Electron Documentation

systemPreferences

Get system preferences.

Process: Main

const { systemPreferences } = require('electron')
console.log(systemPreferences.isDarkMode())

Events

The systemPreferences object emits the following events:

Event: 'accent-color-changed' Windows

Returns:

  • event Event
  • newColor String - The new RGBA color the user assigned to be their system accent color.

Event: 'color-changed' Windows

Returns:

  • event Event

Event: 'inverted-color-scheme-changed' Windows Deprecated

Returns:

  • event Event
  • invertedColorScheme Boolean - true if an inverted color scheme (a high contrast color scheme with light text and dark backgrounds) is being used, false otherwise.

Deprecated: Should use the new updated event on the nativeTheme module.

Event: 'high-contrast-color-scheme-changed' Windows Deprecated

Returns:

  • event Event
  • highContrastColorScheme Boolean - true if a high contrast theme is being used, false otherwise.

Deprecated: Should use the new updated event on the nativeTheme module.

systemPreferences.isDarkMode() macOS Windows Deprecated

Returns Boolean - Whether the system is in Dark Mode.

Note: On macOS 10.15 Catalina in order for this API to return the correct value when in the "automatic" dark mode setting you must either have NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance=false in your Info.plist or be on Electron >=7.0.0. See the dark mode guide for more information.

Deprecated: Should use the new nativeTheme.shouldUseDarkColors API.

systemPreferences.isSwipeTrackingFromScrollEventsEnabled() macOS

Returns Boolean - Whether the Swipe between pages setting is on.

systemPreferences.postNotification(event, userInfo[, deliverImmediately]) macOS

  • event String
  • userInfo Record<String, any>
  • deliverImmediately Boolean (optional) - true to post notifications immediately even when the subscribing app is inactive.

Posts event as native notifications of macOS. The userInfo is an Object that contains the user information dictionary sent along with the notification.

systemPreferences.postLocalNotification(event, userInfo) macOS

  • event String
  • userInfo Record<String, any>

Posts event as native notifications of macOS. The userInfo is an Object that contains the user information dictionary sent along with the notification.

systemPreferences.postWorkspaceNotification(event, userInfo) macOS

  • event String
  • userInfo Record<String, any>

Posts event as native notifications of macOS. The userInfo is an Object that contains the user information dictionary sent along with the notification.

systemPreferences.subscribeNotification(event, callback) macOS

  • event String
  • callback Function

    • event String
    • userInfo Record<String, unknown>
    • object String

Returns Number - The ID of this subscription

Subscribes to native notifications of macOS, callback will be called with callback(event, userInfo) when the corresponding event happens. The userInfo is an Object that contains the user information dictionary sent along with the notification. The object is the sender of the notification, and only supports NSString values for now.

The id of the subscriber is returned, which can be used to unsubscribe the event.

Under the hood this API subscribes to NSDistributedNotificationCenter, example values of event are:

  • AppleInterfaceThemeChangedNotification
  • AppleAquaColorVariantChanged
  • AppleColorPreferencesChangedNotification
  • AppleShowScrollBarsSettingChanged

systemPreferences.subscribeLocalNotification(event, callback) macOS

  • event String
  • callback Function

    • event String
    • userInfo Record<String, unknown>
    • object String

Returns Number - The ID of this subscription

Same as subscribeNotification, but uses NSNotificationCenter for local defaults. This is necessary for events such as NSUserDefaultsDidChangeNotification.

systemPreferences.subscribeWorkspaceNotification(event, callback) macOS

  • event String
  • callback Function

    • event String
    • userInfo Record<String, unknown>
    • object String

Same as subscribeNotification, but uses NSWorkspace.sharedWorkspace.notificationCenter. This is necessary for events such as NSWorkspaceDidActivateApplicationNotification.

systemPreferences.unsubscribeNotification(id) macOS

  • id Integer

Removes the subscriber with id.

systemPreferences.unsubscribeLocalNotification(id) macOS

  • id Integer

Same as unsubscribeNotification, but removes the subscriber from NSNotificationCenter.

systemPreferences.unsubscribeWorkspaceNotification(id) macOS

  • id Integer

Same as unsubscribeNotification, but removes the subscriber from NSWorkspace.sharedWorkspace.notificationCenter.

systemPreferences.registerDefaults(defaults) macOS

  • defaults Record<String, String | Boolean | Number> - a dictionary of (key: value) user defaults

Add the specified defaults to your application's NSUserDefaults.

systemPreferences.getUserDefault(key, type) macOS

  • key String
  • type String - Can be string, boolean, integer, float, double, url, array or dictionary.

