6 Loading Web pages

This section describes features that apply most directly to Web browsers. Having said that, except where specified otherwise, the requirements defined in this section do apply to all user agents, whether they are Web browsers or not.

6.1 Browsing contexts

A browsing context is an environment in which Document objects are presented to the user.

A tab or window in a Web browser typically contains a browsing context, as does an iframe or frames in a frameset.

Each browsing context has a corresponding WindowProxy object.

A browsing context has a session history, which lists the Document objects that that browsing context has presented, is presenting, or will present. At any time, one Document in each browsing context is designated the active document. A Document's browsing context is that browsing context whose session history contains the Document, if any. (A Document created using an API such as createDocument() has no browsing context.)

Each Document in a browsing context is associated with a Window object. A browsing context's WindowProxy object forwards everything to the browsing context's active document's Window object.

In general, there is a 1-to-1 mapping from the Window object to the Document object. There are two exceptions. First, a Window can be reused for the presentation of a second Document in the same browsing context, such that the mapping is then 1-to-2. This occurs when a browsing context is navigated from the initial about:blank Document to another, with replacement enabled. Second, a Document can end up being reused for several Window objects when the document.open() method is used, such that the mapping is then many-to-1.

A Document does not necessarily have a browsing context associated with it. In particular, data mining tools are likely to never instantiate browsing contexts.


A browsing context can have a creator browsing context, the browsing context that was responsible for its creation. If a browsing context has a parent browsing context, then that is its creator browsing context. Otherwise, if the browsing context has an opener browsing context, then that is its creator browsing context. Otherwise, the browsing context has no creator browsing context.

If a browsing context A has a creator browsing context, then the Document that was the active document of that creator browsing context at the time A was created is the creator Document.

When a browsing context is first created, it must be created with a single Document in its session history, whose address is about:blank, which is marked as being an HTML document, whose character encoding is UTF-8, and which is both ready for post-load tasks and completely loaded immediately, along with a new Window object that the Document is associated with. The Document must have a single child html node, which itself has two empty child nodes: a head element, and a body element. As soon as this Document is created, the user agent must implement the sandboxing for it. If the browsing context has a creator Document, then the browsing context's Document's referrer must be set to the address of that creator Document at the time of the browsing context's creation.

If the browsing context is created specifically to be immediately navigated, then that initial navigation will have replacement enabled.

The origin and effective script origin of the about:blank Document are set when the Document is created. If the new browsing context has a creator browsing context, then the origin of the about:blank Document is an alias to the origin of the creator Document and the effective script origin of the about:blank Document is initially an alias to the effective script origin of the creator Document. Otherwise, the origin of the about:blank Document is a globally unique identifier assigned when the new browsing context is created and the effective script origin of the about:blank Document is initially an alias to its origin.

6.1.1 Nested browsing contexts

Certain elements (for example, iframe elements) can instantiate further browsing contexts. These are called nested browsing contexts. If a browsing context P has a Document D with an element E that nests another browsing context C inside it, then C is said to be nested through D, and E is said to be the browsing context container of C. If the browsing context container element E is in the Document D, then P is said to be the parent browsing context of C and C is said to be a child browsing context of P. Otherwise, the nested browsing context C has no parent browsing context.

A browsing context A is said to be an ancestor of a browsing context B if there exists a browsing context A' that is a child browsing context of A and that is itself an ancestor of B, or if the browsing context A is the parent browsing context of B.

A browsing context that is not a nested browsing context has no parent browsing context, and is the top-level browsing context of all the browsing contexts for which it is an ancestor browsing context.

The transitive closure of parent browsing contexts for a nested browsing context gives the list of ancestor browsing contexts.

The list of the descendant browsing contexts of a Document d is the (ordered) list returned by the following algorithm:

  1. Let list be an empty list.

  2. For each child browsing context of d that is nested through an element that is in the Document d, in the tree order of the elements nesting those browsing contexts, run these substeps:

    1. Append that child browsing context to the list list.

    2. Append the list of the descendant browsing contexts of the active document of that child browsing context to the list list.

  3. Return the constructed list.

A Document is said to be fully active when it is the active document of its browsing context, and either its browsing context is a top-level browsing context, or it has a parent browsing context and the Document through which it is nested is itself fully active.

Because they are nested through an element, child browsing contexts are always tied to a specific Document in their parent browsing context. User agents must not allow the user to interact with child browsing contexts of elements that are in Documents that are not themselves fully active.

A nested browsing context can have a seamless browsing context flag set, if it is embedded through an iframe element with a seamless attribute.

A nested browsing context can be put into a delaying load events mode. This is used when it is navigated, to delay the load event of the browsing context container before the new Document is created.

The document family of a browsing context consists of the union of all the Document objects in that browsing context's session history and the document families of all those Document objects. The document family of a Document object consists of the union of all the document families of the browsing contexts that are nested through the Document object.

window . top

Returns the WindowProxy for the top-level browsing context.

window . parent

Returns the WindowProxy for the parent browsing context.

window . frameElement

Returns the Element for the browsing context container.

Returns null if there isn't one.

Throws a SecurityError exception in cross-origin situations.

The top IDL attribute on the Window object of a Document in a browsing context b must return the WindowProxy object of its top-level browsing context (which would be its own WindowProxy object if it was a top-level browsing context itself), if it has one, or its own WindowProxy object otherwise (e.g. if it was a detached nested browsing context).

The parent IDL attribute on the Window object of a Document in a browsing context b must return the WindowProxy object of the parent browsing context, if there is one (i.e. if b is a child browsing context), or the WindowProxy object of the browsing context b itself, otherwise (i.e. if it is a top-level browsing context or a detached nested browsing context).

The frameElement IDL attribute on the Window object of a Document d, on getting, must run the following algorithm:

  1. If d is not a Document in a nested browsing context, return null and abort these steps.

  2. If the browsing context container's Document does not have the same effective script origin as the effective script origin specified by the entry settings object, then throw a SecurityError exception and abort these steps.

  3. Return the browsing context container for b.

6.1.2 Auxiliary browsing contexts

It is possible to create new browsing contexts that are related to a top-level browsing context without being nested through an element. Such browsing contexts are called auxiliary browsing contexts. Auxiliary browsing contexts are always top-level browsing contexts.

An auxiliary browsing context has an opener browsing context, which is the browsing context from which the auxiliary browsing context was created.

The opener IDL attribute on the Window object, on getting, must return the WindowProxy object of the browsing context from which the current browsing context was created (its opener browsing context), if there is one, if it is still available, and if the current browsing context has not disowned its opener; otherwise, it must return null. On setting, if the new value is null then the current browsing context must disown its opener; if the new value is anything else then the user agent must call the [[DefineOwnProperty]] internal method of the Window object, passing the property name "opener" as the property key, and the Property Descriptor { [[Value]]: value, [[Writable]]: true, [[Enumerable]]: true, [[Configurable]]: true } as the property descriptor, where value is the new value.

6.1.3 Secondary browsing contexts

User agents may support secondary browsing contexts, which are browsing contexts that form part of the user agent's interface, apart from the main content area.

The sidebar link type uses secondary browsing contexts.

6.1.4 Security

A browsing context A is familiar with a second browsing context B if one of the following conditions is true:


A browsing context A is allowed to navigate a second browsing context B if the following algorithm terminates positively:

  1. If A is not the same browsing context as B, and A is not one of the ancestor browsing contexts of B, and B is not a top-level browsing context, and A's active document's active sandboxing flag set has its sandboxed navigation browsing context flag set, then abort these steps negatively.

  2. Otherwise, if B is a top-level browsing context, and is one of the ancestor browsing contexts of A, and A's Document's active sandboxing flag set has its sandboxed top-level navigation browsing context flag set, then abort these steps negatively.

  3. Otherwise, if B is a top-level browsing context, and is neither A nor one of the ancestor browsing contexts of A, and A's Document's active sandboxing flag set has its sandboxed navigation browsing context flag set, and A is not the one permitted sandboxed navigator of B, then abort these steps negatively.

  4. Otherwise, terminate positively!


An element has a browsing context scope origin if its Document's browsing context is a top-level browsing context or if all of its Document's ancestor browsing contexts all have active documents whose origin are the same origin as the element's Document's origin. If an element has a browsing context scope origin, then its value is the origin of the element's Document.

