What is the most preferable default button for submitting a form (like a login page)? OK or Cancel?

  • What does the "Cancel" button add? Why would you ever click it? Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


It depends. if the form is all about some usual data, it is OK button which has focus. but if it is an agreement or something like that, you should have Cancel button with focus on it.

  • 2
    Good point about the agreement.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Aug 11, 2010 at 20:57
  • @moteza. I think @GoodEnough has a very valid point
    – Sruly
    Commented Aug 11, 2010 at 23:02
  • 1
    Yes it is a good point. but when the form is a multi-step or a wizard, then at the end, when the agreement is shown, there is no problem to have the "Cancel" with focus on it. But the other solution is having the check box at the end, and focus on "OK" button. so before sending, one should make sure check box is checked. thank you. Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 8:09

The default button for a form is usually "OK".

If you accidentally hit return before all the data is filled in the form validation should prevent the action from completion and return you to the form ready to complete all the fields. You could even disable "OK" until all the required fields have been entered, but still leave it as the default button. In this case hitting return would do nothing.

If "Cancel" were the default you would potentially lose data and have to start all over again - which is not a very friendly thing to do.


Never "Cancel", it would be infuriating to fill out the whole form, press "enter" and lose everything.

If the information in the form is not too critical then there's no harm in submitting it "by mistake". If the information is critical, then there should be some kind of checkbox confirmation at the end of the form that will only be checked once the user has correctly filled out the whole form.

Always use "OK" as the default.

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