Service Worker postMessage() Sample

Available in Chrome 45+ | View on GitHub | Browse Samples


This sample demonstrates basic Service Worker registration, in conjunction with using the postMessage interface to communicate with the service worker controlling the page.

The service worker's onmessage handler behaves differently depending on the type of message it receives; there's an arbitrary set of "commands" that this controlled page can send it to do things like determine whether the resource at a given URL is present in the cache, add resources to the cache, or remove them.

Starting in Chrome 45, it's also possible for a service worker to initiate a message to one or more of the clients (i.e. this page) that it controls. For the purposes of this example, as soon as this service worker finishes its activate handler, it sends a message to all of its clients letting it know that it's ready. This is roughly equivalent to listening for service work lifecycle events on the underlying registration.

(Note that the Cache Storage API is also exposed via window.caches, so in a real-world web application, you could just manage cache entries directly from your web page, without having to coordinate caches by passing messages to the service worker.)

Live Output

JavaScript Snippet

function showCommands() {
  document.querySelector('#add').addEventListener('click', function() {
      command: 'add',
      url: document.querySelector('#url').value
    }).then(function() {
      // If the promise resolves, just display a success message.
      ChromeSamples.setStatus('Added to cache.');
    }).catch(ChromeSamples.setStatus); // If the promise rejects, show the error.

  document.querySelector('#delete').addEventListener('click', function() {
      command: 'delete',
      url: document.querySelector('#url').value
    }).then(function() {
      // If the promise resolves, just display a success message.
      ChromeSamples.setStatus('Deleted from cache.');
    }).catch(ChromeSamples.setStatus); // If the promise rejects, show the error.

  document.querySelector('#listcontents').addEventListener('click', function() {
    sendMessage({command: 'keys'})
      .then(function(data) {
        var contentsElement = document.querySelector('#contents');
        // Clear out the existing items from the list.
        while (contentsElement.firstChild) {

        // Add each cached URL to the list, one by one.
        data.urls.forEach(function(url) {
          var liElement = document.createElement('li');
          liElement.textContent = url;
      }).catch(ChromeSamples.setStatus); // If the promise rejects, show the error.

  document.querySelector('#commands').style.display = 'block';

function sendMessage(message) {
  // This wraps the message posting/response in a promise, which will resolve if the response doesn't
  // contain an error, and reject with the error if it does. If you'd prefer, it's possible to call
  // controller.postMessage() and set up the onmessage handler independently of a promise, but this is
  // a convenient wrapper.
  return new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
    var messageChannel = new MessageChannel();
    messageChannel.port1.onmessage = function(event) {
      if ( {
      } else {

    // This sends the message data as well as transferring messageChannel.port2 to the service worker.
    // The service worker can then use the transferred port to reply via postMessage(), which
    // will in turn trigger the onmessage handler on messageChannel.port1.
    // See

if ('serviceWorker' in navigator) {
  // Set up a listener for messages posted from the service worker.
  // The service worker is set to post a message to all its clients once it's run its activation
  // handler and taken control of the page, so you should see this message event fire once.
  // You can force it to fire again by visiting this page in an Incognito window.
  navigator.serviceWorker.addEventListener('message', function(event) {

    // Wait until the service worker is active.
    .then(function() {
      return navigator.serviceWorker.ready;
    // ...and then show the interface for the commands once it's ready.
    .catch(function(error) {
      // Something went wrong during registration. The service-worker.js file
      // might be unavailable or contain a syntax error.
} else {
  ChromeSamples.setStatus('This browser does not support service workers.');