Navigate the tab to a new URL, or modify other properties of the tab.

To use this function, pass the ID of the tab to update, and an updateProperties object containing the properties you want to update. Properties that are not specified in updateProperties are not modified.

This is an asynchronous function that returns a Promise.


let updating = browser.tabs.update(
  tabId,              // optional integer
  updateProperties    // object


tabId Optional

integer. Defaults to the selected tab of the current window.


object. The set of properties to update for this tab. To learn more about these properties, see the tabs.Tab documentation.

active Optional

boolean. Whether the tab should become active. Does not affect whether the window is focused (see windows.update). If true, non-active highlighted tabs will stop being highlighted. If false, does nothing.

autoDiscardable Optional

boolean. Whether the tab can be discarded by the browser. The default value is true. When set to false, the browser cannot automatically discard the tab. However, the tab can be discarded by tabs.discard.

highlighted Optional

boolean. Adds or removes the tab from the current selection. If true and the tab is not highlighted, it will become active by default.

If you only want to highlight the tab without activating it, Firefox accepts setting highlighted to true and active to false. Other browsers may activate the tab even in this case.

loadReplace Optional

boolean. Whether the new URL should replace the old URL in the tab's navigation history, as accessed via the "Back" button.

For example, suppose the user creates a new tab using Ctrl+T. By default, in Firefox, this would load "about:newtab". If your extension then updates this page using tabs.update, without loadReplace, the "Back" button will be enabled and will take the user back to "about:newtab". If the extension sets loadReplace, then the "Back" button will be disabled and it will be just as if the URL supplied by the extension was the first page visited in that tab.

Note though that the original URL will still appear in the browser's global history.

muted Optional

boolean. Whether the tab should be muted.

openerTabId Optional

integer. The ID of the tab that opened this tab. If specified, the opener tab must be in the same window as this tab.

pinned Optional

boolean. Whether the tab should be pinned.

selected Deprecated Optional

boolean. Whether the tab should be selected. This property has been replaced by active and highlighted.

successorTabId Optional

integer. The id of the tab's successor.

url Optional

string. A URL to navigate the tab to.

For security reasons, in Firefox, this may not be a privileged URL. So passing any of the following URLs will fail, with runtime.lastError being set to an error message:

  • chrome: URLs
  • javascript: URLs
  • data: URLs
  • file: URLs (i.e., files on the filesystem. However, to use a file packaged inside the extension, see below)
  • privileged about: URLs (for example, about:config, about:addons, about:debugging, about:newtab). Non-privileged URLs (e.g., about:blank) are allowed.

To load a page that's packaged with your extension, specify an absolute URL starting at the extension's manifest.json file. For example: '/path/to/my-page.html'. If you omit the leading '/', the URL is treated as a relative URL, and different browsers may construct different absolute URLs.

Return value

A Promise that will be fulfilled with a tabs.Tab object containing details about the updated tab. The tabs.Tab object doesn't contain url, title and favIconUrl unless matching host permissions or the "tabs" permission has been requested. If the tab could not be found or some other error occurs, the promise will be rejected with an error message.


Navigate the active tab in the current window to

function onUpdated(tab) {
  console.log(`Updated tab: ${}`);

function onError(error) {
  console.log(`Error: ${error}`);

let updating = browser.tabs.update({ url: "" });
updating.then(onUpdated, onError);

Activate the first tab in the current window, and navigate it to

function onUpdated(tab) {
  console.log(`Updated tab: ${}`);

function onError(error) {
  console.log(`Error: ${error}`);

function updateFirstTab(tabs) {
  let updating = browser.tabs.update(tabs[0].id, {
    active: true,
    url: "",
  updating.then(onUpdated, onError);

let querying = browser.tabs.query({ currentWindow: true });
querying.then(updateFirstTab, onError);

Example extensions

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

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