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HTML DOM removeChild() Method

Element Object Reference Element Object

Example

Remove the first <li> element from a list:

var list = document.getElementById("myList");   // Get the <ul> element with id="myList"
list.removeChild(list.childNodes[0]);           // Remove <ul>'s first child node (index 0)

Before removing:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk

After removing:

  • Tea
  • Milk

Try it yourself »

More "Try it Yourself" examples below.


Definition and Usage

The removeChild() method removes a specified child node of the specified element.

Returns the removed node as a Node object, or null if the node does not exist.

Note: The removed child node is no longer part of the DOM. However, with the reference returned by this method, it is possible to insert the removed child to an element at a later time  (See "More Examples").

Tip: Use the appendChild() or insertBefore() method to insert the removed node into the same document. To insert it to another document, use the document.adoptNode() or document.importNode() method.


Browser Support

Method
removeChild() Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Syntax

node.removeChild(node)

Parameter Values

Parameter Type Description
node Node object Required. The node object you want to remove

Technical Details

Return Value: A Node object, representing the removed node, or null if the node does not exist
DOM Version Core Level 1 Node Object


Examples

More Examples

Example

Find out if a list has any child nodes. If so, remove its first child node (index 0):

// Get the <ul> element with id="myList"
var list = document.getElementById("myList");

// If the <ul> element has any child nodes, remove its first child node
if (list.hasChildNodes()) {
    list.removeChild(list.childNodes[0]);
}

Before removing:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk

Before removing:

  • Tea
  • Milk

Try it yourself »

Example

Remove all child nodes of a list:

// Get the <ul> element with id="myList"
var list = document.getElementById("myList");

// As long as <ul> has a child node, remove it
while (list.hasChildNodes()) {  
    list.removeChild(list.firstChild);
}

Before removing:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk

After removing:


Try it yourself »

Example

Remove a <li> element with id="myLI" from its parent element (without specifying its parent node):

var item = document.getElementById("myLI");
item.parentNode.removeChild(item);

Before removing:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk

After removing:

  • Coffee
  • Milk

Try it yourself »

Example

Remove a <li> element from its parent, and insert it again:

var item = document.getElementById("myLI");

function removeLi() {
    item.parentNode.removeChild(item);
}

function appendLi() {
    var list = document.getElementById("myList");
    list.appendChild(item);
}

Try it yourself »

Example

Remove a <span> element from its parent and insert it to an <h1> element in another document:

var child = document.getElementById("mySpan");

function removeLi() {
    child.parentNode.removeChild(child);
}

function myFunction() {
    var frame = document.getElementsByTagName("IFRAME")[0]
    var h = frame.contentWindow.document.getElementsByTagName("H1")[0];
    var x = document.adoptNode(child);
    h.appendChild(x);
}

Try it yourself »


Element Object Reference Element Object


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