Is there a way to detect if a browser window is not currently active?

I have JavaScript that is doing activity periodically. When the user is not looking at the site (i.e., the window or tab does not have focus), it'd be nice to not run.

Is there a way to do this using JavaScript?

My reference point: Gmail Chat plays a sound if the window you're using isn't active.

Since originally writing this answer, a new specification has reached recommendation status thanks to the W3C.?The Page Visibility API (on MDN) now allows us to more accurately detect when a page is hidden to the user.

document.addEventListener("visibilitychange", onchange);

Current browser support:

  • Chrome 13+
  • Internet Explorer 10+
  • Firefox 10+
  • Opera 12.10+ [read notes]

The following code falls back to the less reliable blur/focus method in incompatible browsers:

(function() {
  var hidden = "hidden";

  // Standards:
  if (hidden in document)
    document.addEventListener("visibilitychange", onchange);
  else if ((hidden = "mozHidden") in document)
    document.addEventListener("mozvisibilitychange", onchange);
  else if ((hidden = "webkitHidden") in document)
    document.addEventListener("webkitvisibilitychange", onchange);
  else if ((hidden = "msHidden") in document)
    document.addEventListener("msvisibilitychange", onchange);
  // IE 9 and lower:
  else if ("onfocusin" in document)
    document.onfocusin = document.onfocusout = onchange;
  // All others:
    window.onpageshow = window.onpagehide
    = window.onfocus = window.onblur = onchange;

  function onchange (evt) {
    var v = "visible", h = "hidden",
        evtMap = {
          focus:v, focusin:v, pageshow:v, blur:h, focusout:h, pagehide:h

    evt = evt || window.event;
    if (evt.type in evtMap)
      document.body.className = evtMap[evt.type];
      document.body.className = this[hidden] ? "hidden" : "visible";

  // set the initial state (but only if browser supports the Page Visibility API)
  if( document[hidden] !== undefined )
    onchange({type: document[hidden] ? "blur" : "focus"});

onfocusin and onfocusout are required for IE 9 and lower, while all others make use of onfocus and onblur, except for iOS, which uses onpageshow and onpagehide.

I would use jQuery because then all you have to do is this:

  //your code here
  //your code

Or at least it worked for me.

There are 3 typical methods used to determine if the user can see the HTML page, however none of them work perfectly:

  • The W3C Page Visibility API is supposed to do this (supported since: Firefox 10, MSIE 10, Chrome 13). However, this API only raises events when the browser tab is fully overriden (e.g. when the user changes from one tab to another one). The API does not raise events when the visibility cannot be determined with 100% accuracy (e.g. Alt+Tab to switch to another application).

  • Using focus/blur based methods gives you a lot of false positive. For example, if the user displays a smaller window on top of the browser window, the browser window will loose the focus (onblur raised) but the user is still able to see it (so it still need to be refreshed). See also

  • Relying on user activity (mouse move, clicks, key typed) gives you a lot of false positive too. Think about the same case as above, or a user watching a video.

In order to improve the imperfect behaviors described above, I use a combination of the 3 methods: W3C Visibility API, then focus/blur and user activity methods in order to reduce the false positive rate. This allows to manage the following events:

  • Changing browser tab to another one (100% accuracy, thanks to the W3C Page Visibility API)
  • Page potentially hidden by another window, e.g. due to Alt+Tab (probabilistic = not 100% accurate)
  • User attention potentially not focused on the HTML page (probabilistic = not 100% accurate)

This is how it works: when the document loose the focus, the user activity (such as mouse move) on the document is monitored in order to determine if the window is visible or not. The page visibility probability is inversely proportional to the time of the last user activity on the page: if the user makes no activity on the document for a long time, the page is most probably not visible. The code below mimics the W3C Page Visibility API: it behaves the same way but has a small false positive rate. It has the advantage to be multibrowser (tested on Firefox 5, Firefox 10, MSIE 9, MSIE 7, Safari 5, Chrome 9).

