Connects the extension to a native application on the user's computer. This takes the name of a native application as a parameter. It starts the native application and returns a runtime.Port object to the caller. The caller can then use the Port to exchange messages with the native application using Port.postMessage() and port.onMessage. The native application will run until it exits itself, or the caller calls Port.disconnect(), or the page that created the Port is destroyed. Once the Port is disconnected the browser will give the process a few seconds to exit gracefully, and then kill it if it has not exited.

For more information, see Native messaging.


let port = browser.runtime.connectNative(
  application // string



string. The name of the native application to connect to. This must match the "name" property in the native application's manifest file.

Return value

A runtime.Port object. The port which the caller can use to exchange messages with the native application.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser


This example connects to the native application "ping_pong" and starts listening for messages from it. It also sends the native application a message when the user clicks a browser action icon:

On startup, connect to the "ping_pong" app.
let port = browser.runtime.connectNative("ping_pong");

Listen for messages from the app.
port.onMessage.addListener((response) => {
  console.log(`Received: ${response}`);

On a click on the browser action, send the app a message.
browser.browserAction.onClicked.addListener(() => {
  console.log("Sending:  ping");

Example extensions

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