A browser action is a button in the browser's toolbar.
 
You can associate a popup with the button. The popup is specified using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, just like a normal web page. JavaScript running in the popup gets access to all the same WebExtension APIs as your background scripts, but its global context is the popup, not the current page displayed in the browser. To affect web pages you need to communicate with them via messages.
 

If you specify a popup, it will be shown — and the content will be loaded — when the user clicks the icon. If you do not specify a popup, then when the user clicks the icon an event is dispatched to your extension.

You can define most of a browser action's properties declaratively using the browser_action key in the manifest.json.

With the browserAction API, you can:

  • use browserAction.onClicked to listen for clicks on the icon.
  • get and set the icon's properties — icon, title, popup, and so on. You can get and set these globally across all tabs, or for a specific tab by passing the tab ID as an additional argument.

See also the section on browser actions in User interface components.

Types

browserAction.ColorArray
An array of four integers in the range 0-255 defining an RGBA color.
browserAction.ImageDataType
Pixel data for an image. Must be an ImageData object (for example, from a <canvas> element).

Functions

browserAction.setTitle()
Sets the browser action's title. This will be displayed in a tooltip.
browserAction.getTitle()
Gets the browser action's title.
browserAction.setIcon()
Sets the browser action's icon.
browserAction.setPopup()
Sets the HTML document to be opened as a popup when the user clicks on the browser action's icon.
browserAction.getPopup()
Gets the HTML document set as the browser action's popup.
browserAction.setBadgeText()
Sets the browser action's badge text. The badge is displayed on top of the icon.
browserAction.getBadgeText()
Gets the browser action's badge text.
browserAction.setBadgeBackgroundColor()
Sets the badge's background color.
browserAction.getBadgeBackgroundColor()
Gets the badge's background color.
browserAction.enable()
Enables the browser action for a tab. By default, browser actions are enabled for all tabs.
browserAction.disable()
Disables the browser action for a tab, meaning that it cannot be clicked when that tab is active.

Events

browserAction.onClicked
Fired when a browser action icon is clicked. This event will not fire if the browser action has a popup.

Browser compatibility

Chrome Edge Firefox Firefox for Android Opera
ColorArray Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
ImageDataType Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
disable Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
enable Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
getBadgeBackgroundColor Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
getBadgeText Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
getPopup Yes No 45.0 No 33
getTitle Yes No 45.0 No 33
onClicked Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
setBadgeBackgroundColor Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
setBadgeText Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
setIcon Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
setPopup Yes Yes 45.0 No 33
setTitle Yes No 45.0 No 33

Chrome incompatibilities

None.

Example add-ons

Acknowledgements

This API is based on Chromium's chrome.browserAction API. This documentation is derived from browser_action.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

 Last updated by: wbamberg,