This function can be used to ensure that event listeners are applied correctly when pages are in the browser's in-memory cache.
If the browser has loaded a page, and the page is reloaded, the browser may reload the page from its in-memory cache, and in this case, events will not be triggered for the request.

Suppose an add-on's job is to block web requests against a pattern, and the following scenario happens:

  • The user loads a page that includes a particular request, and the pattern permits the request.
  • The resource is loaded and cached in memory.
  • The add-on's patterns are updated, in such a way that the resource would no longer be permitted.
  • The user reloads the page.

Because the page will be reloaded from the memory cache, the listener may not be called again, and the request will be loaded despite the add-on's new policy.

The handlerBehaviorChanged() function is designed to address this problem. It flushes the in-memory cache, so that page reloads will trigger event listeners.

Because handlerBehaviorChanged() flushes the cache, it can be expensive and bad for performance. The webRequest module defines a read-only property MAX_HANDLER_BEHAVIOR_CHANGED_CALLS_PER_10_MINUTES: making more calls than this number in 10 minutes will have no effect.

The implementation of caching, hence the need for this function, varies from one browser to another, so in some browsers this function does nothing.


  function() {...} // optional function

This API is also available as browser.webRequest.handlerBehaviorChanged() in a version that returns a promise.



Browser compatibility

Chrome Edge Firefox Firefox for Android Opera
Basic support Yes Yes 45.0 48.0 33


In the following snippet, we flush the in-memory cache via a call to handlerBehaviorChanged(),  and report this action by logging an appropriate message to the console.

chrome.webRequest.handlerBehaviorChanged(function() {
  console.log("In-memory cache flushed");


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: Makyen, chrisdavidmills, wbamberg, rolfedh
 Last updated by: Makyen,