detect scroll direction in javascript

How to Detect Scroll Direction in JavaScript

Typically, web developers add event handlers to listen to scrolling event. But sometimes you may need to call functions or features based on scroll direction. In this article, we will learn how to detect scroll direction using JavaScript. There are many third-part libraries for this purpose, but we can easily do this using plain JavaScript.

How to Detect Scroll Direction in JavaScript

Let us say you have a div myDiv whose scrolling direction you need to detect. The first step is to select the element.

var d = document.getElementById("myDiv);

We define a variable to store the position of last scrollTop value and initialize it to zero.

var lastScrollTop = 0;

Next we add an event handler for scroll event. When the user scrolls up or down, the scroll event is frequently called.

element.addEventListener("scroll", function(){ 
   var st = window.pageYOffset || document.documentElement.scrollTop; 
   if (st > lastScrollTop){
      // downscroll code
   } else {
      // upscroll code
   lastScrollTop = st <= 0 ? 0 : st; // For Mobile or negative scrolling
}, false);

Every time the event handler for scrolling is called, we retrieve the scrolltop value, compare it with the lastScrollTop value to determine if the scrolling is upwards or downwards. If current scrolltop value is greater than the lastScrollTop value it means user is scrolling down, else scrolling up. We also store the current ScrollTop value as the lastScrollTop value for later use.

Instead of adding the event handler to an element, you can also add it to the entire window if you want, as shown below.

// or window.addEventListener("scroll"....

In this article, we have learn how to detect scroll direction in JavaScript. You can customize it as per your requirement.

It is useful to add customized functionality depending on direction of scrolling for users.

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