How to prevent anchor behavior with JavaScript?

Estimated read time 2 min read

To prevent the default behavior of an anchor tag in JavaScript, you can use the preventDefault() method on the event object that is passed to an event listener.

Here’s an example of how to prevent an anchor tag from navigating to a new URL when it is clicked:

// Get a reference to the anchor tag
const link = document.querySelector('a');

// Add an event listener for the click event
link.addEventListener('click', function(event) {
  // Prevent the default behavior of the anchor tag
  event.preventDefault();
});

In this example, we use the document.querySelector() method to get a reference to an anchor tag on the page. We then add an event listener for the click event using the addEventListener() method.

Inside the event listener function, we use the preventDefault() method on the event object to prevent the default behavior of the anchor tag. In this case, clicking the anchor tag will not navigate to a new URL.

Note that you can also use the return false statement inside the event listener function to achieve the same result. For example:

link.addEventListener('click', function() {
  // Prevent the default behavior of the anchor tag
  return false;
});

However, using preventDefault() is usually preferred over return false, as preventDefault() provides more fine-grained control over the event behavior, and can be used in combination with other event handling code.

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