Add-ons

webRequest.onBeforeRequest

This event is triggered when a request is about to be made, and before headers are available. This is a good place to listen if you want to cancel or redirect the request.

To cancel or redirect the request, first include "blocking" in the extraInfoSpec array argument to addListener(). Then, in the listener function, return a BlockingResponse object, setting the appropriate property:

  • to cancel the request, include a property cancel with the value true.
  • to redirect the request, include a property redirectUrl with the value set to the URL to which you want to redirect.

From Firefox 52 onwards, instead of returning BlockingResponse, the listener can return a Promise which is resolved with a BlockingResponse. This enables the listener to process the request asynchronously.

If you use "blocking", you must have the "webRequestBlocking" API permission in your manifest.json.

Syntax

browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.addListener(
  listener,             // function
  filter,               //  object
  extraInfoSpec         //  optional array of strings
)
browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.removeListener(listener)
browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.hasListener(listener)

Events have three functions:

addListener(callback, filter, extraInfoSpec)
Adds a listener to this event.
removeListener(listener)
Stop listening to this event. The listener argument is the listener to remove.
hasListener(listener)
Check whether listener is registered for this event. Returns true if it is listening, false otherwise.

addListener syntax

Parameters

callback

Function that will be called when this event occurs. The function will be passed the following arguments:

details
object. Details about the request. See details below.

Returns: webRequest.BlockingResponse. If "blocking" is specified in the extraInfoSpec parameter, the event listener should return a BlockingResponse object, and can set either its cancel or its redirectUrl properties. From Firefox 52 onwards, instead of returning BlockingResponse, the listener can return a Promise which is resolved with a BlockingResponse. This enables the listener to process the request asynchronously.

filter
webRequest.RequestFilter. A filter that restricts the events that will be sent to this listener.
extraInfoSpecOptional
array of string. Extra options for the event. You can pass any of the following values:
  • "blocking": make the request synchronous, so you can cancel or redirect the request
  • "requestBody": include requestBody in the details object passed to the listener

Additional objects

details

frameAncestors
array. Contains information for each document in the frame hierarchy up to the top-level document. The first element in the array contains information about the immediate parent of the document being requested, and the last element contains information about the top-level document. If the load is actually for the top-level document, then this array is empty.
url
string. The URL that the document was loaded from.
frameId
integer. The frameId of the document. details.frameAncestors[0].frameId is the same as details.parentFrameId.
frameId
integer. Zero if the request happens in the main frame; a positive value is the ID of a subframe in which the request happens. If the document of a (sub-)frame is loaded (type is main_frame or sub_frame), frameId indicates the ID of this frame, not the ID of the outer frame. Frame IDs are unique within a tab.
method
string. Standard HTTP method: for example, "GET" or "POST".
originUrl
string. URL of the resource that triggered this request. Note that this may not be the same as the URL of the page into which the requested resource will be loaded. For example, if a document triggers a load in a different window through the target attribute of a link, or a CSS document includes an image using the url() functional notation, then this will be the URL of the original document or of the CSS document, respectively.
parentFrameId
integer. ID of the frame that contains the frame which sent the request. Set to -1 if no parent frame exists.
proxyInfo

object. This property is present only if the request is being proxied. It contains the following properties:

host
string. The hostname of the proxy server.
port
integer. The port number of the proxy server.
type

string. The type of proxy server. One of:

