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Version: v6


Background Runner provides an event-based standalone JavaScript environment for executing your Javascript code outside of the web view.


npm install @capacitor/background-runner
npx cap sync

Background Runner has support for various device APIs that require permission from the user prior to use.


On iOS you must enable the Background Modes capability.

Enable Background Mode Capability in Xcode

Once added, you must enable the Background fetch and Background processing modes at a minimum to enable the ability to register and schedule your background tasks.

If you will be making use of Geolocation or Push Notifications, enable Location updates or Remote notifications respectively.

Configure Background Modes in Xcode

After enabling the Background Modes capability, add the following to your app's AppDelegate.swift:

func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplication.LaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {

// ....
BackgroundRunnerPlugin.handleApplicationDidFinishLaunching(launchOptions: launchOptions)
// ....

return true

To allow the Background Runner to handle remote notifications, add the following:

func application(_ application: UIApplication, didReceiveRemoteNotification userInfo: [AnyHashable : Any], fetchCompletionHandler completionHandler: @escaping (UIBackgroundFetchResult) -> Void) {
// ....
BackgroundRunnerPlugin.dispatchEvent(event: "remoteNotification", eventArgs: userInfo) { result in
switch result {
case .success:
case .failure:


Apple requires privacy descriptions to be specified in Info.plist for location information:

  • NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription (Privacy - Location Always Usage Description)
  • NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription (Privacy - Location When In Use Usage Description)

Read about Configuring Info.plist in the iOS Guide for more information on setting iOS permissions in Xcode



This API requires the following permissions be added to your AndroidManifest.xml:

<!-- Geolocation API -->
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.location.gps" />

The first two permissions ask for location data, both fine and coarse, and the last line is optional but necessary if your app requires GPS to function. You may leave it out, though keep in mind that this may mean your app is installed on devices lacking GPS hardware.

Local Notifications​

Android 13 requires a permission check in order to send notifications. You are required to call checkPermissions() and requestPermissions() accordingly.

On Android 12 and older it won't show a prompt and will just return as granted.

Starting on Android 12, scheduled notifications won't be exact unless this permission is added to your AndroidManifest.xml:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.SCHEDULE_EXACT_ALARM" />

Note that even if the permission is present, users can still disable exact notifications from the app settings.

Read about Setting Permissions in the Android Guide for more information on setting Android permissions.

Using Background Runner​

Background Runner is an event based JavaScript environment that emits events to a javascript runner file that you designate in your capacitor.config.ts file. If the runner finds a event handler corresponding to incoming event in your runner file, it will execute the event handler, then shutdown once resolve() or reject() are called (or if the OS force kills your process).

Example Runner JS File​

addEventListener('myCustomEvent', (resolve, reject, args) => {
console.log('do something to update the system here');

addEventListener('myCustomEventWithReturnData', (resolve, reject, args) => {
try {
console.log('accepted this data: ' + JSON.stringify(args.user));

const updatedUser = args.user;
updatedUser.firstName = updatedUser.firstName + ' HELLO';
updatedUser.lastName = updatedUser.lastName + ' WORLD';

} catch (err) {

addEventListener('remoteNotification', (resolve, reject, args) => {
try {
console.log('received silent push notification');

id: 100,
title: 'Enterprise Background Runner',
body: 'Received silent push notification',

} catch (err) {

Calling resolve() \ reject() is required within every event handler called by the runner. Failure to do this could result in your runner being killed by the OS if your event is called while the app is in the background. If the app is in the foreground, async calls to dispatchEvent may not resolve.

Configuring Background Runner​

On load, Background Runner will automatically register a background task that will be scheduled and ran once your app is backgrounded. The settings for this behavior is defined in your capacitor.config.ts file:

const config: CapacitorConfig = {
plugins: {
BackgroundRunner: {
label: 'com.example.background.task',
src: 'background.js',
event: 'myCustomEvent',
repeat: true,
interval: 2,
autoStart: false,

JavaScript API​

Background Runner does not execute your Javascript code in a browser or web view, therefore the typical Web APIs you may be used to may not be available. This includes DOM APIs nor ability to interact with your application's DOM.

Below is a list of the available Web APIs provided in Background Runner:

In addition to the standard Web APIs, Background Runner also supports a number of custom Capacitor APIs custom APIs that expose relevant mobile device functionality

Runner Lifetimes​

Currently, the runners are designed for performing periodic bursts of work while your app is in the background, or for executing asynchronous work in a thread separate from your UI while your app is in the foreground. As a result, runners are not long lived. State is not maintained between calls to events in the runner. Each call to dispatchEvent() creates a new context in which your runner code is loaded and executed, and once resolve() or reject() is called, the context is destroyed.

Android Battery Optimizations​

Some Android vendors offer built-in battery optimization settings that go beyond what stock Android provides. Some of these optimizations must be disabled by your end users in order for your background tasks to work properly.

Visit Don't kill my app! for more information on the affected manufacturers and steps required by your users to adjust the settings.

Limitations of Background Tasks​

It’s not possible to run persistent, always running background services on mobile operating systems. Due to the limitations imposed by iOS and Android designed to reduce battery and data consumption, background tasks are constrained with various limitations that you must keep in mind while designing and implementing your background task.


  • Each invocation of your task has approximately up to 30 seconds of runtime before you must call completed() or your task is killed.
  • While you can set an interval to define when your task runs after the app is backgrounded, or how often it should run, this is not guaranteed. iOS will determine when and how often you task will ultimately run, determined in part by how often you app is used.


  • Your task has a maximum of 10 minutes to perform work, but to keep your task cross platform compatible, you should limit your work to 30 seconds at most.
  • Repeating background tasks have a minimal interval of at least 15 minutes. Similar to iOS, any interval you request may not be hit exactly - actual execution time is subject to OS battery optimizations and other heuristics.



checkPermissions() => any

Check permissions for the various Capacitor device APIs.

