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Prevent the page from scrolling to an element when it is focused

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
Level 1 — Basic
19 Oct, 2021
An element can be focused by either using the `autofocus="true"` attribute or calling the `element.focus()` method. In both cases, the browser will automatically scroll the element into the viewport. It is not a problem in most cases but I have seen a few scenarios where we would like to avoid the behaviour.
For example, focusing on a text field inside a modal automatically might scroll the page to the top.
There are two solutions to prevent this behaviour.

Use the preventScroll option

We can pass the `preventScroll` option to the `focus()` method as following:
preventScroll: true,
However, the option is not fully supported in all browsers. Check out the web-platform-tests and Can I use pages.

Scroll to the previous point

This approach works in all browsers. We store the mouse location before calling the `focus()` method, and then scroll to that location later:
const x = window.scrollX;
const y = window.scrollY;

// Scroll to the previous location
window.scrollTo(x, y);

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Phước Nguyễn