    <div id="x"></div>

    Registers the handler to the event for the given object.
    @param obj the object which will raise the event
    @param evType the event type: click, keypress, mouseover, ...
    @param fn the event handler function
    @param isCapturing set the event mode (true = capturing event, false = bubbling event)
    @return true if the event handler has been attached correctly
    function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, isCapturing){
      if (isCapturing==null) isCapturing=false; 
      if (obj.addEventListener){
        // Firefox
        obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, isCapturing);
        return true;
      } else if (obj.attachEvent){
        // MSIE
        var r = obj.attachEvent('on'+evType, fn);
        return r;
      } else {
        return false;

    // register to the potential page visibility change
    addEvent(document, "potentialvisilitychange", function(event) {
      document.getElementById("x").innerHTML+="potentialVisilityChange: potentialHidden="+document.potentialHidden+", document.potentiallyHiddenSince="+document.potentiallyHiddenSince+" s<br>";

    // register to the W3C Page Visibility API
    var hidden=null;
    var visibilityChange=null;
    if (typeof document.mozHidden !== "undefined") {
    } else if (typeof document.msHidden !== "undefined") {
    } else if (typeof document.webkitHidden!=="undefined") {
    } else if (typeof document.hidden !=="hidden") {
    if (hidden!=null && visibilityChange!=null) {
      addEvent(document, visibilityChange, function(event) {
        document.getElementById("x").innerHTML+=visibilityChange+": "+hidden+"="+document[hidden]+"<br>";

    var potentialPageVisibility = {
      pageVisibilityChangeThreshold:3*3600, // in seconds
      init:function() {
        function setAsNotHidden() {
          var dispatchEventRequired=document.potentialHidden;
          if (dispatchEventRequired) dispatchPageVisibilityChangeEvent();

        function initPotentiallyHiddenDetection() {
          if (!hasFocusLocal) {
            // the window does not has the focus => check for  user activity in the window
            lastActionDate=new Date();
            if (timeoutHandler!=null) {
            timeoutHandler = setTimeout(checkPageVisibility, potentialPageVisibility.pageVisibilityChangeThreshold*1000+100); // +100 ms to avoid rounding issues under Firefox

        function dispatchPageVisibilityChangeEvent() {
          var evt = document.createEvent("Event");
          evt.initEvent("potentialvisilitychange", true, true);

        function checkPageVisibility() {
          var potentialHiddenDuration=(hasFocusLocal || lastActionDate==null?0:Math.floor((new Date().getTime()-lastActionDate.getTime())/1000));
          if (potentialHiddenDuration>=potentialPageVisibility.pageVisibilityChangeThreshold && !document.potentialHidden) {
            // page visibility change threshold raiched => raise the even

        var lastActionDate=null;
        var hasFocusLocal=true;
        var hasMouseOver=true;
        var timeoutHandler = null;

        addEvent(document, "pageshow", function(event) {
        addEvent(document, "pagehide", function(event) {
        addEvent(window, "pageshow", function(event) {
          document.getElementById("x").innerHTML+="pageshow/win:<br>"; // raised when the page first shows
        addEvent(window, "pagehide", function(event) {
          document.getElementById("x").innerHTML+="pagehide/win:<br>"; // not raised
        addEvent(document, "mousemove", function(event) {
          lastActionDate=new Date();
        addEvent(document, "mouseover", function(event) {
        addEvent(document, "mouseout", function(event) {
        addEvent(window, "blur", function(event) {
        addEvent(window, "focus", function(event) {

    potentialPageVisibility.pageVisibilityChangeThreshold=4; // 4 seconds for testing

Since there is currently no working cross-browser solution without false positive, you should better think twice about disabling periodical activity on your web site.

There is a neat library available on GitHub:


// If page is visible right now
if( ){
  // Display pop-up

I've tested version 1.0.1 on all browsers I have and can confirm that it works with:

  • IE9, IE10
  • FF 26.0
  • Chrome 34.0

... and probably all newer versions.

Doesn't fully work with:

  • IE8 - always indicate that tab/window is currently active (.now() always returns true for me)

Using : Page Visibility API

document.addEventListener( 'visibilitychange' , function() {
    if (document.hidden) {
    } else {
        console.log('well back');
}, false );

Can i use ?

I create a Comet Chat for my app, and when I receive a message from another user I use:

        document.title="Have new messages";
        document.title="Application Name";

I started off using the community wiki answer, but realised that it wasn't detecting alt-tab events in Chrome. This is because it uses the first available event source, and in this case it's the page visibility API, which in Chrome seems to not track alt-tabbing.