Returns any - The value of key in NSUserDefaults.

Some popular key and types are:

  • AppleInterfaceStyle: string
  • AppleAquaColorVariant: integer
  • AppleHighlightColor: string
  • AppleShowScrollBars: string
  • NSNavRecentPlaces: array
  • NSPreferredWebServices: dictionary
  • NSUserDictionaryReplacementItems: array

systemPreferences.setUserDefault(key, type, value) macOS

Set the value of key in NSUserDefaults.

Note that type should match actual type of value. An exception is thrown if they don't.

Some popular key and types are:

  • ApplePressAndHoldEnabled: boolean

systemPreferences.removeUserDefault(key) macOS

  • key String

Removes the key in NSUserDefaults. This can be used to restore the default or global value of a key previously set with setUserDefault.

systemPreferences.isAeroGlassEnabled() Windows

Returns Boolean - true if DWM composition (Aero Glass) is enabled, and false otherwise.

An example of using it to determine if you should create a transparent window or not (transparent windows won't work correctly when DWM composition is disabled):

const { BrowserWindow, systemPreferences } = require('electron')
let browserOptions = { width: 1000, height: 800 }

// Make the window transparent only if the platform supports it.
if (process.platform !== 'win32' || systemPreferences.isAeroGlassEnabled()) {
  browserOptions.transparent = true
  browserOptions.frame = false
}

// Create the window.
let win = new BrowserWindow(browserOptions)

// Navigate.
if (browserOptions.transparent) {
  win.loadURL(`file://${__dirname}/index.html`)
} else {
  // No transparency, so we load a fallback that uses basic styles.
  win.loadURL(`file://${__dirname}/fallback.html`)
}

systemPreferences.getAccentColor() Windows macOS

Returns String - The users current system wide accent color preference in RGBA hexadecimal form.

const color = systemPreferences.getAccentColor() // `"aabbccdd"`
const red = color.substr(0, 2) // "aa"
const green = color.substr(2, 2) // "bb"
const blue = color.substr(4, 2) // "cc"
const alpha = color.substr(6, 2) // "dd"

This API is only available on macOS 10.14 Mojave or newer.

systemPreferences.getColor(color) Windows macOS

  • color String - One of the following values:

    • On Windows:

      • 3d-dark-shadow - Dark shadow for three-dimensional display elements.
      • 3d-face - Face color for three-dimensional display elements and for dialog box backgrounds.
      • 3d-highlight - Highlight color for three-dimensional display elements.
      • 3d-light - Light color for three-dimensional display elements.
      • 3d-shadow - Shadow color for three-dimensional display elements.
      • active-border - Active window border.
      • active-caption - Active window title bar. Specifies the left side color in the color gradient of an active window's title bar if the gradient effect is enabled.
      • active-caption-gradient - Right side color in the color gradient of an active window's title bar.
      • app-workspace - Background color of multiple document interface (MDI) applications.
      • button-text - Text on push buttons.
      • caption-text - Text in caption, size box, and scroll bar arrow box.
      • desktop - Desktop background color.
      • disabled-text - Grayed (disabled) text.
      • highlight - Item(s) selected in a control.
      • highlight-text - Text of item(s) selected in a control.
      • hotlight - Color for a hyperlink or hot-tracked item.
      • inactive-border - Inactive window border.
      • inactive-caption - Inactive window caption. Specifies the left side color in the color gradient of an inactive window's title bar if the gradient effect is enabled.
      • inactive-caption-gradient - Right side color in the color gradient of an inactive window's title bar.
      • inactive-caption-text - Color of text in an inactive caption.
      • info-background - Background color for tooltip controls.
      • info-text - Text color for tooltip controls.
      • menu - Menu background.
      • menu-highlight - The color used to highlight menu items when the menu appears as a flat menu.
      • menubar - The background color for the menu bar when menus appear as flat menus.
      • menu-text - Text in menus.
      • scrollbar - Scroll bar gray area.
      • window - Window background.
      • window-frame - Window frame.
      • window-text - Text in windows.
    • On macOS

