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How do I simulate a mouseover in pure JavaScript that activates the CSS “:hover”?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


I’ve been trying to find code to simulate mouseover in Chrome but even though the “mouseover” listener gets fired, the CSS “hover” declaration is never set!

I tried also doing:

//Called within mouseover listener

But nothing seems to change the element to what is declared in its hover declaration.

Is this possible?


You can’t. It’s not a trusted event.

Events that are generated by the user agent, either as a result of user interaction, or as a direct result of changes to the DOM, are trusted by the user agent with privileges that are not afforded to events generated by script through the DocumentEvent.createEvent(“Event”) method, modified using the Event.initEvent() method, or dispatched via the EventTarget.dispatchEvent() method. The isTrusted attribute of trusted events has a value of true, while untrusted events have a isTrusted attribute value of false.

Most untrusted events should not trigger default actions, with the exception of click or DOMActivate events.

You have to add a class and add/remove that on the mouseover/mouseout events manually.



I stumbled upon this question while trying to write automated tests, to verify, that a certain set of elements on a given page all receive have the some set of css properties set by the css for on hover events.

While the above answer perfectly explains, why it is not possible to simply trigger the hover event by JS and then take a prove of some css value of interest, it does answer the initial question “How do I simulate a mouseover in pure JavaScript that activates the CSS “:hover”?” only partly.


This is not a performant solution. We use it only for automated testing, where performance is not a concern.


simulateCssEvent = function(type){
    var id = 'simulatedStyle';

    var generateEvent = function(selector){
        var style = "";
        for (var i in document.styleSheets) {
            var rules = document.styleSheets[i].cssRules;
            for (var r in rules) {
                if(rules[r].cssText && rules[r].selectorText){
                    if(rules[r].selectorText.indexOf(selector) > -1){
                        var regex = new RegExp(selector,"g")
                        var text = rules[r].cssText.replace(regex,"");
                        style += text+"\n";
        $("head").append("<style id="+id+">"+style+"</style>");

    var stopEvent = function(){

    switch(type) {
        case "hover":
            return generateEvent(":hover");
        case "stop":
            return stopEvent();


generateEvent reads all css files, , replaces :hover with an empty string and applies it. This has the effect, that all :hover styles are applied. Now one can probe for a howered style and set back to initial state by stopping the Simulation.

Why do we apply the hover effect for the whole document and not just for the element of interest by getting the from the sheets and then perform a element.css(…)?

Done as that, the style would be applied inline, this would override other styles, which might not be overriden by the original css hover-style.

How would I now simulate the hover for a single element?

This is not performant, so better don’t. If you must, you could check with the element.is(selectorOfInterest) if the style applies for your element and only use those styles.


In Jasmine you can e.g. now perform:

describe("Simulate CSS Event", function() {
    it("Simulate Link Hover", function () {


What I usually do in this case is adding a class using javascript.. and attaching the same CSS as the :hover to this class

Try using theElement.onmouseover=function(){theElement.className = 'hovered'};

you will ofcourse have to use onmouseout to remove the “hovered” class when you leave the element…