  • "http": HTTP proxy (or SSL CONNECT for HTTPS)
  • "https": HTTP proxying over TLS connection to proxy
  • "socks": SOCKS v5 proxy
  • "socks4": SOCKS v4 proxy
  • "direct": no proxy
  • "unknown": unknown proxy
username
string. Username for the proxy service.
proxyDNS
boolean. True if the proxy will perform domain name resolution based on the hostname supplied, meaning that the client should not do its own DNS lookup.
failoverTimeout
integer. Failover timeout in seconds. If the proxy connection fails, the proxy will not be used again for this period.
requestBodyOptional
object. Contains the HTTP request body data. Only provided if extraInfoSpec contains "requestBody".
errorOptional
string. This is set if any errors were encountered when obtaining request body data.
formDataOptional
object. This object is present if the request method is POST and the body is a sequence of key-value pairs encoded in UTF-8 as either "multipart/form-data" or "application/x-www-form-urlencoded".
It is a dictionary in which each key contains the list of all values for that key. For example: {'key': ['value1', 'value2']}. If the data is of another media type, or if it is malformed, the object is not present.
rawOptional
array of webRequest.UploadData. If the request method is PUT or POST, and the body is not already parsed in formData, then this array contains the unparsed request body elements.
requestId
string. The ID of the request. Request IDs are unique within a browser session, so you can use them to relate different events associated with the same request.
tabId
integer. ID of the tab in which the request takes place. Set to -1 if the request isn't related to a tab.
timeStamp
number. The time when this event fired, in milliseconds since the epoch.
type
webRequest.ResourceType. The type of resource being requested: for example, "image", "script", "stylesheet".
url
string. Target of the request.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxFirefox for AndroidOpera
Basic support Yes1 Yes1462482 Yes1
details.frameAncestors No No5858 No
details.frameId Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.method Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.originUrl No No4848 No
details.parentFrameId Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.proxyInfo No No5757 No
details.requestBody Yes Yes5353 Yes
details.requestId Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.tabId Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.timeStamp Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.type Yes Yes4648 Yes
details.url Yes Yes4648 Yes

1. Asynchronous event listeners are not supported.

2. Asynchronous event listeners are supported from version 52.

Examples

This code logs the URL for every resource requested which matches the <all_urls> pattern:

function logURL(requestDetails) {
  console.log("Loading: " + requestDetails.url);
}

browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.addListener(
  logURL,
  {urls: ["<all_urls>"]}
);

This code cancels requests for images that are made to URLs under "https://mdn.mozillademos.org/" (to see the effect, visit any page on MDN that contains images, such as Firefox Developer Edition):

// match pattern for the URLs to redirect
var pattern = "https://mdn.mozillademos.org/*";

// cancel function returns an object
// which contains a property `cancel` set to `true`
function cancel(requestDetails) {
  console.log("Canceling: " + requestDetails.url);
  return {cancel: true};
}

// add the listener,
// passing the filter argument and "blocking"
browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.addListener(
  cancel,
  {urls: [pattern], types: ["image"]},
  ["blocking"]
);

This code replaces, by redirection, all network requests for images that are made to URLs under "https://mdn.mozillademos.org/" (to see the effect, visit any page on MDN that contains images, such as Firefox Developer Edition):

// match pattern for the URLs to redirect
var pattern = "https://mdn.mozillademos.org/*";

// redirect function
// returns an object with a property `redirectURL`
// set to the new URL
function redirect(requestDetails) {
  console.log("Redirecting: " + requestDetails.url);
  return {
    redirectUrl: "https://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldbj01lZiP1qe0eclo1_500.gif"
  };
}

// add the listener,
// passing the filter argument and "blocking"
browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.addListener(
  redirect,
  {urls:[pattern], types:["image"]},
  ["blocking"]
);

This code is exactly like the previous example, except that the listener handles the request asynchronously. It returns a Promise that sets a timer, and resolves with the redirect URL when the timer expires:

// match pattern for the URLs to redirect
var pattern = "https://mdn.mozillademos.org/*";
 
// URL we will redirect to
var redirectUrl = "https://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldbj01lZiP1qe0eclo1_500.gif";

// redirect function returns a Promise
// which is resolved with the redirect URL when a timer expires
function redirectAsync(requestDetails) {
  console.log("Redirecting async: " + requestDetails.url);
  var asyncCancel = new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
    window.setTimeout(() => {
      resolve({redirectUrl});
    }, 2000);
  });
    
  return asyncCancel;
}

// add the listener,
// passing the filter argument and "blocking"
browser.webRequest.onBeforeRequest.addListener(
  redirectAsync,
  {urls: [pattern], types: ["image"]},
  ["blocking"]
);

Example extensions

Acknowledgements

This API is based on Chromium's chrome.webRequest API. This documentation is derived from web_request.json in the Chromium code.

Microsoft Edge compatibility data is supplied by Microsoft Corporation and is included here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: wbamberg, snoack, Makyen, andymckay-github
 Last updated by: wbamberg,