How to Toggle a Checkbox Using JavaScript?

Programmatically toggle a checkbox using JavaScript

In this article we'll look at some ways to programmatically toggle a checkbox using JavaScript. Let's consider we have the following checkbox element:

<input type="checkbox" id="toggle-me" />

But before we can toggle the checkbox, we first need to select it. Let's, for example, select it by its id like so:

const checkbox = document.getElementById('toggle-me');

Toggle Checkbox by Using Inverse of Checkbox checked Property

By simply using the logical NOT operator (!) we can get the inverse value of checkbox.checked. If we assign that to the checked property of the checkbox input field, we can toggle the checkbox. For example:

checkbox.checked = !checkbox.checked;

Toggle Checkbox Using the Bitwise XOR Operator

Although, the XOR operator may not appear very readable, it is very easy to understand. It is denoted by the caret symbol (^), and evaluates to the following:

a b a ^ b
0 0 0
0 1 1
1 0 1
1 1 0

With that information, you can deduce that a ^ b evaluates to true when a and b have different values, and false when they have the same values. Therefore, we can simply do:

checkbox.checked = checkbox.checked ^ 1;

Or (preferably) use the shorthand equivalent:

checkbox.checked ^= 1;

If you follow the results of the bitwise XOR operations, it might help you understand the following table (which illustrates the way toggling the checkbox checked value works with the XOR operator):

checkbox.checked 1 checkbox.checked ^ 1
false true true
true true false

Toggle Checkbox by Simulating a Mouse Click

By using the click() method on the checkbox we can simulate a mouse click, which would flip the checkbox value. For example:

checkbox.click();

Please note that this would fire the checkbox's click event, and bubble up to elements higher in the document tree (or event chain) and fire their click events as well.


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