Why does AngularJS include an empty option in select?

Sudhanshu Source

I've been working with AngularJS for the last few weeks, and the one thing which is really bothering me is that even after trying all permutations or the configuration defined in the specification at http://docs.angularjs.org/api/ng.directive:select, I still get an empty option as the first child of select element.

Here's the Jade:

select.span9(ng-model='form.type', required, ng-options='option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions');

Here the controller:

$scope.typeOptions = [
    { name: 'Feature', value: 'feature' },
    { name: 'Bug', value: 'bug' },
    { name: 'Enhancement', value: 'enhancement' }

Finally, here's the HTML which gets generated:

<select ng-model="form.type" required="required" ng-options="option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions" class="span9 ng-pristine ng-invalid ng-invalid-required">
    <option value="?" selected="selected"></option>
    <option value="0">Feature</option>
    <option value="1">Bug</option>
    <option value="2">Enhancement</option>

What do I need to do to get rid of it?

P.S.: Things work without this as well, but it just looks odd if you use select2 without multiple selection.



answered 6 years ago pkozlowski.opensource #1

The empty option is generated when a value referenced by ng-model doesn't exist in a set of options passed to ng-options. This happens to prevent accidental model selection: AngularJS can see that the initial model is either undefined or not in the set of options and don't want to decide model value on its own.

If you want to get rid of the empty option just select an initial value in your controller, something like:

$scope.form.type = $scope.typeOptions[0].value;

Here is the jsFiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/MTfRD/3/

In short: the empty option means that no valid model is selected (by valid I mean: from the set of options). You need to select a valid model value to get rid of this empty option.

answered 6 years ago Mark Rajcok #2

If you want an initial value, see @pkozlowski.opensource's answer, which FYI can also be implemented in the view (rather than in the controller) using ng-init:

<select ng-model="form.type" required="required" ng-init="form.type='bug'"
  ng-options="option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions" >

If you don't want an initial value, "a single hard-coded element, with the value set to an empty string, can be nested into the element. This element will then represent null or "not selected" option":

<select ng-model="form.type" required="required"
  ng-options="option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions" >
    <option style="display:none" value="">select a type</option>

answered 6 years ago Jitu #3

I faced the same issue. If you are posting an angular form with normal post then you will face this issue, as angular don't allow you to set values for the options in the way you have used. If you get the value of "form.type" then you will find the right value. You have to post the angular object it self not the form post.

answered 5 years ago Abraham Jagadeesh #4

Maybe useful for someone:

If you want to use plain options instead of ng-options, you could do like below:

<select ng-model="sortorder" ng-init="sortorder='publish_date'">
  <option value="publish_date">Ascending</option>
  <option value="-publish_date">Descending</option>

Set the model inline. Use ng-init to get rid of empty option

answered 4 years ago denkan #5

Though both @pkozlowski.opensource's and @Mark's answers are correct, I'd like to share my slightly modified version where I always select the first item in the list, regardless of its value:

<select ng-options="option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions" ng-init="form.type=typeOptions[0].value">

answered 4 years ago WTK #6

Angular < 1.4

For anyone out there that treat "null" as valid value for one of the options (so imagine that "null" is a value of one of the items in typeOptions in example below), I found that simplest way to make sure that automatically added option is hidden is to use ng-if.

<select ng-options="option.value as option.name for option in typeOptions">
    <option value="" ng-if="false"></option>

Why ng-if and not ng-hide? Because you want css selectors that would target first option inside above select to target "real" option, not the one that's hidden. It gets useful when you're using protractor for e2e testing and (for whatever reason) you use by.css() to target select options.

