Check box

Updated: 11/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Check boxes

A check box, selection box, or tick box is a small interactive box that the user can toggle to indicate an affirmative or negative choice. It is frequently found in HTML (hypertext markup language) input forms, dialog boxes, and the GUIs of applications and operating systems.

When clicked, a check mark (✓) appears inside the box to indicate an affirmative choice (yes). The check mark disappears when clicked again, indicating a negative choice (no).

Check boxes are used when more than one option may need to be checked or as an easy way to turn a setting on or off in a program. Checking the box enables that setting, and unchecking turns it off.

Check box example

Below is an interactive example of multiple check boxes. To select a check box or place a check in the check box with a computer mouse, click the check box with the left mouse button. To check a check box with a touch screen, tap your finger on the check box. If a box is checked, it can be unchecked by clicking or tapping the box again.

Check box 1
Check box 2
Check box 3
Check box 4
Check box 5


If you're using a smartphone or tablet, the small screen size can make it difficult to tap a check box. On these devices, you can zoom in on the screen to enlarge the check box, making it easier to tap. To zoom in, pinch with your fingers using an outward motion.


Depending on your browser and device, the check box mark may be a check mark, X, or a solid box to indicate it's selected.

How to place a check in a check box using a keyboard?

To check a check box with the keyboard, press Tab until the check box is highlighted, and then press the spacebar to check or uncheck the box. You can try this now in the check boxes below.

Check box 1
Check box 2
Check box 3


If pressing Tab does not immediately select the boxes above in your browser, you need to keep pressing Tab until they're selected. Alternatively, you could first click the box with your mouse and then press the spacebar to uncheck and check the box.

How to create a check box on my HTML web page

To create a check box on a web page, use the <input> tag as shown below. The code below is from the example above that created the check box followed by the "Check box 1" text.

<input type="checkbox" name="Example-1" value="on" id="Example-1"> Check box 1

To act on what's checked, the above code must be included in a <form> tag submitted as part of the form. When submitted, it's sent to a Perl, PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor), Python, or another scripting language that grabs what check box was checked and performs the necessary action.

Difference between a check box and a radio button

A check box is always square and allows one or more items to be selected. A radio button is a circle that only allows one option to be selected. If you're creating a list that needs multiple options selected, use check boxes. If you want only one option to be selected and prevent multiple options from being selected, use a radio button.

Should I use "checkbox" or "check box" in my writing?

Both forms are correct, and their usage depends on your style guide. When describing a selectable box or object, we follow the Microsoft Manual of Style and write "check box" as two words in all our writing. It should be one word when describing an attribute value, such as the "checkbox" value in an HTML input tag.


According to Google Trends, "checkbox" is used more than "check box."

Check, Internet terms, List box, Push button, Radio button, Software terms