I decided to modify the script a bit to keep track of all possible events for page focus changes. Here's a function you can drop in:

function onVisibilityChange(callback) {
    var visible = true;

    if (!callback) {
        throw new Error('no callback given');

    function focused() {
        if (!visible) {
            callback(visible = true);

    function unfocused() {
        if (visible) {
            callback(visible = false);

    // Standards:
    if ('hidden' in document) {
            function() {(document.hidden ? unfocused : focused)()});
    if ('mozHidden' in document) {
            function() {(document.mozHidden ? unfocused : focused)()});
    if ('webkitHidden' in document) {
            function() {(document.webkitHidden ? unfocused : focused)()});
    if ('msHidden' in document) {
            function() {(document.msHidden ? unfocused : focused)()});
    // IE 9 and lower:
    if ('onfocusin' in document) {
        document.onfocusin = focused;
        document.onfocusout = unfocused;
    // All others:
    window.onpageshow = window.onfocus = focused;
    window.onpagehide = window.onblur = unfocused;

Use it like this:

onVisibilityChange(function(visible) {
    console.log('the page is now', visible ? 'focused' : 'unfocused');

This version listens for all the different visibility events and fires a callback if any of them causes a change. The focused and unfocused handlers make sure that the callback isn't called multiple times if multiple APIs catch the same visibility change.

This is really tricky. There seems to be no solution given the following requirements.

  • The page includes iframes that you have no control over
  • You want to track visibility state change regardless of the change being triggered by a TAB change (ctrl+tab) or a window change (alt+tab)

This happens because:

  • The page Visibility API can reliably tell you of a tab change (even with iframes), but it can't tell you when the user changes windows.
  • Listening to window blur/focus events can detect alt+tabs and ctrl+tabs, as long as the iframe doesn't have focus.

Given these restrictions, it is possible to implement a solution that combines - The page Visibility API - window blur/focus - document.activeElement

That is able to:

  • 1) ctrl+tab when parent page has focus: YES
  • 2) ctrl+tab when iframe has focus: YES
  • 3) alt+tab when parent page has focus: YES
  • 4) alt+tab when iframe has focus: NO <-- bummer

When the iframe has focus, your blur/focus events don't get invoked at all, and the page Visibility API won't trigger on alt+tab.

I built upon @AndyE's solution and implemented this (almost good) solution here: (sorry, I had some trouble with JSFiddle).

This is also available on Github:

This works on chrome/chromium. It kind works on firefox, except that it doesn't load the iframe contents (any idea why?)

Anyway, to resolve the last problem (4), the only way you can do that is to listen for blur/focus events on the iframe. If you have some control over the iframes, you can use the postMessage API to do that.

I still haven't tested this with enough browsers. If you can find more info about where this doesn't work, please let me know in the comments below.

var visibilityChange = (function (window) {
    var inView = false;
    return function (fn) {
        window.onfocus = window.onblur = window.onpageshow = window.onpagehide = function (e) {
            if ({focus:1, pageshow:1}[e.type]) {
                if (inView) return;
                inView = true;
            } else if (inView) {
                inView = false;

visibilityChange(function (state) {

this works for me on chrome 67, firefox 67,

if(!document.hasFocus()) {
    // do stuff

u can use :

(function () {

    var requiredResolution = 10; // ms
    var checkInterval = 1000; // ms
    var tolerance = 20; // percent

    var counter = 0;
    var expected = checkInterval / requiredResolution;
    //console.log('expected:', expected);

    window.setInterval(function () {
    }, requiredResolution);

    window.setInterval(function () {
        var deviation = 100 * Math.abs(1 - counter / expected);
        // console.log('is:', counter, '(off by', deviation , '%)');
        if (deviation > tolerance) {
            console.warn('Timer resolution not sufficient!');
        counter = 0;
    }, checkInterval);


In HTML 5 you could also use:

  • onpageshow: Script to be run when the window becomes visible
  • onpagehide: Script to be run when the window is hidden


This is an adaptation of the answer from Andy E.

This will do a task e.g. refresh the page every 30 seconds, but only if the page is visible and focused.

If visibility can't be detected, then only focus will be used.

If the user focuses the page, then it will update immediately

The page won't update again until 30 seconds after any ajax call

var windowFocused = true;
var timeOut2 = null;

  $.ajaxSetup ({
    cache: false
  $("#content").ajaxComplete(function(event,request, settings){
       set_refresh_page(); // ajax call has just been made, so page doesn't need updating again for 30 seconds
  // check visibility and focus of window, so as not to keep updating unnecessarily
  (function() {
      var hidden, change, vis = {
              hidden: "visibilitychange",
              mozHidden: "mozvisibilitychange",
              webkitHidden: "webkitvisibilitychange",
              msHidden: "msvisibilitychange",
              oHidden: "ovisibilitychange" /* not currently supported */
      for (hidden in vis) {
          if (vis.hasOwnProperty(hidden) && hidden in document) {
              change = vis[hidden];
      if (change){     // this will check the tab visibility instead of window focus
          document.addEventListener(change, onchange,false);

