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This article is about the computer interface element. For the concept in US tax law, see Check-the-box.
Sample checkboxes.

A checkbox (check box, tickbox, tick box) is a Graphical control element that permits the user to make a binary choice, i.e. a choice between one of two possible mutually exclusive options. For example, the user may have to answer 'yes' (checked) or 'no' (not checked) on a simple yes/no question.

Checkboxes are often shown on the screen as a square box that can contain white space (for false) or a tick mark or × (for true), as shown ( ☐ or ☑, respectively). A caption describing the meaning of the checkbox is normally shown adjacent to the checkbox. Inverting the state of a checkbox is done by clicking the mouse on the box, or the caption, or by using a keyboard shortcut, such as the space bar.

Often, a series of checkboxes are presented, each with a binary choice between two options. Then the user may select several of the choices. Compare this to a radio button, in which only a single option is selectable from several mutually-exclusive choices.

Not actionable[edit]

Setting or clearing a checkbox changes the checkbox's state with no other side-effects. Violating this guideline by associating additional actions with the change of state frequently confuses users, because they are used to configuring data in entry controls such as text boxes, radio buttons, and checkboxes and then invoking an action control such as a push button to initiate the action to process the data.[1][2]

One common exception is to enable or display additional user input elements that are only relevant if the checkbox is either checked or unchecked.


In web forms, the HTML element <input type="checkbox"> is used to display a checkbox.


In Unicode, empty and filled checkboxes are represented by code points U+2610 (, 'BALLOT BOX'), U+2611 (, 'BALLOT BOX WITH CHECK'), and U+2612 (, 'BALLOT BOX WITH X').


  1. ^ "Check Boxes", "msdn", Retrieved 2010-02-05
  2. ^ Nielsen, Jakob, "Checkboxes vs. Radio Buttons", "Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox",Sept. 2004. Retrieved 2010-02-05