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The Material Design Lite (MDL) spinner component is an enhanced replacement for the classic "wait cursor" (which varies significantly among hardware and software versions) and indicates that there is an ongoing process, the results of which are not yet available. A spinner consists of an open circle that changes colors as it animates in a clockwise direction, and clearly communicates that a process has been started but not completed.

A spinner performs no action itself, either by its display nor when the user clicks or touches it, and does not indicate a process's specific progress or degree of completion. The MDL spinner component provides various types of spinners, and allows you to add display effects.

Spinners are a fairly new feature of most user interfaces, and provide users with a consistent visual cue about ongoing activity, regardless of hardware device, operating system, or browser environment. Their design and use is an important factor in the overall user experience.

Basic use

To use any MDL component, you must include the minified CSS and JavaScript files using standard relative-path references in the <head> section of the page, as described in the MDL Introduction.

To include an MDL spinner component:

 1. Code an element, such as a <div>, <p>, or <span>, to contain the spinner; the element should have no content of its own.


 2. Add one or more MDL classes, separated by spaces, to the container using the class attribute.

<div class="mdl-spinner is-active"></div>

The spinner component is ready for use.


A default spinner in a div.

<div class="mdl-spinner is-active"></div>

A single-color spinner in a paragraph.

<p class="mdl-spinner mdl-spinner--single-color is-active"></p>

Configuration options

The MDL CSS classes apply various predefined visual enhancements to the spinner. The table below lists the available classes and their effects.

MDL class Effect Remarks
mdl-spinner Defines the container as an MDL spinner component Required
mdl-js-spinner Assigns basic MDL behavior to spinner Required
is-active Makes the spinner visible and animated Optional
mdl-spinner--single-color Uses a single (primary palette) color instead of changing colors Optional

Note: There is no specific disabled version of a spinner; the presence or absence of the is-active class determines whether the spinner is visible. For example, this spinner is inactive and invisible: <div class="mdl-spinner mdl-js-spinner"></div> This attribute may be added or removed programmatically via scripting.