6.1.5 Groupings of browsing contexts

Each browsing context is defined as having a list of one or more directly reachable browsing contexts. These are:

The transitive closure of all the browsing contexts that are directly reachable browsing contexts forms a unit of related browsing contexts.

Each unit of related browsing contexts is then further divided into the smallest number of groups such that every member of each group has an active document with an effective script origin that, through appropriate manipulation of the document.domain attribute, could be made to be the same as other members of the group, but could not be made the same as members of any other group. Each such group is a unit of related similar-origin browsing contexts.

There is also at most one event loop per unit of related similar-origin browsing contexts (though several units of related similar-origin browsing contexts can have a shared event loop).

6.1.6 Browsing context names

Browsing contexts can have a browsing context name. By default, a browsing context has no name (its name is not set).

A valid browsing context name is any string with at least one character that does not start with a U+005F LOW LINE character. (Names starting with an underscore are reserved for special keywords.)

A valid browsing context name or keyword is any string that is either a valid browsing context name or that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of: _blank, _self, _parent, or _top.

These values have different meanings based on whether the page is sandboxed or not, as summarized in the following (non-normative) table. In this table, "current" means the browsing context that the link or script is in, "parent" means the parent browsing context of the one the link or script is in, "master" means the nearest ancestor browsing context of the one the link or script is in that is not itself in a seamless iframe, "top" means the top-level browsing context of the one the link or script is in, "new" means a new top-level browsing context or auxiliary browsing context is to be created, subject to various user preferences and user agent policies, "none" means that nothing will happen, and "maybe new" means the same as "new" if the "allow-popups" keyword is also specified on the sandbox attribute (or if the user overrode the sandboxing), and the same as "none" otherwise.

Keyword Ordinary effect Effect in an iframe with...
seamless="" sandbox="" sandbox="" seamless="" sandbox="allow-top-navigation" sandbox="allow-top-navigation" seamless=""
none specified, for links and form submissions current master current master current master
empty string current master current master current master
_blank new new maybe new maybe new maybe new maybe new
_self current current current current current current
_parent if there isn't a parent current current current current current current
_parent if parent is also top parent/top parent/top none none parent/top parent/top
_parent if there is one and it's not top parent parent none none none none
_top if top is current current current current current current current
_top if top is not current top top none none top top
name that doesn't exist new new maybe new maybe new maybe new maybe new
name that exists and is a descendant specified descendant specified descendant specified descendant specified descendant specified descendant specified descendant
name that exists and is current current current current current current current
name that exists and is an ancestor that is top specified ancestor specified ancestor none none specified ancestor/top specified ancestor/top
name that exists and is an ancestor that is not top specified ancestor specified ancestor none none none none
other name that exists with common top specified specified none none none none
name that exists with different top, if familiar and one permitted sandboxed navigator specified specified specified specified specified specified
name that exists with different top, if familiar but not one permitted sandboxed navigator specified specified none none none none
name that exists with different top, not familiar new new maybe new maybe new maybe new maybe new

Most of the restrictions on sandboxed browsing contexts are applied by other algorithms, e.g. the navigation algorithm, not the rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name given below.


An algorithm is allowed to show a popup if any of the following conditions is true:


The rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name are as follows. The rules assume that they are being applied in the context of a browsing context, as part of the execution of a task.

  1. If the given browsing context name is the empty string or _self, then the chosen browsing context must be the current one.

    If the given browsing context name is _self, then this is an explicit self-navigation override, which overrides the behavior of the seamless browsing context flag set by the seamless attribute on iframe elements.

  2. If the given browsing context name is _parent, then the chosen browsing context must be the parent browsing context of the current one, unless there isn't one, in which case the chosen browsing context must be the current browsing context.

  3. If the given browsing context name is _top, then the chosen browsing context must be the top-level browsing context of the current one, if there is one, or else the current browsing context.

  4. If the given browsing context name is not _blank and there exists a browsing context whose name is the same as the given browsing context name, and the current browsing context is familiar with that browsing context, and the user agent determines that the two browsing contexts are related enough that it is ok if they reach each other, then that browsing context must be the chosen one. If there are multiple matching browsing contexts, the user agent should select one in some arbitrary consistent manner, such as the most recently opened, most recently focused, or more closely related.

