How to Leverage Tailwind CSS’s Will-Change Utility for Optimized Animations

Creating fluid and performant animations is a critical aspect of modern web design. With the introduction of the will-change property in CSS, developers can now hint to the browser which elements are likely to be animated, allowing for smoother transitions and improved rendering performance. Tailwind CSS, a utility-first CSS framework, includes a set of will-change utilities that make it easier to apply this optimization to your web projects. In this article, we’ll explore how to effectively use Tailwind CSS’s will-change utilities to enhance your website’s animations.

Understanding the Will-Change Property

Before diving into Tailwind’s implementation, it’s essential to understand what the will-change property does. The will-change property is used to inform the browser of potential changes to an element’s appearance or position. This allows the browser to perform necessary optimizations ahead of time, reducing the likelihood of jank or stuttering when the changes occur.

However, it’s important to use will-change sparingly, as overuse can lead to increased memory consumption and can negatively impact the performance of your website.

Applying Will-Change with Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS provides a set of utilities for the will-change property, allowing you to easily apply it to elements that will undergo transformations, opacity changes, or other animations. Here’s how to use them:


If you’re planning to animate an element’s transformation (e.g., scale, rotate, translate), you can use the will-change-transform utility:

<div class="will-change-transform ...">
  <!-- Content that will be transformed -->


For elements that will fade in or out, the will-change-opacity utility can be applied:

<div class="will-change-opacity ...">
  <!-- Content that will fade in or out -->

Scroll Position

When you have elements that will be affected by scrolling (e.g., parallax effects), use the will-change-scroll utility:

<div class="will-change-scroll ...">
  <!-- Content that will change on scroll -->

Custom Properties

Tailwind CSS also allows you to define custom will-change properties using the will-change-[property] syntax:

<div class="will-change-[top] ...">
  <!-- Content that will change its 'top' property -->

Best Practices for Using Will-Change in Tailwind CSS

When using the will-change property, it’s important to follow best practices to avoid potential performance issues:

  1. Use will-change only when necessary: Apply it to elements that will definitely be animated and remove it once the animation is complete.
  2. Avoid applying will-change to too many elements: This can cause the browser to use more resources than necessary, leading to decreased performance.
  3. Combine will-change with Tailwind’s transition utilities: This ensures a smooth visual effect when the property changes occur.

Final Code Example

Here’s a complete code example showcasing an element with a hover effect that scales and changes opacity, optimized with Tailwind CSS’s will-change utilities:

<div class="transition-transform transition-opacity hover:scale-110 hover:opacity-75 will-change-transform will-change-opacity">
  <!-- Hover over this element to see the effect -->
  Hover me!

In this example, the transition-transform and transition-opacity utilities are used to define the transition effect, while hover:scale-110 and hover:opacity-75 are used to specify the hover state. The will-change-transform and will-change-opacity utilities are added to optimize the animation performance.


Tailwind CSS’s will-change utilities offer a convenient way to optimize animations and transitions in your web projects. By understanding how to apply these utilities correctly and following best practices, you can create smooth, performant animations that enhance the user experience.

For more information on Tailwind CSS and its utilities, visit the official Tailwind CSS documentation.

Remember to test your animations thoroughly and monitor your site’s performance to ensure that the use of will-change is having the desired effect. With Tailwind CSS, you have the tools you need to create visually appealing and high-performing web designs.


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