Frames must have an accessible name

Rule ID: frame-title
Ruleset: axe-core 4.6
User Impact: Serious
Guidelines: WCAG 2.1 (A), WCAG 2.0 (A), Section 508

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact


Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind
  • Mobility


  • WCAG 2.1 (A)
  • WCAG 2.0 (A)
  • Section 508

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.1 (A)]

  • 4.1.2: MUST: Name, Role, Value

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.0 (A)]

  • 4.1.2: MUST: Name, Role, Value

Section 508 Guidelines

  • 1194.22: MUST: Web based intranet and Internet Information & Applications
  • 1194.22 (i): MUST: Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure all frame and iframe elements have valid title attribute values.

You can add a title attribute to a frame element as follows:

<iframe ... title="myFrame"> frame body </iframe>

Additionally, best practice is to give the enclosed document a title element with content identical to the title attribute. Some screen readers will replace the contents of the title attribute on the frame with the contents of the title element inside the frame. As a result, it’s safest and most accessible to have the same text in both locations.

A good title is brief, clear, informative, and unique. Ensure that the document's title contains short, descriptive text summarizing the page's contents. To pass this rule, it’s not sufficient to simply have a title element; the element must also contain meaningful text.

Best practices when writing frame titles

  • Replace placeholder titles such as untitled page with a more appropriate phrase
  • Make each title unique - don’t duplicate titles across pages, even if they are similar.
  • Put all unique information first. If you want to include the company’s name or brand in the title, this information should go after the unique content. Otherwise, users of screen readers will have to listen to this information over and over as they search for the page that interests them.
  • Make the page title match the top heading (ideally labeled as h1) on your page. These don’t need to be identical, but it often makes sense to make them very similar, since the title and h1 elements serve essentially the same purpose.

Why it Matters

Screen reader users rely on a frame title to describe the contents of the frame. Navigating through frame and iframe elements quickly becomes difficult and confusing for users of this technology if the markup does not contain a title attribute.

Screen reader users have the option to pull up a list of titles for all frames on a page. Adding descriptive, unique titles allows users to quickly find the frame they need. If no titles are present, navigating through frames can quickly become difficult and confusing. If no title is listed, screen readers will instead give information like “frame,” “JavaScript,” the filename, or the URL. In most cases, this information won’t be very helpful.

Rule Description

All frame or iframe elements in the document must have a title that is not empty to describe their contents to screen reader users.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

Ensure that all iframe and frame elements contain a unique and non-empty title attribute.


Other Resources

You may also want to check out these other resources.

Refer to the complete list of axe 4.6 rules.

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