Add-ons

webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders

This event is triggered before sending any HTTP data, but after all HTTP headers are available. This is a good place to listen if you want to modify HTTP request headers.

To have the request headers passed into the listener along with the rest of the request data, pass "requestHeaders" in the extraInfoSpec array.

To modify the headers synchronously: pass "blocking" in extraInfoSpec, then in your event listener, return a BlockingResponse with a property named requestHeaders, whose value is the set of request headers to send.

To modify the headers asynchronously: pass "blocking" in extraInfoSpec, then in your event listener, return a Promise which is resolved with a BlockingResponse.

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

It is possible for extensions to conflict here. If two extensions listen to onBeforeSendHeaders for the same request, then the second listener will see modifications made by the first listener, and will be able to undo any changes made by the first listener. For example, if the first listener adds a Cookie header, and the second listener strips all Cookie headers, then the first listener's modifications will be lost. If you want to see the headers that are actually sent, without the risk that another extension will subsequently alter them, use onSendHeaders, although you can't modify headers on this event.

Not all headers actually sent are always included in requestHeaders. In particular, headers related to caching (for example, Cache-Control, If-Modified-Since, If-None-Match) are never sent. Also, behavior here may differ across browsers.

According to the specification, header names are case-insensitive. This means that be to sure of matching a particular header, the listener should lowercase the name before comparing it:

for (let header of e.requestHeaders) {
  if (header.name.toLowerCase() === desiredHeader) {
    // process header
  }
}

The browser preserves the original case of the header name as generated by the browser. If the extension's listener changes the case, this change will not be kept.

Syntax

browser.webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders.addListener(
  listener,             //  function
  filter,               //  object
  extraInfoSpec         //  optional array of strings
)
browser.webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders.removeListener(listener)
browser.webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders.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 of the request. This will include request headers if you have included "requestHeaders" in extraInfoSpec.

Returns: webRequest.BlockingResponse. If "blocking" is specified in the extraInfoSpec parameter, the event listener should return a BlockingResponse object, and can set its requestHeaders property.

filter
webRequest.RequestFilter. A set of filters 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 modify request headers
  • "requestHeaders": include the request headers in the details object passed to the listener

Additional objects

details

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.
requestHeadersOptional
webRequest.HttpHeaders. The HTTP request headers that will be sent with this request.
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 (Yes)1 (Yes)1452482 (Yes)1
details.frameId (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.method (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.originUrl No No4848 No
details.parentFrameId (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.proxyInfo No No5757 No
details.requestHeaders (Yes) (Yes)5353 (Yes)
details.requestId (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.tabId (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.timeStamp (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.type (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)
details.url (Yes) (Yes)4548 (Yes)

1. Asynchronous event listeners are not supported.

2. Asynchronous event listeners are supported from version 52.

Examples

This code changes the "User-Agent" header so the browser identifies itself as Opera 12.16, but only when visiting pages under https://httpbin.org/".

"use strict";

/*
This is the page for which we want to rewrite the User-Agent header.
*/
var targetPage = "https://httpbin.org/*";

/*
Set UA string to Opera 12
*/
var ua = "Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686; Ubuntu/14.10) Presto/2.12.388 Version/12.16";

/*
Rewrite the User-Agent header to "ua".
*/
function rewriteUserAgentHeader(e) {
  for (var header of e.requestHeaders) {
    if (header.name.toLowerCase() === "user-agent") {
      header.value = ua;
    }
  }
  return {requestHeaders: e.requestHeaders};
}

/*
Add rewriteUserAgentHeader as a listener to onBeforeSendHeaders,
only for the target page.

Make it "blocking" so we can modify the headers.
*/
browser.webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders.addListener(
  rewriteUserAgentHeader,
  {urls: [targetPage]},
  ["blocking", "requestHeaders"]
);

This code is exactly like the previous example, except that the listener is asynchronous, returning a Promise which is resolved with the new headers:

"use strict";

/*
This is the page for which we want to rewrite the User-Agent header.
*/
var targetPage = "https://httpbin.org/*";

/*
Set UA string to Opera 12
*/
var ua = "Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686; Ubuntu/14.10) Presto/2.12.388 Version/12.16";

/*
Rewrite the User-Agent header to "ua".
*/
function rewriteUserAgentHeaderAsync(e) {
  var asyncRewrite = new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
    window.setTimeout(() => {
      for (var header of e.requestHeaders) {
        if (header.name.toLowerCase() === "user-agent") {
          header.value = ua;
        }
      }
      resolve({requestHeaders: e.requestHeaders});
    }, 2000);
  });

  return asyncRewrite;
}

/*
Add rewriteUserAgentHeader as a listener to onBeforeSendHeaders,
only for the target page.

Make it "blocking" so we can modify the headers.
*/
browser.webRequest.onBeforeSendHeaders.addListener(
  rewriteUserAgentHeaderAsync,
  {urls: [targetPage]},
  ["blocking", "requestHeaders"]
);

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, andrewtruongmoz, Makyen
 Last updated by: wbamberg,