HTML form readonly SELECT tag/input

HTML form readonly SELECT tag/input

According to HTML specs, the select tag in HTML doesn’t have a readonly attribute, only a disabled attribute. So if you want to keep the user from changing the dropdown, you have to use disabled.
The only problem is that disabled HTML form inputs don’t get included in the POST / GET data.
What’s the best way to emulate the readonly attribute for a select tag, and still get the POST data?


Solution 1:

You should keep the select element disabled but also add another hidden input with the same name and value.

If you reenable your SELECT, you should copy its value to the hidden input in an onchange event and disable (or remove) the hidden input.

Here is a demo:

$('#mainform').submit(function() {
    return false;

$('#enableselect').click(function() {
    $('#mainform input[name=animal]')
        .attr("disabled", true);
        .attr('disabled', false)
    	.attr('name', 'animal');
    return false;
#formdata_container {
    padding: 10px;
<script src=""></script>
    <form id="mainform">
        <select id="animal-select" disabled="true">
            <option value="cat" selected>Cat</option>
            <option value="dog">Dog</option>
            <option value="hamster">Hamster</option>
        <input type="hidden" name="animal" value="cat"/>
        <button id="enableselect">Enable</button>
        <select name="color">
            <option value="blue" selected>Blue</option>
            <option value="green">Green</option>
            <option value="red">Red</option>

        <input type="submit"/>

<div id="formdata_container" style="display:none">
    <div>Submitted data:</div>
    <div id="formdata">

Solution 2:

We could also use this

Disable all except the selected option:

    <option disabled>1</option>
    <option selected>2</option>
    <option disabled>3</option>

This way the dropdown still works (and submits its value) but the user can not select another value.


Solution 3:

You can re-enable the select object on submit.

EDIT: i.e., normally disabling the select tag (with the disabled attribute) and then re-enabling it automatically just before submiting the form:

Example with jQuery:

  • To disable it:

    $('#yourSelect').prop('disabled', true);
  • To re-enable it before submission so that GET / POST data is included:

    $('#yourForm').on('submit', function() {
        $('#yourSelect').prop('disabled', false);

In addition, you could re-enable every disabled input or select:

$('#yourForm').on('submit', function() {
    $('input, select').prop('disabled', false);

Solution 4:

another way of doing a readOnly attribute to a select element is by using css

you could do like :



Solution 5:

<select id="countries" onfocus="this.defaultIndex=this.selectedIndex;" onchange="this.selectedIndex=this.defaultIndex;">
<option value="1">Country1</option>
<option value="2">Country2</option>
<option value="3">Country3</option>
<option value="4">Country4</option>
<option value="5">Country5</option>
<option value="6">Country6</option>
<option value="7" selected="selected">Country7</option>
<option value="8">Country8</option>
<option value="9">Country9</option>

Tested and working in IE 6, 7 & 8b2, Firefox 2 & 3, Opera 9.62, Safari 3.2.1 for Windows and Google Chrome.

Solution 6:

Simple jQuery solution

Use this if your selects have the readonly class

jQuery('select.readonly option:not(:selected)').attr('disabled',true);

Or this if your selects have the readonly="readonly" attribute

$('select[readonly="readonly"] option:not(:selected)').attr('disabled',true);