Styling an input type=“file” button

0 votes
asked Feb 21, 2009 by shivanand

How to style the input type="file" button.

30 Answers

0 votes
answered Jan 21, 2009 by roman-m

the only way i can think of is to find the button with javascript after it gets rendered and assign a style to it

you might also look at this writeup

0 votes
answered Feb 3, 2009 by jonathan-moffatt

Styling file inputs is notoriously difficult, as most browsers will not change the appearance from either css or javascript.

Even the size of the input will not respond to the likes of:

<input type="file" style="width:200px">

Instead you will need to use the size attribute:

<input type="file" size="60" />

For any styling more sophisticated than that (e.g. changing the look of the browse button) you will need to look at the tricksy approach of overlaying a styled button and input box on top of the native file input. The article already mentioned by rm at is the best one I've seen.

0 votes
answered Jan 4, 2011 by tlk

This is simple with jquery. To give a code example of Ryan's suggestion with a slight modification.

Basic html:

<div id="image_icon"></div>
<div id="filename"></div>
<input id="the_real_file_input" name="foobar" type="file">

Be sure to set the styling on the input when you're ready: opacity: 0 You can't set display: none because it needs to be clickable. But you can position it under the "new" button or tuck in under something else with z-index if you prefer.

Setup some jquery to click the real input when you click the image.

$('#image_icon').click(function() {

Now your button is working. Just cut and paste the value when changed.

$('input[type=file]').bind('change', function() {
    var str = "";
    str = $(this).val();

Tah dah! You may need to parse the val() to something more meaningful but you should be all set.

0 votes
answered Jan 5, 2011 by ryan

Hide it with css and use a custom button with $(selector).click() to activate the the browse button. then set an interval to check the value of the file input type. the interval can display the value for the user so the user can see whats getting uploaded. the interval will clear when the form is submitted [EDIT] Sorry i have been very busy was meaning to update this post, here is an example

<form action="uploadScript.php" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
    <!-- filename to display to the user -->
    <p id="file-name" class="margin-10 bold-10"></p>

    <!-- Hide this from the users view with css display:none; -->
    <input class="display-none" id="file-type" type="file" size="4" name="file"/>

    <!-- Style this button with type image or css whatever you wish -->
    <input id="browse-click" type="button" class="button" value="Browse for files"/>

    <!-- submit button -->
    <input type="submit" class="button" value="Change"/>

$(window).load(function () {
    var intervalFunc = function () {
    $('#browse-click').on('click', function () { // use .live() for older versions of jQuery
        setInterval(intervalFunc, 1);
        return false;
0 votes
answered Jan 2, 2012 by wykk


<div class="new_Btn">SelectPicture</div><br>
<input id="html_btn" type='file'" /><br>


.new_Btn {
// your css propterties

#html_btn {


$('.new_Btn').bind("click" , function () {
//edit: 6/20/2014: Be sure to use ".on" not ".bind" for newer versions of jQuery


You can reach your goals too without jQuery with normal JavaScript.

Now the newBtn is linkes with the html_btn and you can style your new btn like you want :D

0 votes
answered Jan 3, 2012 by teshguru

follow these steps then you can create custom styles for your file upload form:

1.) this is the simple html form(please read the html comments i have written here below)

    <form action="#type your action here" method="POST" enctype="multipart/form-data">
    <div id="yourBtn" style="height: 50px; width: 100px;border: 1px dashed #BBB; cursor:pointer;" onclick="getFile()">Click to upload!</div>
    <!-- this is your file input tag, so i hide it!-->
    <div style='height: 0px;width:0px; overflow:hidden;'><input id="upfile" type="file" value="upload"/></div>
    <!-- here you can have file submit button or you can write a simple script to upload the file automatically-->
    <input type="submit" value='submit' >

2.) then use this simple script to pass the click event to file input tag.

    function getFile(){

now you can use any type of a styling without worrying how to change default styles. i know this very well, because i have been trying to change the default styles for month and a half. believe me it's very hard because different browsers have different upload input tag. So use this one to build your custom file upload forms.Here is the full AUTOMATED UPLOAD code.

   position: relative;
       top: 150px;
   font-family: calibri;
   width: 150px;
   padding: 10px;
   -webkit-border-radius: 5px;
   -moz-border-radius: 5px;
   border: 1px dashed #BBB; 
   text-align: center;
   background-color: #DDD;
<script type="text/javascript">
 function getFile(){
 function sub(obj){
    var file = obj.value;
    var fileName = file.split("\\");
    document.getElementById("yourBtn").innerHTML = fileName[fileName.length-1];
<form action="#type your action here" method="POST" enctype="multipart/form-data" name="myForm">
<div id="yourBtn" onclick="getFile()">click to upload a file</div>
<!-- this is your file input tag, so i hide it!-->
<!-- i used the onchange event to fire the form submission-->
<div style='height: 0px;width: 0px; overflow:hidden;'><input id="upfile" type="file" value="upload" onchange="sub(this)"/></div>
<!-- here you can have file submit button or you can write a simple script to upload the file automatically-->
<!-- <input type="submit" value='submit' > -->


Have a Nice Day,

0 votes
answered Jan 20, 2012 by abbey

css can do a lot here... with a little trickery...

<div id='wrapper'>
  <input type='file' id='browse'>

#wrapper {
     width: 93px; /*play with this value */
     height: 28px; /*play with this value */
     background: url('browseBtn.png') 0 0 no-repeat;

     margin-left:-145px; /*play with this value */
     opacity:0; /* set to .5 or something so you can better position it as an overlay then back to zero again after you're done */
     -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=0)";
     filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=0);



0 votes
answered Jan 23, 2012 by jguo
    <input type="file" />

You can wrap your input type="file" inside of a label for the input. Style the label however you'd like and hide the input with display: none;

0 votes
answered Jan 1, 2013 by anselm-urban

All rendering engines automatically generate a button when an <input type="file"> is created. Historically, that button has been completely un-styleable. However, Trident and WebKit have added hooks through pseudo-elements.


As of IE10, the file input button can be styled using the ::-ms-browse pseudo-element. Basically, any CSS rules that you apply to a regular button can be applied to the pseudo-element. For example:

::-ms-browse {
  background: black;
  color: red;
  padding: 1em;
<input type="file">
0 votes
answered Jan 2, 2013 by kerry-liu

Here's a simple css only solution, that creates a consistent target area, and lets you style your faux elements however you like.

The basic idea is this:

  1. Have two "fake" elements (a text input/link) as siblings to your real file input. Absolutely position them so they're exactly on top of your target area.
  2. Wrap your file input with a div. Set overflow to hidden (so the file input doesn't spill out), and make it exactly the size that you want your target area to be.
  3. Set opacity to 0 on the file input so it's hidden but still clickable. Give it a large font size so the you can click on all portions of the target area.

Here's the jsfiddle:

    <input id="faux" type="text" placeholder="Upload a file from your computer" />
    <a href="#" id="browse">Browse </a>
    <div id="wrapper">
        <input id="input" size="100" type="file" />
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