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How TO - Hoverable Dropdown

Learn how to create a hoverable dropdown menu with CSS.


A dropdown menu is a toggleable menu that allows the user to choose one value from a predefined list:

Try it Yourself »

Create A Hoverable Dropdown

Create a dropdown menu that appears when the user moves the mouse over an element.

Step 1) Add HTML:


<div class="dropdown">
  <button class="dropbtn">Dropdown</button>
  <div class="dropdown-content">
    <a href="#">Link 1</a>
    <a href="#">Link 2</a>
    <a href="#">Link 3</a>

Example Explained

Use any element to open the dropdown menu, e.g. a <button>, <a> or <p> element.

Use a container element (like <div>) to create the dropdown menu and add the dropdown links inside it.

Wrap a <div> element around the button and the <div> to position the dropdown menu correctly with CSS.

Step 2) Add CSS:


/* Dropdown Button */
.dropbtn {
    background-color: #4CAF50;
    color: white;
    padding: 16px;
    font-size: 16px;
    border: none;

/* The container <div> - needed to position the dropdown content */
.dropdown {
    position: relative;
    display: inline-block;

/* Dropdown Content (Hidden by Default) */
.dropdown-content {
    display: none;
    position: absolute;
    background-color: #f1f1f1;
    min-width: 160px;
    box-shadow: 0px 8px 16px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);
    z-index: 1;

/* Links inside the dropdown */
.dropdown-content a {
    color: black;
    padding: 12px 16px;
    text-decoration: none;
    display: block;

/* Change color of dropdown links on hover */
.dropdown-content a:hover {background-color: #ddd}

/* Show the dropdown menu on hover */
.dropdown:hover .dropdown-content {
    display: block;

/* Change the background color of the dropdown button when the dropdown content is shown */
.dropdown:hover .dropbtn {
    background-color: #3e8e41;
Try it Yourself »

Example Explained

We have styled the dropdown button with a background-color, padding, etc.

The .dropdown class uses position:relative, which is needed when we want the dropdown content to be placed right below the dropdown button (using position:absolute).

The .dropdown-content class holds the actual dropdown menu. It is hidden by default, and will be displayed on hover (see below). Note the min-width is set to 160px. Feel free to change this. Tip: If you want the width of the dropdown content to be as wide as the dropdown button, set the width to 100% (and overflow:auto to enable scroll on small screens).

Instead of using a border, we have used the box-shadow property to make the dropdown menu look like a "card". We also use z-index to place the dropdown in front of other elements.

The :hover selector is used to show the dropdown menu when the user moves the mouse over the dropdown button.

Right-aligned dropdown

Dropdown Menu in Navbar

Tip: Go to our CSS Dropdowns Tutorial to learn more about dropdowns.

Tip: Go to our Clickable Dropdowns to learn more about clickable dropdowns