<video>: The Video Embed element - HTML: HyperText Markup Language | MDN (2024)

The <video> HTML element embeds a media player which supports video playback into the document. You can use <video> for audio content as well, but the <audio> element may provide a more appropriate user experience.

Try it

The above example shows simple usage of the <video> element. Similarly to the <img> element, we include a path to the media we want to display inside the src attribute; we can include other attributes to specify information such as video width and height, whether we want it to autoplay and loop, or to show the browser's default video controls, etc.

The content inside the opening and closing <video></video> tags is shown as a fallback in browsers that don't support the element.


Like all other HTML elements, this element supports the global attributes.


A Boolean attribute; if specified, the video automatically begins to play back as soon as it can without stopping to finish loading the data.

Note: Modern browsers block audio (or videos with an unmuted audio track) from autoplaying, as sites that automatically play audio can be an unpleasant experience for users. See our autoplay guide for additional information about how to properly use autoplay.

To disable video autoplay, autoplay="false" will not work; the video will autoplay if the attribute is there in the <video> tag at all. To remove autoplay, the attribute needs to be removed altogether.


If this attribute is present, the browser will offer controls to allow the user to control video playback, including volume, seeking, and pause/resume playback.


The controlslist attribute, when specified, helps the browser select what controls to show for the video element whenever the browser shows its own set of controls (that is, when the controls attribute is specified).

The allowed values are nodownload, nofullscreen and noremoteplayback.

Use the disablepictureinpicture attribute if you want to disable the Picture-In-Picture mode (and the control).


This enumerated attribute indicates whether to use CORS to fetch the related video. CORS-enabled resources can be reused in the <canvas> element without being tainted. The allowed values are:


Sends a cross-origin request without a credential. In other words, it sends the Origin: HTTP header without a cookie, X.509 certificate, or performing HTTP Basic authentication. If the server does not give credentials to the origin site (by not setting the Access-Control-Allow-Origin: HTTP header), the resource will be tainted, and its usage restricted.


Sends a cross-origin request with a credential. In other words, it sends the Origin: HTTP header with a cookie, a certificate, or performing HTTP Basic authentication. If the server does not give credentials to the origin site (through Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: HTTP header), the resource will be tainted and its usage restricted.

When not present, the resource is fetched without a CORS request (i.e. without sending the Origin: HTTP header), preventing its non-tainted use in <canvas> elements. If invalid, it is handled as if the enumerated keyword anonymous was used. See CORS settings attributes for additional information.


Prevents the browser from suggesting a Picture-in-Picture context menu or to request Picture-in-Picture automatically in some cases.


A Boolean attribute used to disable the capability of remote playback in devices that are attached using wired (HDMI, DVI, etc.) and wireless technologies (Miracast, Chromecast, DLNA, AirPlay, etc.).

In Safari, you can use x-webkit-airplay="deny" as a fallback.


The height of the video's display area, in CSS pixels (absolute values only; no percentages).


A Boolean attribute; if specified, the browser will automatically seek back to the start upon reaching the end of the video.


A Boolean attribute that indicates the default audio mute setting contained in the video. If set, the audio will be initially silenced. Its default value is false, meaning the audio will be played when the video is played.


A Boolean attribute indicating that the video is to be played "inline", that is, within the element's playback area. Note that the absence of this attribute does not imply that the video will always be played in fullscreen.


A URL for an image to be shown while the video is downloading. If this attribute isn't specified, nothing is displayed until the first frame is available, then the first frame is shown as the poster frame.


This enumerated attribute is intended to provide a hint to the browser about what the author thinks will lead to the best user experience regarding what content is loaded before the video is played. It may have one of the following values:

  • none: Indicates that the video should not be preloaded.
  • metadata: Indicates that only video metadata (e.g. length) is fetched.
  • auto: Indicates that the whole video file can be downloaded, even if the user is not expected to use it.
  • empty string: A synonym of the auto value.

The default value is different for each browser. The spec advises it to be set to metadata.


  • The autoplay attribute has precedence over preload. If autoplay is specified, the browser would obviously need to start downloading the video for playback.
  • The specification does not force the browser to follow the value of this attribute; it is a mere hint.

The URL of the video to embed. This is optional; you may instead use the <source> element within the video block to specify the video to embed.


The width of the video's display area, in CSS pixels (absolute values only; no percentages).


