Understanding WCAG 2.0

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Pause, Stop, Hide:
Understanding SC 2.2.2

2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide: For moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information, all of the following are true: (Level A)

  • Moving, blinking, scrolling: For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; and

  • Auto-updating: For any auto-updating information that (1) starts automatically[begin delete], (2) lasts more than three seconds, and (3)[end delete][begin add] and (2)[end add] is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it or to control the frequency of the update unless the auto-updating is part of an activity where it is essential.

Note 1: For requirements related to flickering or flashing content, refer to Guideline 2.3.

Note 2: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user's ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

Note 3: Content that is [begin add]updated periodically by software, or that is streamed to the user agent[end add][begin delete]updated from a process, real-time or remote stream[end delete] is not required to preserve or present information that is generated or received between the initiation of the pause and resuming presentation, as this may not be technically possible, and in many situations could be misleading to do so. [2617]

Note 4: An animation that occurs as part of a preload phase or similar situation can be considered essential if interaction cannot occur during that phase for all users, and if not indicating progress could confuse users or cause them to think that content was frozen or broken.

Intent of this Success Criterion

The intent of this Success Criterion is to avoid distracting users during their interaction with a Web page.

"Moving, blinking and scrolling" refers to content in which the visible content conveys a sense of motion. Common examples include motion pictures, synchronized media presentations, animations, real-time games, and scrolling stock tickers. "Auto-updating" refers to content that updates or disappears based on a preset time interval. Common time-based content includes audio, automatically updated weather information, news, stock price updates, and auto-advancing presentations and messages. The requirements for moving, blinking and scrolling content and for auto-updating content are the same except that:[begin delete] authors have the option of providing the user with a means to control the frequency of updates when content is auto-updating.[end delete]

[begin add]
  • authors have the option of providing the user with a means to control the frequency of updates when content is auto-updating and

  • there is no three second exception for auto-updating since it makes little sense to auto-update for just three seconds and then stop

[end add]

Content that moves or auto-updates can be a barrier to anyone who has trouble reading stationary text quickly as well as anyone who has trouble tracking moving objects. It can also cause problems for screen readers.

Moving content can also be a severe distraction for some people. Certain groups, particularly those with attention deficit disorders, find blinking content distracting, making it difficult for them to concentrate on other parts of the Web page. Five seconds was chosen because it is long enough to get a user's attention, but not so long that a user cannot wait out the distraction if necessary to use the page.

Content that is paused can either resume in real-time or continue playing from the point in the presentation where the user left off.

  1. Pausing and resuming where the user left off is best for users who want to pause to read content and works best when the content is not associated with a real-time event or status.

    Note: See Understanding Success Criterion 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable for additional requirements related to time-limits for reading.

  2. Pausing and jumping to current display (when pause is released) is better for information that is real-time or "status" in nature. For example, weather radar, a stock ticker, a traffic camera, or an auction timer, would present misleading information if a pause caused it to display old information when the content was restarted.

    Note: Hiding content would have the same result as pausing and jumping to current display (when pause is released).

Note: The terms "blinking" and "flashing" can sometimes refer to the same content.

  • "Blinking" refers to content that causes a distraction problem. Blinking can be allowed for a short time as long as it stops (or can be stopped)

  • "Flashing" refers to content that can trigger a seizure (if it is more than 3 per second and large and bright enough). This cannot be allowed even for a second or it could cause a seizure. And turning the flash off is also not an option since the seizure could occur faster than most users could turn it off.

  • Blinking usually does not occur at speeds of 3 per second or more, but it can. If blinking occurs faster than 3 per second, it would also be considered a flash.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion 2.2.2:

  • Providing content that stops blinking after five seconds or providing a mechanism for users to stop blinking content allows people with certain disabilities to interact with the Web page.

  • One use of content that blinks is to draw the visitor's attention to that content. Although this is an effective technique for all users with vision, it can be a problem for some users if it persists. For certain groups, including people with low literacy, reading and intellectual disabilities, and people with attention deficit disorders, content that blinks may make it difficult or even impossible to interact with the rest of the Web page.

Examples of Success Criterion 2.2.2

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

(none currently documented)

Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 2.2.2 - Pause, Stop, Hide

Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. The techniques listed only satisfy the Success Criterion if all of the WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements have been met.

Additional Techniques (Advisory) for 2.2.2

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

  • Providing a mechanism to stop all content that blinks within a Web page (future link)

  • Providing the user with a means to stop moving content even if it stops automatically within 5 seconds (future link)

Key Terms


switch back and forth between two visual states in a way that is meant to draw attention

Note: See also flash. It is possible for something to be large enough and blink brightly enough at the right frequency to be also classified as a flash.


if removed, would fundamentally change the information or functionality of the content, and information and functionality can not be achieved in another way that would conform


stopped by user request and not resumed until requested by user