chrome.runtime

Description: Use the chrome.runtime API to retrieve the background page, return details about the manifest, and listen for and respond to events in the app or extension lifecycle. You can also use this API to convert the relative path of URLs to fully-qualified URLs.
Availability: Since Chrome 22.
Content Scripts: connect , getManifest , getURL , id , onConnect , onMessage and sendMessage are supported. Learn more
Learn More: Event Pages

Summary

Types
Port
MessageSender
PlatformOs
PlatformArch
PlatformNaclArch
PlatformInfo
RequestUpdateCheckStatus
OnInstalledReason
OnRestartRequiredReason
Properties
lastError
id
Methods
getBackgroundPage chrome.runtime.getBackgroundPage(function callback)
openOptionsPage chrome.runtime.openOptionsPage(function callback)
getManifest object chrome.runtime.getManifest()
getURL string chrome.runtime.getURL(string path)
setUninstallURL chrome.runtime.setUninstallURL(string url)
reload chrome.runtime.reload()
requestUpdateCheck chrome.runtime.requestUpdateCheck(function callback)
restart chrome.runtime.restart()
connect Port chrome.runtime.connect(string extensionId, object connectInfo)
connectNative Port chrome.runtime.connectNative(string application)
sendMessage chrome.runtime.sendMessage(string extensionId, any message, object options, function responseCallback)
sendNativeMessage chrome.runtime.sendNativeMessage(string application, object message, function responseCallback)
getPlatformInfo chrome.runtime.getPlatformInfo(function callback)
getPackageDirectoryEntry chrome.runtime.getPackageDirectoryEntry(function callback)
Events
onStartup
onInstalled
onSuspend
onSuspendCanceled
onUpdateAvailable
onBrowserUpdateAvailable
onConnect
onConnectExternal
onMessage
onMessageExternal
onRestartRequired

Types

Port

Since Chrome 26.

An object which allows two way communication with other pages.
properties
string name
function disconnect
object onDisconnect

An object which allows the addition and removal of listeners for a Chrome event.

object onMessage

An object which allows the addition and removal of listeners for a Chrome event.

function postMessage
MessageSender (optional) sender

This property will only be present on ports passed to onConnect/onConnectExternal listeners.

MessageSender

Since Chrome 26.

An object containing information about the script context that sent a message or request.
properties
tabs.Tab (optional) tab

The tabs.Tab which opened the connection, if any. This property will only be present when the connection was opened from a tab (including content scripts), and only if the receiver is an extension, not an app.

integer (optional) frameId

Since Chrome 41.

The frame that opened the connection. 0 for top-level frames, positive for child frames. This will only be set when tab is set.

string (optional) id

The ID of the extension or app that opened the connection, if any.

string (optional) url

Since Chrome 28.

The URL of the page or frame that opened the connection. If the sender is in an iframe, it will be iframe's URL not the URL of the page which hosts it.

string (optional) tlsChannelId

Since Chrome 32.

The TLS channel ID of the page or frame that opened the connection, if requested by the extension or app, and if available.

PlatformOs

The operating system chrome is running on.
Enum
"mac", "win", "android", "cros", "linux", or "openbsd"

PlatformArch

The machine's processor architecture.
Enum
"arm", "x86-32", or "x86-64"

PlatformNaclArch

The native client architecture. This may be different from arch on some platforms.
Enum
"arm", "x86-32", or "x86-64"

PlatformInfo

Since Chrome 36.

An object containing information about the current platform.
properties
PlatformOs os

The operating system chrome is running on.

PlatformArch arch

The machine's processor architecture.

PlatformNaclArch nacl_arch

The native client architecture. This may be different from arch on some platforms.

RequestUpdateCheckStatus

Result of the update check.
Enum
"throttled", "no_update", or "update_available"

OnInstalledReason

The reason that this event is being dispatched.
Enum
"install", "update", "chrome_update", or "shared_module_update"

OnRestartRequiredReason

The reason that the event is being dispatched. 'app_update' is used when the restart is needed because the application is updated to a newer version. 'os_update' is used when the restart is needed because the browser/OS is updated to a newer version. 'periodic' is used when the system runs for more than the permitted uptime set in the enterprise policy.
Enum
"app_update", "os_update", or "periodic"

Properties

object chrome.runtime.lastError This will be defined during an API method callback if there was an error
Properties
string (optional) message

Details about the error which occurred.

string chrome.runtime.id The ID of the extension/app.

Methods

getBackgroundPage

chrome.runtime.getBackgroundPage(function callback)

Retrieves the JavaScript 'window' object for the background page running inside the current extension/app. If the background page is an event page, the system will ensure it is loaded before calling the callback. If there is no background page, an error is set.

Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(Window backgroundPage) {...};
Window (optional) backgroundPage

The JavaScript 'window' object for the background page.

openOptionsPage

chrome.runtime.openOptionsPage(function callback)

Since Chrome 42.

Open your Extension's options page, if possible.

The precise behavior may depend on your manifest's options_ui or options_page key, or what Chrome happens to support at the time. For example, the page may be opened in a new tab, within chrome://extensions, within an App, or it may just focus an open options page. It will never cause the caller page to reload.

If your Extension does not declare an options page, or Chrome failed to create one for some other reason, the callback will set lastError.

Parameters
function (optional) callback

If you specify the callback parameter, it should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

getManifest

object chrome.runtime.getManifest()

Returns details about the app or extension from the manifest. The object returned is a serialization of the full manifest file.

Returns

The manifest details.

getURL

string chrome.runtime.getURL(string path)

Converts a relative path within an app/extension install directory to a fully-qualified URL.

Parameters
string path

A path to a resource within an app/extension expressed relative to its install directory.

setUninstallURL

chrome.runtime.setUninstallURL(string url)

Since Chrome 41.

Sets the URL to be visited upon uninstallation. This may be used to clean up server-side data, do analytics, and implement surveys. Maximum 255 characters.

Parameters
string url

Since Chrome 34.

reload

chrome.runtime.reload()

Since Chrome 25.

Reloads the app or extension.

requestUpdateCheck

chrome.runtime.requestUpdateCheck(function callback)

Since Chrome 25.

Requests an update check for this app/extension.

Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function( RequestUpdateCheckStatus status, object details) {...};
RequestUpdateCheckStatus status

Result of the update check.

object (optional) details

If an update is available, this contains more information about the available update.

string version

The version of the available update.

restart

chrome.runtime.restart()

Since Chrome 32.

Restart the ChromeOS device when the app runs in kiosk mode. Otherwise, it's no-op.

connect

Port chrome.runtime.connect(string extensionId, object connectInfo)

Since Chrome 26.

Attempts to connect to connect listeners within an extension/app (such as the background page), or other extensions/apps. This is useful for content scripts connecting to their extension processes, inter-app/extension communication, and web messaging. Note that this does not connect to any listeners in a content script. Extensions may connect to content scripts embedded in tabs via tabs.connect.

Parameters
string (optional) extensionId

The ID of the extension or app to connect to. If omitted, a connection will be attempted with your own extension. Required if sending messages from a web page for web messaging.

object (optional) connectInfo
string (optional) name

Will be passed into onConnect for processes that are listening for the connection event.

boolean (optional) includeTlsChannelId

Since Chrome 32.

Whether the TLS channel ID will be passed into onConnectExternal for processes that are listening for the connection event.

connectNative

Port chrome.runtime.connectNative(string application)

Since Chrome 28.

Connects to a native application in the host machine.

Parameters
string application

The name of the registered application to connect to.

sendMessage

chrome.runtime.sendMessage(string extensionId, any message, object options, function responseCallback)

Since Chrome 26.

Sends a single message to event listeners within your extension/app or a different extension/app. Similar to runtime.connect but only sends a single message, with an optional response. If sending to your extension, the runtime.onMessage event will be fired in each page, or runtime.onMessageExternal, if a different extension. Note that extensions cannot send messages to content scripts using this method. To send messages to content scripts, use tabs.sendMessage.

Parameters
string (optional) extensionId

The ID of the extension/app to send the message to. If omitted, the message will be sent to your own extension/app. Required if sending messages from a web page for web messaging.

any message
object (optional) options

Since Chrome 32.

boolean (optional) includeTlsChannelId

Whether the TLS channel ID will be passed into onMessageExternal for processes that are listening for the connection event.

function (optional) responseCallback

If you specify the responseCallback parameter, it should be a function that looks like this:

function(any response) {...};
any response

The JSON response object sent by the handler of the message. If an error occurs while connecting to the extension, the callback will be called with no arguments and runtime.lastError will be set to the error message.

sendNativeMessage

chrome.runtime.sendNativeMessage(string application, object message, function responseCallback)

Since Chrome 28.

Send a single message to a native application.

Parameters
string application

The name of the native messaging host.

object message

The message that will be passed to the native messaging host.

function (optional) responseCallback

If you specify the responseCallback parameter, it should be a function that looks like this:

function(any response) {...};
any response

The response message sent by the native messaging host. If an error occurs while connecting to the native messaging host, the callback will be called with no arguments and runtime.lastError will be set to the error message.

getPlatformInfo

chrome.runtime.getPlatformInfo(function callback)

Since Chrome 29.

