Understanding Success Criterion 2.4.7: Focus Visible

Success Criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible (Level AA): Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible.


The purpose of this success criterion is to help a person know which element has the keyboard focus.

“Mode of operation” accounts for user agents which may not always show a focus indicator, or only show the focus indicator when the keyboard is used. User agents may optimise when the focus indicator is shown, such as only showing it when a keyboard is used. Authors are responsible for providing at least one mode of operation where the focus is visible. In most cases there is only one mode of operation so this success criterion applies. The focus indicator must not be time limited, when the keyboard focus is shown it must remain.

Note that a keyboard focus indicator can take different forms.



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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. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

  1. G149: Using user interface components that are highlighted by the user agent when they receive focus
  2. C15: Using CSS to change the presentation of a user interface component when it receives focus
  3. G165: Using the default focus indicator for the platform so that high visibility default focus indicators will carry over
  4. G195: Using an author-supplied, visible focus indicator
  5. C40: Creating a two-color focus indicator to ensure sufficient contrast with all components
  6. SCR31: Using script to change the background color or border of the element with focus


The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.