The ipcMain module, when used in the main process, handles asynchronous and synchronous messages sent from a renderer process (web page). Messages sent from a renderer will be emitted to this module.

Sending Messages

It is also possible to send messages from the main process to the renderer process, see webContents.send for more information.

  • When sending a message, the event name is the channel.
  • To reply a synchronous message, you need to set event.returnValue.
  • To send an asynchronous back to the sender, you can use event.sender.send(...).

An example of sending and handling messages between the render and main processes:

// In main process.
const ipcMain = require('electron').ipcMain;
ipcMain.on('asynchronous-message', function(event, arg) {
  console.log(arg);  // prints "ping"
  event.sender.send('asynchronous-reply', 'pong');

ipcMain.on('synchronous-message', function(event, arg) {
  console.log(arg);  // prints "ping"
  event.returnValue = 'pong';
// In renderer process (web page).
const ipcRenderer = require('electron').ipcRenderer;
console.log(ipcRenderer.sendSync('synchronous-message', 'ping')); // prints "pong"

ipcRenderer.on('asynchronous-reply', function(event, arg) {
  console.log(arg); // prints "pong"
ipcRenderer.send('asynchronous-message', 'ping');

Listening for Messages

The ipcMain module has the following method to listen for events:

ipcMain.on(channel, callback)

  • channel String - The event name.
  • callback Function

When the event occurs the callback is called with an event object and a message, arg.

IPC Event

The event object passed to the callback has the following methods:


Set this to the value to be returned in a synchronous message.


Returns the webContents that sent the message, you can call event.sender.send to reply to the asynchronous message, see webContents.send for more information.