Sends a single message from an extension to a native application.

This takes two mandatory parameters: the name of the native application and a JSON object which is the message to send it. The browser will launch the native application and deliver the message.

This is an asynchronous function that returns a Promise. The first message sent by the native application is treated as a response to the sendNativeMessage() call, and the promise will be fulfilled with this message as a parameter. Note that you can't use runtime.onMessage to get responses from the application: you must use the callback function instead.

A new instance of the application is launched for call to runtime.sendNativeMessage(). The browser will terminate the native application after getting a reply. To terminate a native application, the browser will close the pipe, give the process a few seconds to exit gracefully, and then kill it if it has not exited.

For more information, see Native messaging.


var sending = browser.runtime.sendNativeMessage(
  application,             // string
  message                  // object


string. The name of the native application. This must match the "name" property in the native application's manifest file.
object. A JSON object that will be sent to the native application.

Return value

A Promise. If the sender sent a response, this will be fulfilled with the response as a JSON object. Otherwise it will be fulfilled with no arguments. If an error occurs while connecting to the native application, the promise will be rejected with an error message.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxOperaSafariFirefox for Android
sendNativeMessageChrome Full support 29Edge Full support 15Firefox Full support 50Opera Full support 16Safari Full support 14
Full support 14
Notes See the documentation on about native messaging in Safari.
Firefox Android No support No


Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.


Here's a background script that sends a "ping" message to the "ping_pong" app and logs the response, whenever the user clicks the browser action:

function onResponse(response) {
  console.log(`Received ${response}`);

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

On a click on the browser action, send the app a message.
browser.browserAction.onClicked.addListener(() => {
  console.log("Sending:  ping");
  var sending = browser.runtime.sendNativeMessage("ping_pong", "ping");
  sending.then(onResponse, onError);

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