How to add Select2 on Dynamic element – jQuery

Select2 jQuery plugin is easy to add on the <select > element. Need to call the select2() method on the selector to initialize.

If you adding select2 on a class or select element and when you add an element dynamically then select2 is not initialized on that element.

In this tutorial, I show how you can initialize select2 on dynamically created HTML <select > element using jQuery.

I am loading select2 data using jQuery AJAX in the example.

1. Table structure

I am using users table in the example –

CREATE TABLE `users` ( `id` int(11) NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY AUTO_INCREMENT, `username` varchar(80) NOT NULL, `name` varchar(80) NOT NULL, `email` varchar(80) NOT NULL

2. Configuration

Create a config.php for a database connection.

Completed Code

$host = "localhost"; /* Host name */
$user = "root"; /* User */
$password = ""; /* Password */
$dbname = "tutorial"; /* Database name */ $con = mysqli_connect($host, $user, $password,$dbname);
// Check connection
if (!$con) { die("Connection failed: " . mysqli_connect_error());

3. Download

  • Download the Select2 library from GitHub and also download the jQuery library.
  • Extract the downloaded files in the project directory.
  • Also, copy the jQuery library.


Create a <select class="select2_el" > element to initialize select2 on page load and create <div id="elements" > container to store <select > element on button click using jQuery AJAX.

Completed Code

<select class="select2_el" style='width: 200px;'> <option value='0'>- Search user -</option>
</select> <div id='elements'> </div>
<input type="button" id="btn_add" value="Add">


Create ajaxfile.php file for handling AJAX requests.

Handle two requests –

  • If $request == 1 then return data for select2.

Check if searchTerm is POST or not. If not POST then fetch all records from users table otherwise use POST value to search on name field in users table to fetch records.

Loop on the fetched records and initialize $data Array with id and text keys. Pass $row['id'] in id key and $row['name'] in text key.

Return $data Array in JSON format.

  • If $request == 2 then return <select class="select2_el" > element.

Completed Code

include 'config.php'; $request = 1;
if(isset($_POST['request'])){ $request = $_POST['request'];
} // Select2 data
if($request == 1){ if(!isset($_POST['searchTerm'])){ $fetchData = mysqli_query($con,"select * from users order by name limit 5"); }else{ $search = $_POST['searchTerm']; $fetchData = mysqli_query($con,"select * from users where name like '%".$search."%' limit 5"); } $data = array(); while ($row = mysqli_fetch_array($fetchData)) { $data[] = array("id"=>$row['id'], "text"=>$row['name']); } echo json_encode($data); exit;
} // Add element
if($request == 2){ $html = "<br><select class='select2_el' ><option value='0'>- Search user -</option></select><br>"; echo $html; exit; }

6. jQuery

Create initailizeSelect2() function to initialize select2() on class="select2_el". Use AJAX to load select2 data.

Call initailizeSelect2() function on document ready state.

Define click event on #btn_add. Send AJAX POST request to 'ajaxfile.php' file to add <select > element on #elements by appending the response in #elements.

Again call the initailizeSelect2() function to reinitialize the select2 on class="select2_el".

Completed Code

$(document).ready(function(){ // Initialize select2 initailizeSelect2(); // Add <select > element $('#btn_add').click(function(){ $.ajax({ url: 'ajaxfile.php', type: 'post', data: {request: 2}, success: function(response){ // Append element $('#elements').append(response); // Initialize select2 initailizeSelect2(); } }); }); }); // Initialize select2
function initailizeSelect2(){ $(".select2_el").select2({ ajax: { url: "ajaxfile.php", type: "post", dataType: 'json', delay: 250, data: function (params) { return { searchTerm: params.term // search term }; }, processResults: function (response) { return { results: response }; }, cache: true } });

7. Conclusion

You need to reinitialize select2 on the dynamic element.

In the example, I created <select > element using jQuery AJAX and initializing it in class. You can follow the same way to initialize select2 if you are not creating an element using jQuery AJAX.

You can initialize it on element id instead of class if you are getting the id.

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