How to manually toggle angular-ui-select dropdown

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I’m using AngularUI’s ui-select to create several multiselects on a page. I need to be able to open the dropdown list when a user clicks on a button on the page.

I’ve tried using jQuery’s .click() and .toggle('click') on the element, but these result in a $apply already in progress error when called by in the button’s ng-click function. They work when called from Chrome’s console though. The function in ng-click doesn’t do anything besides simulating another click.

.focus() doesn’t do anything, besides focusing the input.

I also reluctantly tried a nasty hack, where I used the select’s ng-init to store it’s controller to a scope the button has access to, and then using the controller’s toggle() and activate() methods. This gave focus to the input, but the associated dropdown list wont open.

How can I toggle the dropdown manually, from outside the ui-select element’s context?

Here’s a Plunker you can play with.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

I have tried and could be achieved by directive method. working fiddle

  .module('myApp', [
  .controller('testController', function ($scope) {
    $scope.things = ['item1', 'item2'];
    $scope.clickOnInput = function() {
  .directive('openMenuByClick', function ($timeout) {
    return {
        link: function (scope, element, attrs) {
               element.bind('click', function () {

                 $timeout(function () {


Add this attribute directive to your button

<button id="btn" open-menu-by-click="searchBarArea">Click me</button>

Method 2

I recommend to use the $select service in a custom directive instead of trying to hack your way around by clicking programmatically.

You can then access ui-select’s built in actions like
$select.toggle() for toggling the dropdown
$select.activate() for opening and
select.close() for closing the dropdown.

myModule.directive('myUiSelect', function() {
  return {
    require: 'uiSelect',
    link: function(scope, element, attrs, $select) {
      $select.activate(); // call this by an event handler

And in your template

<ui-select my-ui-select>

See reference:$select

Method 3

Maybe you can bind a property to the size attribute of the dropdownlist. Set the property to a number like “6” to make it appear as if it was opening and back to “1” when you want it to collapse. Otherwise I’m not sure there’s any other way. See reference here.

Method 4

I found also another solution, ie. to test ui-select with capibara and jQuery:

$('.ui-select-container').scope().$ = true;

Method 5

Accessing $select with require: 'uiSelect' does not work.

Try $elem.find('input').click() to open and $('body').click() to close the ui.

Method 6

An example developed for you as below

    <script src=""></script>
        function showUser(){
            var siz = $("#sem option").length;
    <select name='sem' id = 'sem' style = 'margin-left: 3.4em;' class = 'shor_list'>
                    <option value='Null'>------Select Semester------</option>
                    <option value='1st'>1st</option>
                    <option value='2nd'>2nd</option>
                    <option value='3rd'>3rd</option>
                    <option value='4th'>4th</option>
                    <option value='5th'>5th</option>
                    <option value='6th'>6th</option>
                    <option value='7th'>7th</option>
                    <option value='8th'>8th</option>
    <span onclick="showUser();">update list</span>

but there seems to be a better way but, you gotta pay for it LINK

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply