Difference between event.preventDefault() and return false

event.preventDefault() and return false

preventDefault() prevents the default event from occuring, stopPropagation() prevents the event from bubbling up and return false does the both.

Example of preventDefault() and return false:

$('a').click(function() {
return false;
$('a').click(function(e) {

So finally, return false from within a jQuery event handler is effectively same as calling both e.preventDefault and e.stopPropagation on the passed jQuery.Event object.

Read event.preventDefault() from jQuery reference.

return false is doing 3 separate things when you call it:

  • event.preventDefault();
  • event.stopPropagation();
  • Stops callback execution and returns immediately when called.


Based on United States, Jacob Frazier is a skilled JavaScript developer with over 8 years of experience. He is passionate about change and trying new things, both professionally and personally. He loves startups and is extremely proactive.

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