How do I programmatically set the value of a select box element using JavaScript?

How do I programmatically set the value of a select box element using JavaScript?

I have the following HTML

Using a JavaScript function with the leaveCode number as a parameter, how do I select the appropriate option in the list?


Solution 1:

SelectElement("leaveCode", valueToSelect)

function SelectElement(id, valueToSelect)
    var element = document.getElementById(id);
    element.value = valueToSelect;

Solution 2:

If you are using jQuery you can also do this:


This will select the <option> with the value of 14.

With plain Javascript, this can also be achieved with two Document methods:

  • With document.querySelector, you can select an element based on a CSS selector:

    document.querySelector('#leaveCode').value = '14'
  • Using the more established approach with document.getElementById(), that will, as the name of the function implies, let you select an element based on its id:

    document.getElementById('leaveCode').value = '14'

You can run the below code snipped to see these methods and the jQuery function in action:

const jQueryFunction = () => {

const querySelectorFunction = () => {
  document.querySelector('#leaveCode').value = '14' 

const getElementByIdFunction = () => {
input {
  margin: 10px;
  padding: 10px
<select id="leaveCode" name="leaveCode">
  <option value="10">Annual Leave</option>
  <option value="11">Medical Leave</option>
  <option value="14">Long Service</option>
  <option value="17">Leave Without Pay</option>

<input type="button" value="$('#leaveCode').val('14');" onclick="jQueryFunction()" />
<input type="button" value="document.querySelector('#leaveCode').value = '14'" onclick="querySelectorFunction()" />
<input type="button" value="document.getElementById('leaveCode').value = '14'" onclick="getElementByIdFunction()" />

<script src=""></script>

Solution 3:

function setSelectValue (id, val) {
    document.getElementById(id).value = val;
setSelectValue('leaveCode', 14);

Solution 4:

Not answering the question, but you can also select by index, where i is the index of the item you wish to select:

var formObj = document.getElementById('myForm');
formObj.leaveCode[i].selected = true;

You can also loop through the items to select by display value with a loop:

for (var i = 0, len < formObj.leaveCode.length; i < len; i++) 
    if (formObj.leaveCode[i].value == 'xxx') formObj.leaveCode[i].selected = true;

Solution 5:

I compared the different methods:

Comparison of the different ways on how to set a value of a select with JS or jQuery


$(function() {
    var oldT = new Date().getTime();
     var element = document.getElementById('myId');
    element.value = 4;
    console.error(new Date().getTime() - oldT);

    oldT = new Date().getTime();
    $("#myId option").filter(function() {
        return $(this).attr('value') == 4;
    }).attr('selected', true);
    console.error(new Date().getTime() - oldT);

    oldT = new Date().getTime();
    console.error(new Date().getTime() - oldT);


Output on a select with ~4000 elements:

1 ms

58 ms

612 ms

With Firefox 10. Note: The only reason I did this test, was because jQuery performed super poorly on our list with ~2000 entries (they had longer texts between the options).
We had roughly 2 s delay after a val()

Note as well: I am setting value depending on the real value, not the text value

Solution 6:

document.getElementById('leaveCode').value = '10';

That should set the selection to “Annual Leave”