Looking at current implementation of the pinterest site (it might change in the future), when you open the overlay a noscroll class is applied to the body element and overflow: hidden is set, thus body is no longer scrollable.

The overlay (created on-the-fly or already inside the page and made visible via display: block, it makes no difference) has position : fixed and overflow-y: scroll, with top, left, right and bottom properties set to 0: this style makes the overlay fill the whole viewport.

The div inside the overlay is instead just in position: static then the vertical scrollbar you see is related to that element. As a result the content is scrollable but overlay remains fixed.

When you close the zoom you hide the overlay (via display: none) and then you could also entirely remove it via javascript (or just the content inside, it’s up to you how to inject it).

As a final step you have to also remove the noscroll class to the body (so the overflow property returns to its initial value)


Codepen Example

(it works by changing the aria-hidden attribute of the overlay in order to show and hide it and to increase its accessibility).

(open button)

<button type="button" class="open-overlay">OPEN LAYER</button>

(overlay and close button)

<section class="overlay" aria-hidden="true">
    <h2>Hello, I'm the overlayer</h2>
    <button type="button" class="close-overlay">CLOSE LAYER</button>


.noscroll { 
  overflow: hidden;

.overlay { 
   position: fixed; 
   overflow-y: scroll;
   top: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0; }

[aria-hidden="true"]  { display: none; }
[aria-hidden="false"] { display: block; }

Javascript (vanilla-JS)

var body = document.body,
    overlay = document.querySelector('.overlay'),
    overlayBtts = document.querySelectorAll('button[class$="overlay"]');

[], function(btt) {

  btt.addEventListener('click', function() { 

     /* Detect the button class name */
     var overlayOpen = this.className === 'open-overlay';

     /* Toggle the aria-hidden state on the overlay and the 
        no-scroll class on the body */
     overlay.setAttribute('aria-hidden', !overlayOpen);
     body.classList.toggle('noscroll', overlayOpen);

     /* On some mobile browser when the overlay was previously
        opened and scrolled, if you open it again it doesn't 
        reset its scrollTop property */
     overlay.scrollTop = 0;

  }, false);


Finally, here’s another example in which the overlay opens with a fade-in effect by a CSS transition applied to the opacity property. Also a padding-right is applied to avoid a reflow on the underlying text when the scrollbar disappears.

Codepen Example (fade)


.noscroll { overflow: hidden; }

@media (min-device-width: 1025px) {
    /* not strictly necessary, just an experiment for 
       this specific example and couldn't be necessary 
       at all on some browser */
    .noscroll { 
        padding-right: 15px;

.overlay { 
     position: fixed; 
     overflow-y: scroll;
     top: 0; left: 0; right: 0; bottom: 0;

[aria-hidden="true"] {    
    transition: opacity 1s, z-index 0s 1s;
    width: 100vw;
    z-index: -1; 
    opacity: 0;  

[aria-hidden="false"] {  
    transition: opacity 1s;
    width: 100%;
    z-index: 1;  
    opacity: 1;