Event Name Fired When
audioprocess Deprecated The input buffer of a ScriptProcessorNode is ready to be processed.
canplay The browser can play the media, but estimates that not enough data has been loaded to play the media up to its end without having to stop for further buffering of content.
canplaythrough The browser estimates it can play the media up to its end without stopping for content buffering.
complete The rendering of an OfflineAudioContext is terminated.
durationchange The duration attribute has been updated.
emptied The media has become empty; for example, this event is sent if the media has already been loaded (or partially loaded), and the load() method is called to reload it.
ended Playback has stopped because the end of the media was reached.
error An error occurred while fetching the media data, or the type of the resource is not a supported media format.
loadeddata The first frame of the media has finished loading.
loadedmetadata The metadata has been loaded.
loadstart Fired when the browser has started to load the resource.
pause Playback has been paused.
play Playback has begun.
playing Playback is ready to start after having been paused or delayed due to lack of data.
progress Fired periodically as the browser loads a resource.
ratechange The playback rate has changed.
seeked A seek operation completed.
seeking A seek operation began.
stalled The user agent is trying to fetch media data, but data is unexpectedly not forthcoming.
suspend Media data loading has been suspended.
timeupdate The time indicated by the currentTime attribute has been updated.
volumechange The volume has changed.
waiting Playback has stopped because of a temporary lack of data.

Usage notes

Browsers don't all support the same video formats; you can provide multiple sources inside nested <source> elements, and the browser will then use the first one it understands.


<video controls> <source src="myVideo.webm" type="video/webm" /> <source src="myVideo.mp4" type="video/mp4" /> <p> Your browser doesn't support HTML video. Here is a <a href="myVideo.mp4" download="myVideo.mp4">link to the video</a> instead. </p></video>

We offer a substantive and thorough guide to media file types and the guide to the codecs supported for video. Also available is a guide to audio codecs that can be used with them.

Other usage notes:

  • If you don't specify the controls attribute, the video won't include the browser's default controls; you can create your own custom controls using JavaScript and the HTMLMediaElement API. See Creating a cross-browser video player for more details.
  • To allow precise control over your video (and audio) content, HTMLMediaElements fire many different events. In addition to providing controllability, these events let you monitor the progress of both download and playback of the media, as well as the playback state and position.
  • You can use the object-position property to adjust the positioning of the video within the element's frame, and the object-fit property to control how the video's size is adjusted to fit within the frame.
  • To show subtitles/captions along with your video, you can use some JavaScript along with the <track> element and the WebVTT format. See Adding captions and subtitles to HTML video for more information.
  • You can play audio files using a <video> element. This can be useful if, for example, you need to perform audio with a WebVTT transcript, since the <audio> element doesn't allow captions using WebVTT.
  • To test the fallback content on browsers that support the element, you can replace <video> with a non-existing element like <notavideo>.

A good general source of information on using HTML <video> is the Video and audio content beginner's tutorial.

Styling with CSS

The <video> element is a replaced element — its display value is inline by default — but its default width and height in the viewport is defined by the video being embedded.

There are no special considerations for styling <video>; a common strategy is to give it a display value of block to make it easier to position, size, etc., and then provide styling and layout information as required. Video player styling basics provides some useful styling techniques.

Detecting track addition and removal

You can detect when tracks are added to and removed from a <video> element using the addtrack and removetrack events. However, these events aren't sent directly to the <video> element itself. Instead, they're sent to the track list object within the <video> element's HTMLMediaElement that corresponds to the type of track that was added to the element:


An AudioTrackList containing all of the media element's audio tracks. You can add a listener for addtrack to this object to be alerted when new audio tracks are added to the element.


Add an addtrack listener to this VideoTrackList object to be informed when video tracks are added to the element.


Add an addtrack event listener to this TextTrackList to be notified when new text tracks are added to the element.

For example, to detect when audio tracks are added to or removed from a <video> element, you can use code like this:


const elem = document.querySelector("video");elem.audioTracks.onaddtrack = (event) => { trackEditor.addTrack(event.track);};elem.audioTracks.onremovetrack = (event) => { trackEditor.removeTrack(event.track);};

This code watches for audio tracks to be added to and removed from the element, and calls a hypothetical function on a track editor to register and remove the track from the editor's list of available tracks.

You can also use addEventListener() to listen for the addtrack and removetrack events.

Server support for video

If the MIME type for the video is not set correctly on the server, the video may not show or show a gray box containing an X (if JavaScript is enabled).

