Pass mouse events through absolutely-positioned element

I'm attempting to capture mouse events on an element with another absolutely-positioned element on top of it.

Right now, events on the absolutely-positioned element hit it and bubble up to its parent, but I want it to be "transparent" to these mouse events and forward them on to whatever is behind it. How should I implement this?


pointer-events: none;

Is a CSS property that makes events "pass through" the element to which it is applied and makes the event occur on the element "below".

See for details:

It is not supported up to IE 11; all other vendors support it since quite some time (global support was ~92% in 12/'16): (thanks to @s4y for providing the link in the comments).


If all you need is mousedown, you may be able to make do with the document.elementFromPoint method, by:

  1. removing the top layer on mousedown,
  2. passing the x and y coordinates from the event to the document.elementFromPoint method to get the element underneath, and then
  3. restoring the top layer.

Also nice to know...
Pointer-events can be disabled for a parent element (probably transparent div) and yet be enabled for child elements. This is helpful if you work with multiple overlapping div layers, where you want to be able click the child elements of any layer. For this all parenting divs get pointer-events: none and click-children get pointer-events reenabled by pointer-events: all

.parent {
.child {

<div class="some-container">
   <ul class="layer-0 parent">
     <li class="click-me child"></li>
     <li class="click-me child"></li>

   <ul class="layer-1 parent">
     <li class="click-me-also child"></li>
     <li class="click-me-also child"></li>

The reason you are not receiving the event is because the absolutely positioned element is not a child of the element you are wanting to "click" (blue div). The cleanest way I can think of is to put the absolute element as a child of the one you want clicked, but I'm assuming you can't do that or you wouldn't have posted this question here :)

Another option would be to register a click event handler for the absolute element and call the click handler for the blue div, causing them both to flash.

Due to the way events bubble up through the DOM I'm not sure there is a simpler answer for you, but I'm very curious if anyone else has any tricks I don't know about!


If you know the elements that need mouse events, and if your overlay is transparent, you can just set the z-index of them to something higher than the overlay. All events should of course work in that case on all browsers.


There is a javascript version available which manually redirects events from one div to another.

I cleaned it up and made it into a jQuery plugin.

Here's the Github repository:

Unfortunately, the purpose I was using it for - overlaying a mask over Google Maps did not capture click and drag events, and the mouse cursor does not change which degrades the user experience enough that I just decided to hide the mask under IE and Opera - the two browsers which dont support pointer events.


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