Returns information about the current platform.

Parameters
function callback

Called with results

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function( PlatformInfo platformInfo) {...};
PlatformInfo platformInfo

getPackageDirectoryEntry

chrome.runtime.getPackageDirectoryEntry(function callback)

Since Chrome 29.

Returns a DirectoryEntry for the package directory.

Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(DirectoryEntry directoryEntry) {...};
DirectoryEntry directoryEntry

Events

onStartup

Since Chrome 23.

Fired when a profile that has this extension installed first starts up. This event is not fired when an incognito profile is started, even if this extension is operating in 'split' incognito mode.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onStartup.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onInstalled

Fired when the extension is first installed, when the extension is updated to a new version, and when Chrome is updated to a new version.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onInstalled.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(object details) {...};
object details

Since Chrome 23.

OnInstalledReason reason

The reason that this event is being dispatched.

string (optional) previousVersion

Indicates the previous version of the extension, which has just been updated. This is present only if 'reason' is 'update'.

string (optional) id

Since Chrome 29.

Indicates the ID of the imported shared module extension which updated. This is present only if 'reason' is 'shared_module_update'.

onSuspend

Sent to the event page just before it is unloaded. This gives the extension opportunity to do some clean up. Note that since the page is unloading, any asynchronous operations started while handling this event are not guaranteed to complete. If more activity for the event page occurs before it gets unloaded the onSuspendCanceled event will be sent and the page won't be unloaded.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onSuspend.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onSuspendCanceled

Sent after onSuspend to indicate that the app won't be unloaded after all.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onSuspendCanceled.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onUpdateAvailable

Since Chrome 25.

Fired when an update is available, but isn't installed immediately because the app is currently running. If you do nothing, the update will be installed the next time the background page gets unloaded, if you want it to be installed sooner you can explicitly call chrome.runtime.reload(). If your extension is using a persistent background page, the background page of course never gets unloaded, so unless you call chrome.runtime.reload() manually in response to this event the update will not get installed until the next time chrome itself restarts. If no handlers are listening for this event, and your extension has a persistent background page, it behaves as if chrome.runtime.reload() is called in response to this event.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onUpdateAvailable.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(object details) {...};
object details

The manifest details of the available update.

string version

The version number of the available update.

onBrowserUpdateAvailable

Deprecated since Chrome 33. Please use runtime.onRestartRequired.

Fired when a Chrome update is available, but isn't installed immediately because a browser restart is required.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onBrowserUpdateAvailable.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onConnect

Since Chrome 26.

Fired when a connection is made from either an extension process or a content script.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onConnect.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function( Port port) {...};
Port port

onConnectExternal

Since Chrome 26.

Fired when a connection is made from another extension.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onConnectExternal.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function( Port port) {...};
Port port

onMessage

Since Chrome 26.

Fired when a message is sent from either an extension process or a content script.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onMessage.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(any message, MessageSender sender, function sendResponse) {...};
any (optional) message

The message sent by the calling script.

MessageSender sender
function sendResponse

Function to call (at most once) when you have a response. The argument should be any JSON-ifiable object. If you have more than one onMessage listener in the same document, then only one may send a response. This function becomes invalid when the event listener returns, unless you return true from the event listener to indicate you wish to send a response asynchronously (this will keep the message channel open to the other end until sendResponse is called).

The sendResponse parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onMessageExternal

Since Chrome 26.

Fired when a message is sent from another extension/app. Cannot be used in a content script.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onMessageExternal.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function(any message, MessageSender sender, function sendResponse) {...};
any (optional) message

The message sent by the calling script.

MessageSender sender
function sendResponse

Function to call (at most once) when you have a response. The argument should be any JSON-ifiable object. If you have more than one onMessage listener in the same document, then only one may send a response. This function becomes invalid when the event listener returns, unless you return true from the event listener to indicate you wish to send a response asynchronously (this will keep the message channel open to the other end until sendResponse is called).

The sendResponse parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function() {...};

onRestartRequired

Since Chrome 29.

Fired when an app or the device that it runs on needs to be restarted. The app should close all its windows at its earliest convenient time to let the restart to happen. If the app does nothing, a restart will be enforced after a 24-hour grace period has passed. Currently, this event is only fired for Chrome OS kiosk apps.

addListener

chrome.runtime.onRestartRequired.addListener(function callback)
Parameters
function callback

The callback parameter should be a function that looks like this:

function( OnRestartRequiredReason reason) {...};
OnRestartRequiredReason reason

The reason that the event is being dispatched.