Pointer capture allows events for a particular pointer event (PointerEvent) to be re-targeted to a particular element instead of the normal target (or hit test) at a pointer's location. This can be used to ensure that an element continues to receive pointer events even if the pointer device's contact moves off the element (for example by scrolling).

setPointerCapture() is the method of the Element interface used to designate a specific element as the capture target of future pointer events. Subsequent events for the pointer will be targeted at capture element until capture is released (via Element.releasePointerCapture).

When pointer capture is set, pointerover, pointerout pointerenter and pointerleave events are only generated when crossing the boundary of the element that has capture set since other elements can no longer be targeted by the pointer. This has the effect of suppressing these events on all other elements.




The identifier for a pointer event.

Return value

This method returns void and throws a DOMException with the name InvalidPointerId if pointerId does not match any of the active pointers.


function downHandler(ev) {
 var el=document.getElementById("target");
 //Element 'target' will receive/capture further events
function init() {
 var el=document.getElementById("target");
 el.onpointerdown = downHandler;
<body onload="init();">
<div id="target"> Touch me ... </div>


Specification Status Comment
Pointer Events – Level 2
The definition of 'setPointerCapture' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Non-stable version.
Pointer Events
The definition of 'setPointerCapture' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support Not supported (Yes) [1] 10 Not supported Not supported
Feature Android Android Webview Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Not supported 10 Not supported Not supported

[1] Implementation withdrawn. See bug 1166347.

See also


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Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.

API DOM Element Method PointerEvent Reference