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Hackernoon logoIntroduction to the Web Notifications API Standard by@mozilla

Introduction to the Web Notifications API Standard

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@mozillaMozilla Contributors

Mozilla (stylized as moz://a) is a free software community founded in 1998 by members of Netscape.

Note:ย This feature is available in Web Workers.
Secure context
This feature is available only in secure contexts (HTTPS), in some or all supporting browsers.

The Notifications API allows web pages to control the display of system
notifications to the end user. These are outside the top-level browsing
context viewport, so therefore can be displayed even when the user has
switched tabs or moved to a different app. The API is designed to be
compatible with existing notification systems, across different

Concepts and usage

On supported platforms, showing a system notification generally
involves two things. First, the user needs to grant the current origin
permission to display system notifications, which is generally done when
the app or site initialises, using the

method. This should be done in response to a user gesture, such as clicking a button, for example:

btn.addEventListener('click', function() {
  let promise = Notification.requestPermission();
  // wait for permission

This is not only best practice โ€” you should not be spamming users with notifications they didn't agree to โ€” but going forward browsers will explicitly disallow notifications not triggered in response to a user gesture. Firefox is already doing this from version 72, for example.

This will spawn a request dialog, along the following lines:

From here the user can choose to allow notifications from this origin, or block them. Once a choice has been made, the setting will generally persist for the current session.

Note: As of Firefox 44, the permissions for Notifications and Push have been merged. If permission is granted for notifications, push will also be enabled.

Next, a new notification is created using the

constructor. This must be passed a title argument, and can optionally be passed an options object to specify options, such as text direction, body text, icon to display, notification sound to play, and more.

In addition, the Notifications API spec specifies a number of additions to the ServiceWorker API, to allow service workers to fire notifications.

Note: To find out more about using notifications in your own app, read Using the Notifications API.

Notifications interfaces


Defines a notification object.

Service worker additions


Includes the

method, for controlling the display of notifications.


Includes the

handler, for firing custom functions when a notification is clicked.


A specific type of event object, based on

, which represents a notification that has fired.


Browser compatibility

See also


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Mozilla (stylized as moz://a) is a free software community founded in 1998 by members of Netscape.


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