Angular >= 1.4

Due to the refactoring of the select and options directives, using ng-if is no longer a viable option so you gotta turn to ng-show="false" to make it work again.

answered 4 years ago Macfer Ann #7

Try this one in your controller, in the same order:

$scope.typeOptions = [
    { name: 'Feature', value: 'feature' }, 
    { name: 'Bug', value: 'bug' }, 
    { name: 'Enhancement', value: 'enhancement' }
$scope.form.type = $scope.typeOptions[0];

answered 4 years ago Kanagaraj Vadivel #8

Yes ng-model will create empty option value, when ng-model property undefined. We can avoid this, if we assign object to ng-model


angular coding

$scope.collections = [
    { name: 'Feature', value: 'feature' }, 
    { name: 'Bug', value: 'bug' }, 
    { name: 'Enhancement', value: 'enhancement'}

$scope.selectedOption = $scope.collections[0];

<select class='form-control' data-ng-model='selectedOption' data-ng-options='item as item.name for item in collections'></select>

Important Note:

Assign object of array like $scope.collections[0] or $scope.collections[1] to ng-model, dont use object properties. if you are getting select option value from server, using call back function, assign object to ng-model

NOTE from Angular document

Note: ngModel compares by reference, not value. This is important when binding to an array of objects. see an example http://jsfiddle.net/qWzTb/

i have tried lot of times finally i found it.

answered 4 years ago lisapanda #9

Here is the fix :

for a sample data like :

financeRef.pageCount = [{listCount:10,listName:modelStrings.COMMON_TEN_PAGE},    

The select option should be like this:-

<select ng-model="financeRef.financeLimit" ng-change="financeRef.updateRecords(1)" 
class="perPageCount" ng-show="financeRef.showTable" ng-init="financeRef.financeLimit=10"
ng-options="value.listCount as value.listName for  value in financeRef.pageCount"

The point being when we write value.listCount as value.listName, it automatically populates the text in value.listName but the value of the selected option is value.listCount although the values my show normal 0,1,2 .. and so on !!!

In my case, the financeRef.financeLimit is actually grabbing the value.listCount and I can do my manipulation in the controller dynamically.

answered 4 years ago kgrondell #10

A simple solution is to set an option with a blank value "" I found this eliminates the extra undefined option.

answered 4 years ago K K #11

A quick solution:

select option:empty { display:none }

Hope it helps someone. Ideally, the selected answer should be the approach but if in case that's not possible then should work as a patch.

answered 3 years ago Nayas Subramanian #12

This worked for me

<select ng-init="basicProfile.casteId" ng-model="basicProfile.casteId" class="form-control">
     <option value="0">Select Caste....</option>
     <option data-ng-repeat="option in formCastes" value="{{option.id}}">{{option.casteName}}</option>

answered 3 years ago David Genger #13

This works perfectly fine

<select ng-model="contact.Title" ng-options="co for co in['Mr.','Ms.','Mrs.','Dr.','Prof.']">
    <option style="display:none" value=""></option>

the way it works is, that this gives the first option to be displayed before selecting something and the display:none removes it form the dropdown so if you want you can do

<select ng-model="contact.Title" ng-options="co for co in['Mr.','Ms.','Mrs.','Dr.','Prof.']">
    <option style="display:none" value="">select an option...</option>

and this will give you the select and option before selecting but once selected it will disappear, and it will not show up in the dropdown.

answered 3 years ago Nabil Boag #14

Something similar was happening to me too and was caused by an upgrade to angular 1.5.ng-init seems to be being parsed for type in newer versions of Angular. In older Angular ng-init="myModelName=600" would map to an option with value "600" i.e. <option value="600">First</option> but in Angular 1.5 it won't find this as it seems to be expecting to find an option with value 600 i.e <option value=600>First</option>. Angular would then insert a random first item:

<option value="? number:600 ?"></option>

Angular < 1.2.x

<select ng-model="myModelName" ng-init="myModelName=600">
  <option value="600">First</option>
  <option value="700">Second</option>

Angular > 1.2

<select ng-model="myModelName" ng-init="myModelName='600'">
  <option value="600">First</option>
  <option value="700">Second</option>

answered 2 years ago jusopi #15

Among the multitudes of answers here, I figured I'd repost the solution that worked for me and met all of the following conditions:

