cordova-plugin-background-mode npm

Keep app running in background

3 years after

npm version

EXAMPLE :point_right:

Cordova Background Plug-in

Cordova plugin to prevent the app from going to sleep while in background.

Most mobile operating systems are multitasking capable, but most apps dont need to run while in background and not present for the user. Therefore they pause the app in background mode and resume the app before switching to foreground mode. The system keeps all network connections open while in background, but does not deliver the data until the app resumes.

Plugin's Purpose

This cordova plug-in can be used for applications, who rely on continuous network communication independent of from direct user interactions and remote push notifications.

:bangbang: Store Compliance :bangbang:

The plugin focuses on enterprise-only distribution and may not compliant with all public store vendors.

Update: The plugin ID has changed to cordova-plugin-background-mode and is available under npm. An updated version comes later!


  1. Supported Platforms
  2. Installation
  3. ChangeLog
  4. Usage
  5. Examples
  6. Platform specifics

Supported Platforms

  • iOS (including iOS8)
  • Android (SDK >=11)
  • WP8
  • Windows 10


The plugin can either be installed from git repository, from local file system through the Command-line Interface. Or cloud based through PhoneGap Build.

Local development environment

From master:

# ~~ from master branch ~~
cordova plugin add

from a local folder:

# ~~ local folder ~~
cordova plugin add de.appplant.cordova.plugin.background-mode --searchpath path

or to use the last stable version:

# ~~ stable version ~~
cordova plugin add [email protected]

To remove the plug-in, run the following command:

cordova plugin rm de.appplant.cordova.plugin.background-mode

PhoneGap Build

Add the following xml to your config.xml to always use the latest version of this plugin:

<gap:plugin name="de.appplant.cordova.plugin.background-mode" version="0.6.3" />

More informations can be found here.


Version 0.6.4 (03.03.2015)

  • Resolve possibly dependency conflict

Version 0.6.3 (01.01.2015)

  • [feature:] Silent mode for Android

Version 0.6.2 (14.12.2014)

  • [bugfix:] Type error
  • [bugfix:] Wrong default values for isEnabled and isActive.

Further informations

  • The former plugin.backgroundMode namespace has been deprecated and will be removed with the next major release.
  • See to get the full changelog for the plugin.

Known issues

  • Plug-in is broken on Windows Phone 8.1 platform.


The plugin creates the object cordova.plugins.backgroundMode with the following methods:

  1. backgroundMode.enable
  2. backgroundMode.disable
  3. backgroundMode.isEnabled
  4. backgroundMode.isActive
  5. backgroundMode.getDefaults
  6. backgroundMode.setDefaults
  7. backgroundMode.configure
  8. backgroundMode.onactivate
  9. backgroundMode.ondeactivate
  10. backgroundMode.onfailure

Plugin initialization

The plugin and its methods are not available before the deviceready event has been fired.

document.addEventListener('deviceready', function () {
    // cordova.plugins.backgroundMode is now available
}, false);

Prevent the app from going to sleep in background

To prevent the app from being paused while in background, the backgroundMode.enable interface has to be called.

Further informations

  • The background mode will be activated once the app has entered the background and will be deactivated after the app has entered the foreground.
  • To activate the background mode the app needs to be in foreground.

Pause the app while in background

The background mode can be disabled through the backgroundMode.disable interface.

Further informations

  • Once the background mode has been disabled, the app will be paused when in background.

Receive if the background mode is enabled

The backgroundMode.isEnabled interface can be used to get the information if the background mode is enabled or disabled.

cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.isEnabled(); // => boolean

Receive if the background mode is active (Android/iOS only)

The backgroundMode.isActive interface can be used to get the information if the background mode is active.

cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.isActive(); // => boolean

Get informed when the background mode has been activated (Android/iOS only)

The backgroundMode.onactivate interface can be used to get notified when the background mode has been activated.

cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.onactivate = function() {};

Get informed when the background mode has been deactivated (Android/iOS only)

The backgroundMode.ondeactivate interface can be used to get notified when the background mode has been deactivated.

Further informations

  • Once the mode has been deactivated the app will be paused soon after the callback has been fired.
cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.ondeactivate = function() {};

Get informed when the background mode could not been activated

The backgroundMode.onfailure interface can be used to get notified when the background mode could not be activated (Android/iOS) or enabled (Windows 10).

The listener has to be a function and takes the following arguments:

  • errorCode: Error code which describes the error
cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.onfailure = function(errorCode) {};


The following example demonstrates how to enable the background mode after device is ready. The mode itself will be activated when the app has entered the background.

document.addEventListener('deviceready', function () {
    // Android customization
    cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.setDefaults({ text:'Doing heavy tasks.'});
    // Enable background mode

    // Called when background mode has been activated
    cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.onactivate = function () {
        setTimeout(function () {
            // Modify the currently displayed notification
                text:'Running in background for more than 5s now.'
        }, 5000);
}, false);

Platform specifics

Android customization

To indicate that the app is executing tasks in background and being paused would disrupt the user, the plug-in has to create a notification while in background - like a download progress bar.

Override defaults

The title, ticker, text and icon for that notification can be customized as below. Also, by default the app will come to foreground when tapping on the notification. That can be changed by setting resume to false. On Android 5.0+, the color option will set the background color of the notification circle. Also on Android 5.0+, setting isPublic to true will make the full notification show on a secure lockscreen.

All of these fields are optional - only override the things you need to.

    title:  String,
    ticker: String,
    text:   String,
    icon: "icon" // this will look for icon.png in platforms/android/res/drawable
    resume: true / false,
    color: "#123456",
    isPublic: true / false,

Modify the currently displayed notification

It's also possible to modify the currently displayed notification while in background.

    title: String,

Run in background without notification

In silent mode the plugin will not display a notification - which is not the default. Be aware that Android recommends adding a notification otherwise the OS may pause the app.

    silent: true


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request


This software is released under the Apache 2.0 License.

© 2013-2014 appPlant UG, Inc. All rights reserved

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