Returns: any

Since: 1.0.0


requestPermissions(options: RequestPermissionOptions) => any

Request permission to display local notifications.


Returns: any

Since: 1.0.0


dispatchEvent(options: DispatchEventOptions) => any

Dispatches an event to the configured runner.


Returns: any

Since: 1.0.0







labelstringThe runner label to dispatch the event to1.0.0
eventstringThe name of the registered event listener.1.0.0
details{ [key: string]: any; }

Type Aliases​


'prompt' | 'prompt-with-rationale' | 'granted' | 'denied'


'geolocation' | 'notifications'

Capacitor API​



Get information on the device, such as network connectivity and battery status.

() => BatteryStatus
Get the current battery status for the device.1.0.0
() => NetworkStatus
Get the current network status for the device.1.0.0






A simple string key / value store backed by UserDefaults on iOS and Shared Preferences on Android.

set(key: string, value: string) => voidSet a string value with the given key.1.0.0
get(key: string) => stringGet a string value for the given key.1.0.0
remove(key: string) => voidRemove a value with the given key.1.0.0


Send basic local notifications.

schedule(options: {}) => voidSchedule a local notification1.0.0


idnumberThe notification identifier. On Android it's a 32-bit int. So the value should be between -2147483648 and 2147483647 inclusive.1.0.0
titlestringThe title of the notification.1.0.0
bodystringThe body of the notification, shown below the title.1.0.0
scheduleAtDateDate to send this notification.1.0.0
soundstringName of the audio file to play when this notification is displayed. Include the file extension with the filename. On iOS, the file should be in the app bundle. On Android, the file should be in res/raw folder. Recommended format is .wav because is supported by both iOS and Android. Only available for iOS and Android < 26. For Android 26+ use channelId of a channel configured with the desired sound. If the sound file is not found, (i.e. empty string or wrong name) the default system notification sound will be used. If not provided, it will produce the default sound on Android and no sound on iOS.1.0.0
actionTypeIdstringAssociate an action type with this notification.1.0.0
threadIdentifierstringUsed to group multiple notifications. Sets threadIdentifier on the UNMutableNotificationContent. Only available for iOS.1.0.0
summaryArgumentstringThe string this notification adds to the category's summary format string. Sets summaryArgument on the UNMutableNotificationContent. Only available for iOS.1.0.0
groupstringUsed to group multiple notifications. Calls setGroup() on NotificationCompat.Builder with the provided value. Only available for Android.1.0.0
groupSummarystringIf true, this notification becomes the summary for a group of notifications. Calls setGroupSummary() on NotificationCompat.Builder with the provided value. Only available for Android when using group.1.0.0
extraanySet extra data to store within this notification.1.0.0
ongoingbooleanIf true, the notification can't be swiped away. Calls setOngoing() on NotificationCompat.Builder with the provided value. Only available for Android.1.0.0
autoCancelbooleanIf true, the notification is canceled when the user clicks on it. Calls setAutoCancel() on NotificationCompat.Builder with the provided value. Only available for Android.1.0.0
largeBodystringSets a multiline text block for display in a big text notification style.1.0.0
summaryTextstringUsed to set the summary text detail in inbox and big text notification styles. Only available for Android.1.0.0
smallIconstringSet a custom status bar icon. If set, this overrides the smallIcon option from Capacitor configuration. Icons should be placed in your app's res/drawable folder. The value for this option should be the drawable resource ID, which is the filename without an extension. Only available for Android.1.0.0
largeIconstringSet a large icon for notifications. Icons should be placed in your app's res/drawable folder. The value for this option should be the drawable resource ID, which is the filename without an extension. Only available for Android.1.0.0
channelIdstringSpecifies the channel the notification should be delivered on. If channel with the given name does not exist then the notification will not fire. If not provided, it will use the default channel. Calls setChannelId() on NotificationCompat.Builder with the provided value. Only available for Android 26+.1.0.0


Get access to device location information.

() => GetCurrentPositionResult
Get the device's last known location1.0.0


latitudenumberLatitude in decimal degrees1.0.0
longitudenumberlongitude in decimal degrees1.0.0
accuracynumberAccuracy level of the latitude and longitude coordinates in meters1.0.0
altitudenumber | nullThe altitude the user is at (if available)1.0.0
altitudeAccuracynumber | nullAccuracy level of the altitude coordinate in meters, if available. Available on all iOS versions and on Android 8.0+.1.0.0
speednumber | nullThe speed the user is traveling (if available)1.0.0
headingnumber | nullThe heading the user is facing (if available)1.0.0


Interact with a watch paired with this app

sendMessage, transferUserInfo and updateApplicationContext are raw routes to the WCSession delegate methods, but have no effects currently in a CapactiorWatch Watch application. They could be used if a native watch app is developed as a companion app to a Capacitor app

sendMessage(options: []) => voidSends a message to the watch with the sendMessage() WCSession delegate method This has no effect on a CapacitorWatch watch app
transferUserInfo(options: []) => voidSends information to the watch with the transferUserInfo() WCSession delegate method This has no effect on a CapacitorWatch watch app
updateApplicationContext(options: []) => voidUpdates the application context on the watch with the updateApplicationContext() WCSession delegate method This has no effect on a CapacitorWatch watch app
isReachablebooleanChecks to see if the compaion watch is reachable
updateWatchUI(options: { watchUI: string; }) => voidReplaces the current UI on the watch with what is specified here.
updateWatchData(options: { data: { [key: string]: string; }; }) => voidUpdates the data the watch is using to display variables in text and button fields