  • provided a placeholder/prompt when the ng-model is falsy (e.g. "--select region--" w. value="")
  • when ng-model value is falsy and user opens the options dropdown, the placeholder is selected (other solutions mentioned here make the first option appear selected which can be misleading)
  • allow the user to deselect a valid value, essentially selecting the falsy/default value again

enter image description here


<select name="market_vertical" ng-model="vc.viewData.market_vertical"
    ng-options="opt as (opt | capitalizeFirst) for opt in vc.adminData.regions">

    <option ng-selected="true" value="">select a market vertical</option>


original q&a - https://stackoverflow.com/a/32880941/1121919

answered 2 years ago Marco #16

Ok, actually the answer is way simple: when there is a option not recognized by Angular, it includes a dull one. What you are doing wrong is, when you use ng-options, it reads an object, say [{ id: 10, name: test }, { id: 11, name: test2 }] right?

This is what your model value needs to be to evaluate it as equal, say you want selected value to be 10, you need to set your model to a value like { id: 10, name: test } to select 10, therefore it will NOT create that trash.

Hope it helps everybody to understand, I had a rough time trying :)

answered 2 years ago Wtower #17

I would like to add that if the initial value comes from a binding from some parent element or 1.5 component, make sure that the proper type is passed. If using @ in binding, the variable passed will be string and if the options are eg. integers then the empty option will show up.

Either parse properly the value in init, or binding with < and not @ (less recommended for performance unless necessary).

answered 2 years ago gajendra kumar #18

Simple solution

<select ng-model='form.type' required><options>
<option ng-repeat="tp in typeOptions" ng-selected="    
{{form.type==tp.value?true:false}}" value="{{tp.value}}">{{tp.name}}</option>

answered 1 year ago Pascal KOCH #19

A grind solution with jQuery when you haven't the control of the options


<select id="selector" ng-select="selector" data-ng-init=init() >


$scope.init = function () {
    jQuery('#selector option:first').remove();
    $scope.selector=jQuery('#selector option:first').val();

answered 1 year ago James Drinkard #20

I'm using Angular 1.4x and I found this example, so I used ng-init to set the initial value in the select:

<select ng-init="foo = foo || items[0]" ng-model="foo" ng-options="item as item.id for item in items"></select>

answered 1 year ago Pauly Garcia #21

If you use ng-init your model to solve this problem:

<select ng-model="foo" ng-app ng-init="foo='2'">

answered 1 year ago Kuza Grave #22

i had the same problem, i (removed "ng-model") changed this :

<select ng-model="mapayear" id="mapayear" name="mapayear" style="  display:inline-block !important;  max-width: 20%;" class="form-control">
  <option id="removable" hidden> Selecione u </option>
    <option selected ng-repeat="x in anos" value="{{ x.ano }}">{{ x.ano }}

to this:

<select id="mapayear" name="mapayear" style="  display:inline-block !important;  max-width: 20%;" class="form-control">
  <option id="removable" hidden> Selecione u </option>
    <option selected ng-repeat="x in anos" value="{{ x.ano }}">{{ x.ano }}

now its working, but in my case it was cause ive deleted that scope from ng.controller, check if u didn't do the same.

answered 11 months ago Dulanjana Wickramatantri #23

Hi I had some jQUery mobile references and I removed them. With jQuery mobile any of above fixes did not work for me. ( Its great if someone can explain the conflict between jQuery Mobile and Angular JS )


answered 10 months ago Dipendu Paul #24

The only thing worked for me is using track by in ng-options, like this:

 <select class="dropdown" ng-model="selectedUserTable" ng-options="option.Id as option.Name for option in userTables track by option.Id">

answered 7 months ago MMM #25

This solution works for me:

<select ng-model="mymodel">    
   <option ng-value="''" style="display:none;" selected>Country</option>
   <option value="US">USA</option>

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