    If the browsing context is chosen by this step to be the current browsing context, then this is also an explicit self-navigation override.

  5. Otherwise, a new browsing context is being requested, and what happens depends on the user agent's configuration and abilities — it is determined by the rules given for the first applicable option from the following list:

    There is no chosen browsing context. The user agent may inform the user that a popup has been blocked.

    If the current browsing context's active document's active sandboxing flag set has the sandboxed auxiliary navigation browsing context flag set.

    Typically, there is no chosen browsing context.

    The user agent may offer to create a new top-level browsing context or reuse an existing top-level browsing context. If the user picks one of those options, then the designated browsing context must be the chosen one (the browsing context's name isn't set to the given browsing context name). The default behaviour (if the user agent doesn't offer the option to the user, or if the user declines to allow a browsing context to be used) must be that there must not be a chosen browsing context.

    If this case occurs, it means that an author has explicitly sandboxed the document that is trying to open a link.

    If the user agent has been configured such that in this instance it will create a new browsing context, and the browsing context is being requested as part of following a hyperlink whose link types include the noreferrer keyword

    A new top-level browsing context must be created. If the given browsing context name is not _blank, then the new top-level browsing context's name must be the given browsing context name (otherwise, it has no name). The chosen browsing context must be this new browsing context. The creation of such a browsing context is a new start for session storage.

    If it is immediately navigated, then the navigation will be done with replacement enabled.

    If the user agent has been configured such that in this instance it will create a new browsing context, and the noreferrer keyword doesn't apply

    A new auxiliary browsing context must be created, with the opener browsing context being the current one. If the given browsing context name is not _blank, then the new auxiliary browsing context's name must be the given browsing context name (otherwise, it has no name). The chosen browsing context must be this new browsing context.

    If it is immediately navigated, then the navigation will be done with replacement enabled.

    If the user agent has been configured such that in this instance it will reuse the current browsing context

    The chosen browsing context is the current browsing context.

    If the user agent has been configured such that in this instance it will not find a browsing context

    There must not be a chosen browsing context.

    User agent implementors are encouraged to provide a way for users to configure the user agent to always reuse the current browsing context.

    If the current browsing context's active document's active sandboxing flag set has the sandboxed navigation browsing context flag set and the chosen browsing context picked above, if any, is a new browsing context (whether top-level or auxiliary), then all the flags that are set in the current browsing context's active document's active sandboxing flag set when the new browsing context is created must be set in the new browsing context's popup sandboxing flag set, and the current browsing context must be set as the new browsing context's one permitted sandboxed navigator.

6.2 The Window object

[PrimaryGlobal]
/*sealed*/ interface Window : EventTarget {
  // the current browsing context
  [Unforgeable] readonly attribute WindowProxy window;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute WindowProxy self;
  [Unforgeable] readonly attribute Document document;
           attribute DOMString name; 
  [PutForwards=href, Unforgeable] readonly attribute Location location;
  readonly attribute History history;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp locationbar;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp menubar;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp personalbar;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp scrollbars;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp statusbar;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute BarProp toolbar;
           attribute DOMString status;
  void close();
  readonly attribute boolean closed;
  void stop();
  void focus();
  void blur();

  // other browsing contexts
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute WindowProxy frames;
  [Replaceable] readonly attribute unsigned long length;
  [Unforgeable] readonly attribute WindowProxy top;
           attribute WindowProxy? opener;
  readonly attribute WindowProxy parent;
  readonly attribute Element? frameElement;
  WindowProxy open(optional DOMString url = "about:blank", optional DOMString target = "_blank", optional DOMString features = "", optional boolean replace = false);
  getter WindowProxy (unsigned long index);
  getter object (DOMString name);

  // the user agent
  readonly attribute Navigator navigator; 
  readonly attribute External external;
  readonly attribute ApplicationCache applicationCache;

  // user prompts
  void alert(optional DOMString message = "");
  boolean confirm(optional DOMString message = "");
  DOMString? prompt(optional DOMString message = "", optional DOMString default = "");
  void print();
  any showModalDialog(DOMString url, optional any argument);

  void postMessage(any message, DOMString targetOrigin, optional sequence<Transferable> transfer);

  // also has obsolete members
};
Window implements GlobalEventHandlers;
Window implements WindowEventHandlers;
window . window
window . frames
window . self

These attributes all return window.

window . document

Returns the Document associated with window.

document . defaultView

Returns the Window object of the active document.

