How do you remove all the options of a select box and then add one option and select it with jQuery?


Using core jQuery, how do you remove all the options of a select box, then add one option and select it?

My select box is the following.

<Select id="mySelect" size="9"> </Select>

EDIT: The following code was helpful with chaining. However, (in Internet Explorer) .val('whatever') did not select the option that was added. (I did use the same 'value' in both .append and .val.)

.append('<option value="whatever">text</option>').val('whatever');

EDIT: Trying to get it to mimic this code, I use the following code whenever the page/form is reset. This select box is populated by a set of radio buttons. .focus() was closer, but the option did not appear selected like it does with .selected= "true". Nothing is wrong with my existing code - I am just trying to learn jQuery.

var mySelect = document.getElementById('mySelect');
mySelect.options.length = 0;
mySelect.options[0] = new Option ("Foo (only choice)", "Foo");

EDIT: selected answer was close to what I needed. This worked for me:

.append('<option selected value="whatever">text</option>') ;

But both answers led me to my final solution..

This question is tagged with javascript jquery html-select option dynamic-html

~ Asked on 2008-09-06 20:53:54

24 Answers


    .append('<option value="whatever">text</option>')

~ Answered on 2008-09-06 21:01:36


    .append('<option selected="selected" value="whatever">text</option>')

~ Answered on 2009-12-16 21:07:16


why not just use plain javascript?

document.getElementById("selectID").options.length = 0;

~ Answered on 2013-11-13 19:45:20


If your goal is to remove all the options from the select except the first one (typically the 'Please pick an item' option) you could use:


~ Answered on 2013-03-27 09:56:28


I had a bug in IE7 (works fine in IE6) where using the above jQuery methods would clear the select in the DOM but not on screen. Using the IE Developer Toolbar I could confirm that the select had been cleared and had the new items, but visually the select still showed the old items - even though you could not select them.

The fix was to use standard DOM methods/properites (as the poster original had) to clear rather than jQuery - still using jQuery to add options.

$('#mySelect')[0].options.length = 0;

~ Answered on 2010-01-11 09:22:09


Not sure exactly what you mean by "add one and select it", since it will be selected by default anyway. But, if you were to add more than one, it would make more sense. How about something like:

$('select').append('<option id="foo">foo</option>');

Response to "EDIT": Can you clarify what you mean by "This select box is populated by a set of radio buttons"? A <select> element cannot (legally) contain <input type="radio"> elements.

~ Answered on 2008-09-08 18:51:12


    .append('<option value="whatever">text</option>')

~ Answered on 2009-06-03 20:48:14


$("#control").html("<option selected=\"selected\">The Option...</option>");

~ Answered on 2011-03-30 02:30:23


Just one line to remove all options from the select tag and after you can add any options then make second line to add options.


$('.ddlsl').append(new Option('Select all', 'all'));

One more short way but didn't tried

$('.ddlsl').empty().append(new Option('Select all', 'all'));

~ Answered on 2019-07-17 06:29:50


Thanks to the answers I received, I was able to create something like the following, which suits my needs. My question was somewhat ambiguous. Thanks for following up. My final problem was solved by including "selected" in the option that I wanted selected.

$(function() {_x000D_
  $('#mySelect').children().remove().end().append('<option selected value="One">One option</option>') ; // clear the select box, then add one option which is selected_x000D_
  $("input[name='myRadio']").filter( "[value='1']" ).attr( "checked", "checked" ); // select radio button with value 1_x000D_
  // Bind click event to each radio button._x000D_
                                  function() {_x000D_
    switch(this.value) {_x000D_
      case "1":_x000D_
        $('#mySelect').find('option').remove().end().append('<option selected value="One">One option</option>') ;_x000D_
        break ;_x000D_
      case "2":_x000D_
        $('#mySelect').find('option').remove() ;_x000D_
        var items = ["Item1", "Item2", "Item3"] ; // Set locally for demo_x000D_
        var options = '' ;_x000D_
        for (var i = 0; i < items.length; i++) {_x000D_
          if (i==0) {_x000D_
            options += '<option selected value="' + items[i] + '">' + items[i] + '</option>';_x000D_
          else {_x000D_
            options += '<option value="' + items[i] + '">' + items[i] + '</option>';_x000D_
        $('#mySelect').html(options);   // Populate select box with array_x000D_
        break ;_x000D_
    } // Switch end_x000D_
  } // Bind function end_x000D_
                                 ); // bind end_x000D_
}); // Event listener end
<script src=""></script>_x000D_
<label>One<input  name="myRadio" type="radio" value="1"  /></label>_x000D_
<label>Two<input name="myRadio"  type="radio" value="2" /></label>_x000D_
<select id="mySelect" size="9"></select>

