change type of input field with jQuery


$(document).ready(function() {
    // #login-box password field
    $('#password').attr('type', 'text');

This is supposed to change the #password input field (with id="password") that is of type password to a normal text field, and then fill in the text “Password”.

It doesn’t work, though. Why?

Here is the form:

<form enctype="application/x-www-form-urlencoded" method="post" action="/auth/sign-in">
      <div class="element">
        <input type="text" name="username" id="username" value="Prihlasovacie meno" class="input-text" />
      <div class="element">
        <input type="password" name="password" id="password" value="" class="input-text" />
    <li class="button">
      <div class="button">
        <input type="submit" name="sign_in" id="sign_in" value="Prihlásiť" class="input-submit" />
8/15/2013 4:59:46 PM

Accepted Answer

It's very likely this action is prevented as part of the browser's security model.

Edit: indeed, testing right now in Safari, I get the error type property cannot be changed.

Edit 2: that seems to be an error straight out of jQuery. Using the following straight DOM code works just fine:

var pass = document.createElement('input');
pass.type = 'password';
pass.type = 'text';
pass.value = 'Password';

Edit 3: Straight from the jQuery source, this seems to be related to IE (and could either be a bug or part of their security model, but jQuery isn't specific):

// We can't allow the type property to be changed (since it causes problems in IE)
if ( name == "type" && jQuery.nodeName( elem, "input" ) && elem.parentNode )
    throw "type property can't be changed";
1/19/2014 7:31:24 AM

Even easier... there's no need for all the dynamic element creation. Just create two separate fields, making one the 'real' password field (type="password") and one a 'fake' password field (type="text"), setting the text in the fake field to a light gray color and setting the initial value to 'Password'. Then add a few lines of Javascript with jQuery as below:

    <script type="text/javascript">

        function pwdFocus() {

        function pwdBlur() {
            if ($('#password').attr('value') == '') {

    <input style="color: #ccc" type="text" name="fakepassword" id="fakepassword" value="Password" onfocus="pwdFocus()" />
    <input style="display: none" type="password" name="password" id="password" value="" onblur="pwdBlur()" />

So when the user enters the 'fake' password field it will be hidden, the real field will be shown, and the focus will move to the real field. They will never be able to enter text in the fake field.

When the user leaves the real password field the script will see if it's empty, and if so will hide the real field and show the fake one.

Be careful not to leave a space between the two input elements because IE will position one a little bit after the other (rendering the space) and the field will appear to move when the user enters/exits it.


One step solution

$('#password').get(0).type = 'text';

Nowadays, you can just use

$("#password").prop("type", "text");

But of course, you should really just do this

<input type="password" placeholder="Password" />

in all but IE. There are placeholder shims out there to mimic that functionality in IE as well.


A more cross-browser solution… I hope the gist of this helps someone out there.

This solution tries to set the type attribute, and if it fails, it simply creates a new <input> element, preserving element attributes and event handlers.

changeTypeAttr.js (GitHub Gist):

/* x is the <input/> element
   type is the type you want to change it to.
   jQuery is required and assumed to be the "$" variable */
function changeType(x, type) {
    x = $(x);
    if(x.prop('type') == type)
        return x; //That was easy.
    try {
        return x.prop('type', type); //Stupid IE security will not allow this
    } catch(e) {
        //Try re-creating the element (yep... this sucks)
        //jQuery has no html() method for the element, so we have to put into a div first
        var html = $("<div>").append(x.clone()).html();
        var regex = /type=(\")?([^\"\s]+)(\")?/; //matches type=text or type="text"
        //If no match, we add the type attribute to the end; otherwise, we replace
        var tmp = $(html.match(regex) == null ?
            html.replace(">", ' type="' + type + '">') :
            html.replace(regex, 'type="' + type + '"') );
        //Copy data from old element'type','type') );
        var events ='events');
        var cb = function(events) {
            return function() {
                //Bind all prior events
                for(i in events)
                    var y = events[i];
                    for(j in y)
                        tmp.bind(i, y[j].handler);
        setTimeout(cb, 10); //Wait a bit to call function
        return tmp;

This works for me.

$('#password').replaceWith($('#password').clone().attr('type', 'text'));

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