The window, frames, and self IDL attributes must all return the Window object's browsing context's WindowProxy object.

The document IDL attribute must return the Window object's newest Document object.

The defaultView IDL attribute of the Document interface must return the Document's browsing context's WindowProxy object, if there is one, or null otherwise.


For historical reasons, Window objects must also have a writable, configurable, non-enumerable property named HTMLDocument whose value is the Document interface object.

6.2.1 Security

This section describes a security model that is underdefined, imperfect, and does not match implementations. Work is ongoing to attempt to resolve this, but in the meantime, please do not rely on this section for precision. Implementors are urged to send their feedback on how cross-origin cross-global access to Window and Location objects should work. See bug 20701.

User agents must throw a SecurityError exception whenever any properties of a Window object are accessed when the incumbent settings object specifies an effective script origin that is not the same as the Window object's Document's effective script origin, with the following exceptions:

When the incumbent settings object specifies an effective script origin that is different than a Window object's Document's effective script origin, the user agent must act as if any changes to that Window object's properties, getters, setters, etc, were not present, and as if all the properties of that Window object had their [[Enumerable]] attribute set to false.

For members that return objects (including function objects), each distinct effective script origin that is not the same as the Window object's Document's effective script origin must be provided with a separate set of objects. These objects must have the prototype chain appropriate for the script for which the objects are created (not those that would be appropriate for scripts whose global object, as specified by their settings object, is the Window object in question).

For instance, if two frames containing Documents from different origins access the same Window object's postMessage() method, they will get distinct objects that are not equal.

6.2.2 APIs for creating and navigating browsing contexts by name

window = window . open( [ url [, target [, features [, replace ] ] ] ] )

Opens a window to show url (defaults to about:blank), and returns it. The target argument gives the name of the new window. If a window exists with that name already, it is reused. The replace attribute, if true, means that whatever page is currently open in that window will be removed from the window's session history. The features argument is ignored.

window . name [ = value ]

Returns the name of the window.

Can be set, to change the name.

window . close()

Closes the window.

window . closed

Returns true if the window has been closed, false otherwise.

window . stop()

Cancels the document load.

The open() method on Window objects provides a mechanism for navigating an existing browsing context or opening and navigating an auxiliary browsing context.

The method has four arguments, though they are all optional.

The first argument, url, must be a valid non-empty URL for a page to load in the browsing context. If the first argument is the empty string, then the url argument must be interpreted as "about:blank". Otherwise, the argument must be resolved to an absolute URL (or an error), relative to the API base URL specified by the entry settings object when the method was invoked.

The second argument, target, specifies the name of the browsing context that is to be navigated. It must be a valid browsing context name or keyword.

The third argument, features, has no defined effect and is mentioned for historical reasons only. User agents may interpret this argument as instructions to set the size and position of the browsing context, but are encouraged to instead ignore the argument entirely.

The fourth argument, replace, specifies whether or not the new page will replace the page currently loaded in the browsing context, when target identifies an existing browsing context (as opposed to leaving the current page in the browsing context's session history).

When the method is invoked, the user agent must first select a browsing context to navigate by applying the rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name using the target argument as the name and the browsing context of the script as the context in which the algorithm is executed, unless the user has indicated a preference, in which case the browsing context to navigate may instead be the one indicated by the user.

For example, suppose there is a user agent that supports control-clicking a link to open it in a new tab. If a user clicks in that user agent on an element whose onclick handler uses the window.open() API to open a page in an iframe, but, while doing so, holds the control key down, the user agent could override the selection of the target browsing context to instead target a new tab.

If applying the rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name using the target argument would result in there not being a chosen browsing context, then throw an InvalidAccessError exception and abort these steps.

Otherwise, if url is not "about:blank", the user agent must navigate the selected browsing context to the absolute URL obtained from resolving url earlier, with exceptions enabled. If the replace is true or if the browsing context was just created as part of the rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name, then replacement must be enabled also. The navigation must be done with the responsible browsing context specified by the incumbent settings object as the source browsing context. If the resolve a URL algorithm failed, then the user agent may either instead navigate to an inline error page, with exceptions enabled and using the same replacement behavior and source browsing context behavior as described earlier in this paragraph; or treat the url as "about:blank", acting as described in the next paragraph.

