn't work !

jQuery.fn.toggleOption = function( show ) {
    jQuery( this ).toggle( show );
    if( show ) {
        while( jQuery( this ).parent( 'span.toggleOption' ).length )
            jQuery( this ).unwrap( );
    } else {
        jQuery( this ).wrap( '<span class="toggleOption" style="display: none;" />' );

You should remove them from the <select> using JavaScript. That is the only guaranteed way to make them go away.

this one seems to work for me in chrome

$("#selectid span option").unwrap();
$("#selectid option:not([filterattr=filtervalue])").wrap('<span/>');

Late to the game, but most of these seem quite complicated.

Here's how I did it:

var originalSelect = $('#select-2').html();

// filter select-2 on select-1 change
$('#select-1').change(function (e) {

    var selected = $(this).val();

    // reset select ready for filtering

    if (selected) {
        // filter
        $('#select-2 option').not('.t' + selected).remove();


markup of select-1:

<select id='select-1'>
<option value=''>Please select</option>
<option value='1'>One</option>
<option value='2'>Two</option>

markup of select-2:

<select id='select-2'>
<option class='t1'>One</option>
<option class='t2'>Two</option>
<option>Always visible</option>