Creates a new menu item, given an options object defining properties for the item.

Unlike other asynchronous functions, this one does not return a promise, but uses an optional callback to communicate success or failure. This is because its return value is the ID of the new item.

For compatibility with other browsers, Firefox makes this method available via the contextMenus namespace as well as the menus namespace. Note though that it's not possible to create tools menu items (contexts: ["tools_menu"]) using the contextMenus namespace.


  createProperties, // object
  () => {/* … */}   // optional function



object. Properties for the new menu item.

checked Optional

boolean. The initial state of a checkbox or radio item: true for selected and false for unselected. Only one radio item can be selected at a time in a given group of radio items.

command Optional

string. String describing an action that should be taken when the user clicks the item. The recognized values are:

  • "_execute_browser_action": simulate a click on the extension's browser action, opening its popup if it has one (Manifest V2 only)
  • "_execute_action": simulate a click on the extension's action, opening its popup if it has one (Manifest V3 only)
  • "_execute_page_action": simulate a click on the extension's page action, opening its popup if it has one
  • "_execute_sidebar_action": open the extension's sidebar

See the documentation of special shortcuts in the manifest.json key commands for details.

When one of the recognized values is specified, clicking the item does not trigger the menus.onClicked event; instead, the default action triggers, such as opening a pop-up. Otherwise, clicking the item triggers menus.onClicked and the event can be used to implement fallback behavior.

contexts Optional

array of menus.ContextType. Array of contexts in which this menu item will appear. If this option is omitted:

  • if the item's parent has contexts set, then this item will inherit its parent's contexts
  • otherwise, the item is given a context array of ["page"].
documentUrlPatterns Optional

array of string. Lets you restrict the item to apply only to documents whose URL matches one of the given match patterns. This applies to frames as well.

enabled Optional

boolean. Whether this menu item is enabled or disabled. Defaults to true.

icons Optional

object. One or more custom icons to display next to the item. Custom icons can only be set for items appearing in submenus. This property is an object with one property for each supplied icon: the property's name should include the icon's size in pixels, and path is relative to the icon from the extension's root directory. The browser tries to choose a 16x16 pixel icon for a normal display or a 32x32 pixel icon for a high-density display. To avoid any scaling, you can specify icons like this:

"icons": {
        "16": "path/to/geo-16.png",
        "32": "path/to/geo-32.png"

Alternatively, you can specify a single SVG icon, and it will be scaled appropriately:

"icons": {
        "16": "path/to/geo.svg"

Note: The top-level menu item uses the icons specified in the manifest rather than what is specified with this key.

id Optional

string. The unique ID to assign to this item. Is mandatory for non-persistent background (event) pages in Manifest V2 and in Manifest V3. Cannot be the same as another ID for this extension.

onclick Optional

function. The function called when the menu item is clicked. Event pages cannot use this: instead, they should register a listener for menus.onClicked.

parentId Optional

integer or string. The ID of a parent menu item; this makes the item a child of a previously added item. Note: If you have created more than one menu item, then the items will be placed in a submenu. The submenu's parent will be labeled with the name of the extension.

targetUrlPatterns Optional

array of string. Similar to documentUrlPatterns, but lets you filter based on the href of anchor tags and the src attribute of img/audio/video tags. This parameter supports any URL scheme, even those that are usually not allowed in a match pattern.

title Optional

string. The text to be displayed in the item. Mandatory unless type is "separator".

You can use "%s" in the string. If you do this in a menu item, and some text is selected in the page when the menu is shown, then the selected text will be interpolated into the title. For example, if title is "Translate '%s' to Pig Latin" and the user selects the word "cool", then activates the menu, then the menu item's title will be: "Translate 'cool' to Pig Latin".

If the title contains an ampersand "&" then the next character will be used as an access key for the item, and the ampersand will not be displayed. Exceptions to this are:

  • If the next character is also an ampersand: then a single ampersand will be displayed and no access key will be set. In effect, "&&" is used to display a single ampersand.
  • If the next characters are the interpolation directive "%s": then the ampersand will not be displayed and no access key will be set.
  • If the ampersand is the last character in the title: then the ampersand will not be displayed and no access key will be set.

Only the first ampersand will be used to set an access key: subsequent ampersands will not be displayed but will not set keys. So "&A and &B" will be shown as "A and B" and set "A" as the access key.

In some localized versions of Firefox (Japanese and Chinese), the access key is surrounded by parentheses and appended to the menu label, unless the menu title itself already ends with the access key ("toolkit(&K)" for example). For more details, see Firefox bug 1647373.

type Optional

menus.ItemType. The type of menu item: "normal", "checkbox", "radio", "separator". Defaults to "normal".

viewTypes Optional

extension.ViewType. List of view types where the menu item will be shown. Defaults to any view, including those without a viewType.

visible Optional

boolean. Whether the item is shown in the menu. Defaults to true.

callback Optional

function. Called when the item has been created. If there were any problems creating the item, details will be available in runtime.lastError.

Return value

integer or string. The ID of the newly created item.


This example creates a context menu item that's shown when the user has selected some text in the page. It just logs the selected text to the console:

  id: "log-selection",
  title: "Log '%s' to the console",
  contexts: ["selection"]

browser.menus.onClicked.addListener((info, tab) => {
  if (info.menuItemId === "log-selection") {

This example adds two radio items, which you can use to choose whether to apply a green or a blue border to the page. Note that this example will need the activeTab permission.

function onCreated() {
  if (browser.runtime.lastError) {
    console.log("error creating item:", browser.runtime.lastError);
  } else {
    console.log("item created successfully");

  id: "radio-green",
  type: "radio",
  title: "Make it green",
  contexts: ["all"],
  checked: false
}, onCreated);

  id: "radio-blue",
  type: "radio",
  title: "Make it blue",
  contexts: ["all"],
  checked: false
}, onCreated);

let makeItBlue = ' = "5px solid blue"';
let makeItGreen = ' = "5px solid green"';

browser.menus.onClicked.addListener((info, tab) => {
  if (info.menuItemId === "radio-blue") {
    browser.tabs.executeScript(, {
      code: makeItBlue
  } else if (info.menuItemId === "radio-green") {
    browser.tabs.executeScript(, {
      code: makeItGreen

Example extensions

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

Note: This API is based on Chromium's chrome.contextMenus API. This documentation is derived from context_menus.json in the Chromium code.