If url is "about:blank", and the browsing context was just created as part of the rules for choosing a browsing context given a browsing context name, then the user agent must instead queue a task to fire a simple event named load at the selected browsing context's Window object, but with its target set to the selected browsing context's Window object's Document object (and the currentTarget set to the Window object).

The method must return the WindowProxy object of the browsing context that was navigated, or null if no browsing context was navigated.


The name attribute of the Window object must, on getting, return the current name of the browsing context, if one is set, or the empty string otherwise; and, on setting, set the name of the browsing context to the new value.

The name gets reset when the browsing context is navigated to another domain.


The close() method on Window objects should, if all the following conditions are met, close the browsing context A:

A browsing context is script-closable if it is an auxiliary browsing context that was created by a script (as opposed to by an action of the user), or if it is a browsing context whose session history contains only one Document.

The closed attribute on Window objects must return true if the Window object's browsing context has been discarded, and false otherwise.

The stop() method on Window objects should, if there is an existing attempt to navigate the browsing context and that attempt is not currently running the unload a document algorithm, cancel that navigation; then, it must abort the active document of the browsing context of the Window object on which it was invoked.

6.2.3 Accessing other browsing contexts

window . length

Returns the number of child browsing contexts.

window[index]

Returns the indicated child browsing context.

The length IDL attribute on the Window interface must return the number of child browsing contexts that are nested through elements that are in the Document that is the active document of that Window object, if that Window's browsing context shares the same event loop as the responsible document specified by the entry settings object accessing the IDL attribute; otherwise, it must return zero.

The supported property indices on the Window object at any instant are the numbers in the range 0 .. n-1, where n is the number returned by the length IDL attribute. If n is zero then there are no supported property indices.

To determine the value of an indexed property index of a Window object, the user agent must return the WindowProxy object of the indexth child browsing context of the Document that is nested through an element that is in the Document, sorted in the order that the elements nesting those browsing contexts were most recently inserted into the Document, the WindowProxy object of the most recently inserted browsing context container's nested browsing context being last.

These properties are the dynamic nested browsing context properties.

6.2.4 Named access on the Window object

window[name]

Returns the indicated element or collection of elements.

The Window interface supports named properties. The supported property names at any moment consist of the following, in tree order, ignoring later duplicates:

To determine the value of a named property name when the Window object is indexed for property retrieval, the user agent must return the value obtained using the following steps:

  1. Let objects be the list of named objects with the name name in the active document.

    There will be at least one such object, by definition.

  2. If objects contains a nested browsing context, then return the WindowProxy object of the nested browsing context corresponding to the first browsing context container in tree order whose browsing context is in objects, and abort these steps.

  3. Otherwise, if objects has only one element, return that element and abort these steps.

  4. Otherwise return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only named objects with the name name. (By definition, these will all be elements.)

Named objects with the name name, for the purposes of the above algorithm, are those that are either:

6.2.5 Garbage collection and browsing contexts

A browsing context has a strong reference to each of its Documents and its WindowProxy object, and the user agent itself has a strong reference to its top-level browsing contexts.

A Document has a strong reference to its Window object.

A Window object has a strong reference to its Document object through its document attribute. Thus, references from other scripts to either of those objects will keep both alive. Similarly, both Document and Window objects have implied strong references to the WindowProxy object.

Each script has a strong reference to its settings object, and each script settings object has strong references to its global object, responsible browsing context, and responsible document.

When a browsing context is to discard a Document, the user agent must run the following steps:

  1. Set the Document's salvageable state to false.

  2. Run any unloading document cleanup steps for the Document that are defined by this specification and other applicable specifications.

  3. Abort the Document.

  4. Remove any tasks associated with the Document in any task source, without running those tasks.

  5. Discard all the child browsing contexts of the Document.

  6. Lose the strong reference from the Document's browsing context to the Document.

Whenever a Document object is discarded, it is also removed from the list of the worker's Documents of each worker whose list contains that Document.

When a browsing context is discarded, the strong reference from the user agent itself to the browsing context must be severed, and all the Document objects for all the entries in the browsing context's session history must be discarded as well.

