All of Node.js's built-in modules are available in Electron and third-party node modules also fully supported as well (including the native modules).

Electron also provides some extra built-in modules for developing native desktop applications. Some modules are only available in the main process, some are only available in the renderer process (web page), and some can be used in both processes.

The basic rule is: if a module is GUI or low-level system related, then it should be only available in the main process. You need to be familiar with the concept of main process vs. renderer process scripts to be able to use those modules.

The main process script is just like a normal Node.js script:

const electron = require('electron');
const app =;
const BrowserWindow = electron.BrowserWindow;

var window = null;

app.on('ready', function() {
  window = new BrowserWindow({width: 800, height: 600});

The renderer process is no different than a normal web page, except for the extra ability to use node modules:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  const remote = require('electron').remote;

To run your app, read Run your app.

Destructuring assignment

If you are using CoffeeScript or Babel, you can also use destructuring assignment to make it easier to use built-in modules:

const {app, BrowserWindow} = require('electron')

However if you are using plain JavaScript, you have to wait until Chrome fully supports ES6.

Disable old styles of using built-in modules

Before v0.35.0, all built-in modules have to be used in the form of require('module-name'), though it has many disadvantages, we are still supporting it for compatibility with old apps.

To disable the old styles completely, you can set the ELECTRON_HIDE_INTERNAL_MODULES environment variable:


Or call the hideInternalModules API: