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Interact with the browser's tab system.

You can use this API to get a list of opened tabs, filtered by various criteria, and to open, update, move, reload, and remove tabs. You can't directly access the content hosted by tabs using this API, but you can insert JavaScript and CSS into tabs using the tabs.executeScript() or tabs.insertCSS() APIs.

You can use most of this API without any special permission. However:

Alternatively, you can get these permissions temporarily, only for the currently active tab and only in response to an explicit user action, by asking for the "activeTab" permission.


Specifies the reason a tab was muted or unmuted.
This object contains a boolean indicating whether the tab is muted, and the reason for the last state change.
This type contains information about a tab.
Indicates whether the tab has finished loading.
The type of window that hosts this tab.
Defines whether zoom changes are handled by the browser, by the add-on, or are disabled.
Defines whether zoom changes will persist for the page's origin, or only take effect in this tab.
Defines zoom settings modescope, and default zoom factor.


A special ID value given to tabs that are not browser tabs (for example, tabs in devtools windows).


Sets up a messaging connection between the add-on's background scripts (or other privileged scripts, such as popup scripts or options page scripts) and any content scripts running in the specified tab.
Creates a new tab.
Creates a data URI encoding an image of the visible area of the currently active tab in the specified window.
Detects the primary language of the content in a tab.
Duplicates a tab.
Injects JavaScript code into a page.
Retrieves details about the specified tab.
Gets details about all tabs in the specified window.
Gets information about the tab that this script is running in, as a tabs.Tab object.
Gets the tab that is selected in the specified window.
Gets the current zoom factor of the specified tab.
Gets the current zoom settings for the specified tab.
Highlights one or more tabs.
Injects CSS into a page.
Removes from a page CSS which was previously injected by calling tabs.insertCSS().
Moves one or more tabs to a new position in the same window or to a different window.
Gets all tabs that have the specified properties, or all tabs if no properties are specified.
Reload a tab, optionally bypassing the local web cache.
Closes one or more tabs.
Sends a single message to the content script(s) in the specified tab.
Sends a single request to the content script(s) in the specified tab. Deprecated: use tabs.sendMessage() instead.
Zooms the specified tab.
Sets the zoom settings for the specified tab.
Navigate the tab to a new URL, or modify other properties of the tab.


Fires when the active tab in a window changes. Note that the tab's URL may not be set at the time this event fired.
Fires when the selected tab in a window changes. Deprecated: use tabs.onActivated instead.
Fired when a tab is attached to a window, for example because it was moved between windows.
Fired when a tab is created. Note that the tab's URL may not be set at the time this event fired.
Fired when a tab is detached from a window, for example because it is being moved between windows.
Fired when the highlighted or selected tabs in a window change. Deprecated: use tabs.onHighlighted instead.
Fired when the highlighted or selected tabs in a window change.
Fired when a tab is moved within a window.
Fired when a tab is closed.
Fired when a tab is replaced with another tab due to prerendering.
Fires when the selected tab in a window changes. Deprecated: use tabs.onActivated instead.
Fired when a tab is updated.
Fired when a tab is zoomed.

Browser compatibility

ChromeEdgeFirefoxFirefox for AndroidOpera
MutedInfo Yes No47 No Yes
MutedInfoReason Yes No47 No Yes
PageSettings No No56 No No
TAB_ID_NONE Yes Yes4554 Yes
TabStatus Yes Yes4554 Yes
WindowType Yes Yes4554 Yes
ZoomSettings Yes No45 No Yes
ZoomSettingsMode Yes No45 No Yes
ZoomSettingsScope Yes No45 No Yes
captureVisibleTab Yes *154754 Yes *
connect Yes No4554 Yes
create Yes Yes4554 Yes
detectLanguage Yes Yes45 No Yes
discard54 * Yes58 No Yes *
duplicate Yes No4754 Yes
executeScript Yes Yes43 *54 Yes
get Yes Yes4554 Yes
getAllInWindow Yes No4554 No
getCurrent Yes Yes4554 Yes
getSelected Yes No No No No
getZoom Yes No45 No Yes
getZoomSettings Yes No45 No Yes
highlight Yes No No No No
insertCSS Yes Yes4754 Yes
move Yes No46 No Yes
onActivated Yes Yes4554 Yes
onActiveChanged Yes No No No No
onAttached Yes154554 Yes
onCreated Yes Yes4554 Yes
onDetached Yes154554 Yes
onHighlightChanged Yes No No No No
onHighlighted Yes No4554 No
onMoved Yes No45 No Yes
onRemoved Yes Yes4554 Yes
onReplaced Yes No No No Yes
onSelectionChanged Yes No No No No
onUpdated Yes Yes4554 Yes
onZoomChange Yes No45 No Yes
print No No56 No No
printPreview No No56 No No
query Yes Yes *4554 Yes
reload Yes No4554 Yes
remove Yes Yes4554 Yes
removeCSS No No4954 No
saveAsPDF No No56 * No No
sendMessage Yes Yes *4554 Yes
sendRequest Yes No No No No
setZoom Yes No45 No Yes
setZoomSettings Yes No No No Yes
toggleReaderMode No No58 No No
update Yes Yes4554 Yes

Edge incompatibilities

Promises are not supported in Edge. Use callbacks instead.

Chrome incompatibilities


  • In Firefox, relative URLs passed into tabs.executeScript() or tabs.insertCSS() are resolved relative to the current page URL. In Chrome, these URLs are resolved relative to the extension's base URL. To work cross-browser, you can specify the path as an absolute URL, starting at the extension's root, like this:

  • In Firefox, querying tabs by URL with tabs.query() requires "tabs" permission. In Chrome, it's possible without the "tabs" permission but will limit results to tabs whose URLs match host permissions.
  • In Firefox, the tabs.remove() promise is fulfilled after the beforeunload event while in Chrome the callback does not wait for beforeunload.

Example extensions


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

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