User agents may discard top-level browsing contexts at any time (typically, in response to user requests, e.g. when a user force-closes a window containing one or more top-level browsing contexts). Other browsing contexts must be discarded once their WindowProxy object is eligible for garbage collection.

6.2.6 Closing browsing contexts

When the user agent is required to close a browsing context, it must run the following steps:

  1. Let specified browsing context be the browsing context being closed.

  2. Prompt to unload the active document of the specified browsing context. If the user refused to allow the document to be unloaded, then abort these steps.

  3. Unload the active document of the specified browsing context with the recycle parameter set to false.

  4. Remove the specified browsing context from the user interface (e.g. close or hide its tab in a tabbed browser).

  5. Discard the specified browsing context.

User agents should offer users the ability to arbitrarily close any top-level browsing context.

6.2.7 Browser interface elements

To allow Web pages to integrate with Web browsers, certain Web browser interface elements are exposed in a limited way to scripts in Web pages.

Each interface element is represented by a BarProp object:

interface BarProp {
           attribute boolean visible;
};
window . locationbar . visible

Returns true if the location bar is visible; otherwise, returns false.

window . menubar . visible

Returns true if the menu bar is visible; otherwise, returns false.

window . personalbar . visible

Returns true if the personal bar is visible; otherwise, returns false.

window . scrollbars . visible

Returns true if the scroll bars are visible; otherwise, returns false.

window . statusbar . visible

Returns true if the status bar is visible; otherwise, returns false.

window . toolbar . visible

Returns true if the toolbar is visible; otherwise, returns false.

The visible attribute, on getting, must return either true or a value determined by the user agent to most accurately represent the visibility state of the user interface element that the object represents, as described below. On setting, the new value must be discarded.

The following BarProp objects exist for each Document object in a browsing context. Some of the user interface elements represented by these objects might have no equivalent in some user agents; for those user agents, except when otherwise specified, the object must act as if it was present and visible (i.e. its visible attribute must return true).

The location bar BarProp object
Represents the user interface element that contains a control that displays the URL of the active document, or some similar interface concept.
The menu bar BarProp object
Represents the user interface element that contains a list of commands in menu form, or some similar interface concept.
The personal bar BarProp object
Represents the user interface element that contains links to the user's favorite pages, or some similar interface concept.
The scrollbar BarProp object
Represents the user interface element that contains a scrolling mechanism, or some similar interface concept.
The status bar BarProp object
Represents a user interface element found immediately below or after the document, as appropriate for the user's media, which typically provides information about ongoing network activity or information about elements that the user's pointing device is current indicating. If the user agent has no such user interface element, then the object may act as if the corresponding user interface element was absent (i.e. its visible attribute may return false).
The toolbar BarProp object
Represents the user interface element found immediately above or before the document, as appropriate for the user's media, which typically provides session history traversal controls (back and forward buttons, reload buttons, etc). If the user agent has no such user interface element, then the object may act as if the corresponding user interface element was absent (i.e. its visible attribute may return false).

The locationbar attribute must return the location bar BarProp object.

The menubar attribute must return the menu bar BarProp object.

The personalbar attribute must return the personal bar BarProp object.

The scrollbars attribute must return the scrollbar BarProp object.

The statusbar attribute must return the status bar BarProp object.

The toolbar attribute must return the toolbar BarProp object.


For historical reasons, the status attribute on the Window object must, on getting, return the last string it was set to, and on setting, must set itself to the new value. When the Window object is created, the attribute must be set to the empty string. It does not do anything else.

6.2.8 The WindowProxy object

As mentioned earlier, each browsing context has a WindowProxy object. This object is unusual in that all operations that would be performed on it must be performed on the Window object of the browsing context's active document instead. It is thus indistinguishable from that Window object in every way until the browsing context is navigated.

There is no WindowProxy interface object.

The WindowProxy object allows scripts to act as if each browsing context had a single Window object, while still keeping separate Window objects for each Document.

In the following example, the variable x is set to the WindowProxy object returned by the window accessor on the global object. All of the expressions following the assignment return true, because in every respect, the WindowProxy object acts like the underlying Window object.

var x = window;
x instanceof Window; // true
x === this; // true