Alias for runtime.getBackgroundPage().

Note: This method cannot be used in Private Browsing mode — it always returns an empty array. Consider using runtime.sendMessage() or runtime.connect(). For more info see bug 1329304.


var page = browser.extension.getBackgroundPage()



Return value

object. Window of the background page.


Suppose a background script defines a function foo():

// background.js

function foo() {
  console.log("I'm defined in background.js");

A script running in a popup can call this function directly like this:

// popup.js

var page = browser.extension.getBackgroundPage();
page.foo(); // -> "I'm defined in background.js"

Example extensions

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxOperaSafariFirefox for Android
getBackgroundPageChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 14Firefox Full support 45Opera Full support YesSafari Full support 14Firefox Android Full support 48


Full support  
Full support

This API is based on Chromium's chrome.extension API. This documentation is derived from extension.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.