If you use Apache Web Server to serve WebM videos, you can fix this problem by adding the video file type extensions to the video/webm MIME type (the most common WebM file extension is .webm). To do this, edit the mime.types file in /etc/apache or use the AddType configuration directive in httpd.conf:

AddType video/webm .webm

Your web host may provide an easy interface to MIME type configuration changes for new technologies until a global update naturally occurs.


Videos should provide both captions and transcripts that accurately describe their content (see Adding captions and subtitles to HTML video for more information on how to implement these). Captions allow people who are experiencing hearing loss to understand a video's audio content as the video is being played, while transcripts allow people who need additional time to be able to review audio content at a pace and format that is comfortable for them.

It's worth noting that while you can caption audio-only media, you can only do so when playing audio in a <video> element since the video region of the element is used to present the captions. This is one of the special scenarios in which it's useful to play audio in a video element.

If automatic captioning services are used, it is important to review the generated content to ensure it accurately represents the source video.

In addition to spoken dialog, subtitles and transcripts should also identify music and sound effects that communicate important information. This includes emotion and tone:

1400:03:14 --> 00:03:18[Dramatic rock music]1500:03:19 --> 00:03:21[whispering] What's that off in the distance?1600:03:22 --> 00:03:24It's… it's a…16 00:03:25 --> 00:03:32[Loud thumping][Dishes clattering]

Captions should not obstruct the main subject of the video. They can be positioned using the align VTT cue setting.


Single source

This example plays a video when activated, providing the user with the browser's default video controls to control playback.



<!-- Simple video example --><!-- 'Big Buck Bunny' licensed under CC 3.0 by the Blender foundation. Hosted by archive.org --><!-- Poster from peach.blender.org --><video controls src="https://archive.org/download/BigBuckBunny_124/Content/big_buck_bunny_720p_surround.mp4" poster="https://peach.blender.org/wp-content/uploads/title_anouncement.jpg?x11217" width="620"> Sorry, your browser doesn't support embedded videos, but don't worry, you can <a href="https://archive.org/details/BigBuckBunny_124">download it</a> and watch it with your favorite video player!</video>


Until the video starts playing, the image provided in the poster attribute is displayed in its place. If the browser doesn't support video playback, it displays the fallback text.

Multiple sources

This example builds on the last one, offering three different sources for the media; this allows the video to be watched regardless of which video codecs are supported by the browser.



<!-- Using multiple sources as fallbacks for a video tag --><!-- 'Elephants Dream' by Orange Open Movie Project Studio, licensed under CC-3.0, hosted by archive.org --><!-- Poster hosted by Wikimedia --><video width="620" controls poster="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Elephants_Dream_s5_both.jpg"> <source src="https://archive.org/download/ElephantsDream/ed_hd.avi" type="video/avi" /> <source src="https://archive.org/download/ElephantsDream/ed_1024_512kb.mp4" type="video/mp4" /> Sorry, your browser doesn't support embedded videos, but don't worry, you can <a href="https://archive.org/download/ElephantsDream/ed_1024_512kb.mp4" download="ed_1024_512kb.mp4"> download the MP4 </a> and watch it with your favorite video player!</video>


First AVI is tried. If that can't be played, MP4 is tried. A fallback message is displayed if the video element isn't supported, but not if all sources fail.

Some media file types let you provide more specific information using the codecs parameter as part of the file's type string. A relatively simple example is video/webm; codecs="vp8, vorbis", which says that the file is a WebM video using VP8 for its video and Vorbis for audio.

Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, embedded content. If it has a controls attribute: interactive content and palpable content.
Permitted content

If the element has a src attribute: zero or more <track> elements, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements–that is no <audio> or <video>.

Else: zero or more <source> elements, followed by zero or more <track> elements, followed by transparent content that contains no media elements–that is no <audio> or <video>.

Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts embedded content.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles application
DOM interface HTMLVideoElement


HTML Standard
# the-video-element

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also

  • Guide to media types and formats on the web
    • Media container formats (file types)
    • Web video codec guide
    • Web audio codec guide
  • Positioning and sizing the picture within its frame: object-position and object-fit
  • <audio>
  • Using HTML audio and video
  • Manipulating video using canvas
  • Configuring servers for Ogg media
<video>: The Video Embed element - HTML: HyperText Markup Language | MDN (2024)
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