hot reloads chrome extension on development, affects popup tabs and options page

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510.2.24 years ago4 years agoMinified + gzip package size for chrome-extension-hot-reload in KB


Chrome Extension Hot Reload
This is an npm package that can be imported in background.js and popup.js files to make hot reloading possible in extensions.

Using this package, extensions' popups can be hot reloaded without having to close them!

Special Thanks to xpl since this package is initially based on his/her package crx-hotreload for timestamp retrieval and main ideas.


Install it via npm install --save chrome-extension-hot-reload


In your background.js script add the following in top
import HotReload from 'chrome-extension-hot-reload';

In your popup.js script add the following in top
import HotReload from 'chrome-extension-hot-reload';

You should NOT call connect in options page or content scripts, they should already work automatically if you have called start in background script.

Alternatively, (if you don't want to import both the start & connect scripts in both background and popup files you can import them separately as in below)
import start from 'chrome-extension-hot-reload/dist/start';
import connect from 'chrome-extension-hot-reload/dist/connect';

Alternatively, if you prefer ES5, you can import the module as in below (all of them should work)
const HotReload = require("chrome-extension-hot-reload");
const start = require("chrome-extension-hot-reload/dist/start");
const connect = require("chrome-extension-hot-reload/dist/connect");


In the connect method you can pass an options object to pass custom configurations.
import HotReload from 'chrome-extension-hot-reload';
  // the milliseconds for which the script re-checks for file changes
  // by default, the script re-checks for every 1 second (1000 milliseconds)     
  retryTime: 1000,
  // whether to output popup connect logs (debug logs), by default it is false
  dbg: false


  • Doesn't close popup / options page (doesn't force reloads the extension)
  • Using only in background.js is enough for hot reloading options page
  • Can also hot reload popups, using start/connect syntax (even if you do not have a background script, in order to get hot reloading in popups, you should create a background script file in which you call start)
  • Reloads tabs just as crx-hotreload.
  • Doesn't run if the extension is not in development mode just as crx-hotreload.