      if(navigator.appName == "Microsoft Internet Explorer")
         window.onfocus = document.onfocusin = document.onfocusout = onchangeFocus
         window.onfocus = window.onblur = onchangeFocus;

      function onchangeFocus(evt){
        evt = evt || window.event;
        if (evt.type == "focus" || evt.type == "focusin"){
        else if (evt.type == "blur" || evt.type == "focusout"){
        if (evt.type == "focus"){
          update_page();  // only update using window.onfocus, because document.onfocusin can trigger on every click


      function onchange () {
        document.body.className = this[hidden] ? "hidden" : "visible";

      function update_page(){


function get_date_time_string(){
  var d = new Date();
  var dT = [];
  return dT.join('_');

function do_refresh_page(){

// do tasks here

// e.g. some ajax call to update part of the page.

// (date time parameter will probably force the server not to cache)

//      $.ajax({
//        type: "POST",
//        url: "someUrl.php",
//        data: "t=" + get_date_time_string()+"&task=update",
//        success: function(html){
//          $('#content').html(html);
//        }
//      });


function set_refresh_page(interval){
  interval = typeof interval !== 'undefined' ? interval : 30000; // default time = 30 seconds
  if(timeOut2 != null) clearTimeout(timeOut2);
  timeOut2 = setTimeout(function(){
  }, interval);

A slightly more complicated way would be to use setInterval() to check mouse position and compare to last check. If the mouse hasn't moved in a set amount of time, the user is probably idle.

This has the added advantage of telling if the user is idle, instead of just checking if the window is not active.

As many people have pointed out, this is not always a good way to check whether the user or browser window is idle, as the user might not even be using the mouse or is watching a video, or similar. I am just suggesting one possible way to check for idle-ness.

For a solution without jQuery check out Visibility.js which provides information about three page states

visible    ... page is visible
hidden     ... page is not visible
prerender  ... page is being prerendered by the browser

and also convenience-wrappers for setInterval

/* Perform action every second if visible */
Visibility.every(1000, function () {

/* Perform action every second if visible, every 60 sec if not visible */
Visibility.every(1000, 60*1000, function () {

A fallback for older browsers (IE < 10; iOS < 7) is also available

For angular.js, here is a directive (based on the accepted answer) that will allow your controller to react to a change in visibility:

myApp.directive('reactOnWindowFocus', function($parse) {
    return {
        restrict: "A",
        link: function(scope, element, attrs) {
            var hidden = "hidden";
            var currentlyVisible = true;
            var functionOrExpression = $parse(attrs.reactOnWindowFocus);

          // Standards:
          if (hidden in document)
            document.addEventListener("visibilitychange", onchange);
          else if ((hidden = "mozHidden") in document)
            document.addEventListener("mozvisibilitychange", onchange);
          else if ((hidden = "webkitHidden") in document)
            document.addEventListener("webkitvisibilitychange", onchange);
          else if ((hidden = "msHidden") in document)
            document.addEventListener("msvisibilitychange", onchange);
          else if ("onfocusin" in document) {
                // IE 9 and lower:
            document.onfocusin = onshow;
                document.onfocusout = onhide;
          } else {
                // All others:
            window.onpageshow = window.onfocus = onshow;
                window.onpagehide = window.onblur = onhide;

          function onchange (evt) {
                //occurs both on leaving and on returning
                currentlyVisible = !currentlyVisible;

            function onshow(evt) {
                //for older browsers
                currentlyVisible = true;

            function onhide(evt) {
                //for older browsers
                currentlyVisible = false;

            function doSomethingIfAppropriate() {
                if (currentlyVisible) {
                    //trigger angular digest cycle in this scope
                    scope.$apply(function() {


You can use it like this example: <div react-on-window-focus="refresh()">, where refresh() is a scope function in the scope of whatever Controller is in scope.

If you want to act on whole browser blur: As I commented, if browser loose focus none of the suggested events fire. My idea is to count up in a loop and reset the counter if an event fire. If the counter reach a limit I do a location.href to an other page. This also fire if you work on dev-tools.

var iput=document.getElementById("hiddenInput");
function check(){

This is a draft successful tested on FF.

Here is a solid, modern solution. (Short a sweet ????????)

document.addEventListener("visibilitychange", () => {
  console.log( document.hasFocus() )

This will setup a listener to trigger when any visibility event is fired which could be a focus or blur.

this worked for me

document.addEventListener("visibilitychange", function() {
      document.title = document.hidden ? "I'm away" : "I'm here";