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This module provides information about your extension and the environment it's running in.

It also provides messaging APIs enabling you to:

  • Communicate between different parts of your extension.
  • Communicate with other extensions.
  • Communicate with native applications.

Types

runtime.Port
Represents one end of a connection between two specific contexts, which can be used to exchange messages.
runtime.MessageSender

Contains information about the sender of a message or connection request.

runtime.PlatformOs
Identifies the browser's operating system.
runtime.PlatformArch
Identifies the browser's processor architecture.
runtime.PlatformInfo
Contains information about the platform the browser is running on.
runtime.RequestUpdateCheckStatus
Result of a call to runtime.requestUpdateCheck().
runtime.OnInstalledReason
The reason that the runtime.onInstalled event is being dispatched.
runtime.OnRestartRequiredReason
The reason that the runtime.onRestartRequired event is being dispatched.

Properties

runtime.lastError
This value is set when an asynchronous function has an error condition that it needs to report to its caller.
runtime.id
The ID of the extension.

Functions

runtime.getBackgroundPage()
Retrieves the Window object for the background page running inside the current extension.
runtime.openOptionsPage()

Opens your extension's options page.

runtime.getManifest()
Gets the complete manifest.json file, serialized as an object.
runtime.getURL()
Given a relative path from the manifest.json to a resource packaged with the extension, returns a fully-qualified URL.
runtime.setUninstallURL()
Sets a URL to be visited when the extension is uninstalled.
runtime.reload()
Reloads the extension.
runtime.requestUpdateCheck()
Checks for updates to this extension.
runtime.connect()
Establishes a connection from a content script to the main extension process, or from one extension to a different extension.
runtime.connectNative()
Connects the extension to a native application on the user's computer.
runtime.sendMessage()
Sends a single message to event listeners within your extension or a different extension. Similar to runtime.connect but only sends a single message, with an optional response.
runtime.sendNativeMessage()
Sends a single message from an extension to a native application.
runtime.getPlatformInfo()
Returns information about the current platform.
runtime.getBrowserInfo()
Returns information about the browser in which this extension is installed.
runtime.getPackageDirectoryEntry()
Returns a DirectoryEntry for the package directory.

Events

runtime.onStartup
Fired when a profile that has this extension installed first starts up. This event is not fired when an incognito profile is started.
runtime.onInstalled
Fired when the extension is first installed, when the extension is updated to a new version, and when the browser is updated to a new version.
runtime.onSuspend
Sent to the event page just before the extension is unloaded. This gives the extension an opportunity to do some cleanup.
runtime.onSuspendCanceled
Sent after runtime.onSuspend to indicate that the extension won't be unloaded after all.
runtime.onUpdateAvailable
Fired when an update is available, but isn't installed immediately because the extension is currently running.
runtime.onBrowserUpdateAvailable
Fired when an update for the browser is available, but isn't installed immediately because a browser restart is required.
runtime.onConnect
Fired when a connection is made with either an extension process or a content script.
runtime.onConnectExternal
Fired when a connection is made with another extension.
runtime.onMessage
Fired when a message is sent from either an extension process or a content script.
runtime.onMessageExternal
Fired when a message is sent from another extension. Cannot be used in a content script.
runtime.onRestartRequired
Fired when the device needs to be restarted.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxFirefox for AndroidOpera
MessageSender26 *Yes *45 *48 *15 *
OnInstalledReasonYesYes4548Yes
OnRestartRequiredReasonYesNo4548Yes
PlatformArchYesNo4548Yes
PlatformInfoYesNo45 *48 *Yes
PlatformNaclArchYesNo4548Yes
PlatformOsYesNo4548Yes
Port26 *15 *45 *48 *15 *
RequestUpdateCheckStatusYesNoNoNoYes
connect26Yes454815
connectNative291550No16
getBackgroundPage22Yes454815
getBrowserInfoNoNo5151No
getManifest22Yes454815
getPackageDirectoryEntry29NoNoNo16
getPlatformInfo29No454816
getURL22Yes454815
id22Yes454815
lastErrorYes *Yes4748Yes *
onBrowserUpdateAvailable27NoNoNo15
onConnect26Yes454815
onConnectExternal26No545415
onInstalled22 *Yes *52 *52 *15 *
onMessage26Yes454815
onMessageExternal26No545415
onRestartRequired29NoNoNo16
onStartup23No525215
onSuspend22NoNoNo15
onSuspendCanceled22NoNoNo15
onUpdateAvailable25No515115
openOptionsPage42No48No29
reload2515515115
requestUpdateCheck25NoNoNo15
sendMessage26 *Yes *45 *48 *15 *
sendNativeMessage291550No16
setUninstallURL4115474828

Edge incompatibilities

Promises are not supported in Edge. Use callbacks instead.

Chrome incompatibilities

None.

Example extensions

Acknowledgements

This API is based on Chromium's chrome.runtime API. This documentation is derived from runtime.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: andrewtruongmoz, abbycar, wbamberg, chrisdavidmills
 Last updated by: andrewtruongmoz,