~ Answered on 2008-09-09 22:04:52


Another way:


Under this link, there are good practices

~ Answered on 2017-07-13 15:55:15


  1. First clear all exisiting option execpt the first one(--Select--)

  2. Append new option values using loop one by one

    for (var i = 0; i < oResult.length; i++) {
       $("#ddlCustomer").append(new Option(oResult[i].CustomerName, oResult[i].CustomerID + '/' + oResult[i].ID));

~ Answered on 2015-09-30 06:58:01


I've found on the net something like below. With a thousands of options like in my situation this is a lot faster than .empty() or .find().remove() from jQuery.

var ClearOptionsFast = function(id) {
    var selectObj = document.getElementById(id);
    var selectParentNode = selectObj.parentNode;
    var newSelectObj = selectObj.cloneNode(false); // Make a shallow copy
    selectParentNode.replaceChild(newSelectObj, selectObj);
    return newSelectObj;

More info here.

~ Answered on 2015-04-08 09:42:42


How about just changing the html to new data.

$('#mySelect').html('<option value="whatever">text</option>');

Another example:

    <option value="1" selected>text1</option>
    <option value="2">text2</option>
    <option value="3" disabled>text3</option>

~ Answered on 2014-11-12 11:45:36


$("#id option").remove();
$("#id").append('<option value="testValue" >TestText</option>');

The first line of code will remove all the options of a select box as no option find criteria has been mentioned.

The second line of code will add the Option with the specified value("testValue") and Text("TestText").

~ Answered on 2018-10-12 09:14:32


Building on mauretto's answer, this is a little easier to read and understand:


To remove all the options except one with a specific value, you can use this:


This would be better if the option to be added was already there.

~ Answered on 2015-06-18 13:52:28


You can do simply by replacing html

.html('<option value="whatever" selected>text</option>')

~ Answered on 2016-10-04 00:07:09


This will replace your existing mySelect with a new mySelect.

$('#mySelect').replaceWith('<Select id="mySelect" size="9">
   <option value="whatever" selected="selected" >text</option>

~ Answered on 2013-10-18 07:41:01


Uses the jquery prop() to clear the selected option

$('#mySelect option:selected').prop('selected', false);

~ Answered on 2014-02-01 11:09:32


I saw this code in Select2 - Clearing Selections


This code works well with jQuery even without Select2

~ Answered on 2019-01-25 06:34:37


  • save the option values to be appended in an object
  • clear existing options in the select tag
  • iterate the list object and append the contents to the intended select tag

var listToAppend = {'':'Select Vehicle','mc': 'Motor Cyle', 'tr': 'Tricycle'};_x000D_
$.each(listToAppend, function(val, text) {_x000D_
    $('#selectID').append( new Option(text,val) );_x000D_
<script src=""></script>

~ Answered on 2018-09-03 11:17:37


Hope it will work


~ Answered on 2016-10-23 04:06:55



mySelect.innerHTML = `<option selected value="whatever">text</option>`

function setOne() {
  mySelect.innerHTML = `<option selected value="whatever">text</option>`;
<button onclick="setOne()" >set one</button>
<Select id="mySelect" size="9"> 
 <option value="1">old1</option>
 <option value="2">old2</option>
 <option value="3">old3</option>

~ Answered on 2020-08-03 20:57:08


var select = $('#mySelect');
var data = [{"id":1,"title":"Option one"}, {"id":2,"title":"Option two"}];
for(var i in data) {
    var d = data[i];
    var option = $('<option/>').val(;

~ Answered on 2018-08-19 17:22:39

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