      • alternate-selected-control-text - The text on a selected surface in a list or table.
      • control-background - The background of a large interface element, such as a browser or table.
      • control - The surface of a control.
      • control-text -The text of a control that isn’t disabled.
      • disabled-control-text - The text of a control that’s disabled.
      • find-highlight - The color of a find indicator.
      • grid - The gridlines of an interface element such as a table.
      • header-text - The text of a header cell in a table.
      • highlight - The virtual light source onscreen.
      • keyboard-focus-indicator - The ring that appears around the currently focused control when using the keyboard for interface navigation.
      • label - The text of a label containing primary content.
      • link - A link to other content.
      • placeholder-text - A placeholder string in a control or text view.
      • quaternary-label - The text of a label of lesser importance than a tertiary label such as watermark text.
      • scrubber-textured-background - The background of a scrubber in the Touch Bar.
      • secondary-label - The text of a label of lesser importance than a normal label such as a label used to represent a subheading or additional information.
      • selected-content-background - The background for selected content in a key window or view.
      • selected-control - The surface of a selected control.
      • selected-control-text - The text of a selected control.
      • selected-menu-item - The text of a selected menu.
      • selected-text-background - The background of selected text.
      • selected-text - Selected text.
      • separator - A separator between different sections of content.
      • shadow - The virtual shadow cast by a raised object onscreen.
      • tertiary-label - The text of a label of lesser importance than a secondary label such as a label used to represent disabled text.
      • text-background - Text background.
      • text - The text in a document.
      • under-page-background - The background behind a document's content.
      • unemphasized-selected-content-background - The selected content in a non-key window or view.
      • unemphasized-selected-text-background - A background for selected text in a non-key window or view.
      • unemphasized-selected-text - Selected text in a non-key window or view.
      • window-background - The background of a window.
      • window-frame-text - The text in the window's titlebar area.

Returns String - The system color setting in RGB hexadecimal form (#ABCDEF). See the Windows docs and the MacOS docs for more details.

systemPreferences.getSystemColor(color) macOS

  • color String - One of the following values:

    • blue
    • brown
    • gray
    • green
    • orange
    • pink
    • purple
    • red
    • yellow

Returns String - The standard system color formatted as #RRGGBBAA.

Returns one of several standard system colors that automatically adapt to vibrancy and changes in accessibility settings like 'Increase contrast' and 'Reduce transparency'. See Apple Documentation for more details.

systemPreferences.isInvertedColorScheme() Windows Deprecated

Returns Boolean - true if an inverted color scheme (a high contrast color scheme with light text and dark backgrounds) is active, false otherwise.

Deprecated: Should use the new nativeTheme.shouldUseInvertedColorScheme API.

systemPreferences.isHighContrastColorScheme() macOS Windows Deprecated

Returns Boolean - true if a high contrast theme is active, false otherwise.

Depreacted: Should use the new nativeTheme.shouldUseHighContrastColors API.

systemPreferences.getEffectiveAppearance() macOS

Returns String - Can be dark, light or unknown.

Gets the macOS appearance setting that is currently applied to your application, maps to NSApplication.effectiveAppearance

Please note that until Electron is built targeting the 10.14 SDK, your application's effectiveAppearance will default to 'light' and won't inherit the OS preference. In the interim in order for your application to inherit the OS preference you must set the NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance key in your apps Info.plist to false. If you are using electron-packager or electron-forge just set the enableDarwinDarkMode packager option to true. See the Electron Packager API for more details.

Deprecated

systemPreferences.getAppLevelAppearance() macOS Deprecated

Returns String | null - Can be dark, light or unknown.

Gets the macOS appearance setting that you have declared you want for your application, maps to NSApplication.appearance. You can use the setAppLevelAppearance API to set this value.

Deprecated

systemPreferences.setAppLevelAppearance(appearance) macOS Deprecated

  • appearance String | null - Can be dark or light

Sets the appearance setting for your application, this should override the system default and override the value of getEffectiveAppearance.

Deprecated

systemPreferences.canPromptTouchID() macOS

Returns Boolean - whether or not this device has the ability to use Touch ID.

NOTE: This API will return false on macOS systems older than Sierra 10.12.2.

Deprecated

systemPreferences.promptTouchID(reason) macOS

  • reason String - The reason you are asking for Touch ID authentication

Returns Promise<void> - resolves if the user has successfully authenticated with Touch ID.

const { systemPreferences } = require('electron')

systemPreferences.promptTouchID('To get consent for a Security-Gated Thing').then(success => {
  console.log('You have successfully authenticated with Touch ID!')
}).catch(err => {
  console.log(err)
})

This API itself will not protect your user data; rather, it is a mechanism to allow you to do so. Native apps will need to set Access Control Constants like kSecAccessControlUserPresence on the their keychain entry so that reading it would auto-prompt for Touch ID biometric consent. This could be done with node-keytar, such that one would store an encryption key with node-keytar and only fetch it if promptTouchID() resolves.

NOTE: This API will return a rejected Promise on macOS systems older than Sierra 10.12.2.

systemPreferences.isTrustedAccessibilityClient(prompt) macOS

  • prompt Boolean - whether or not the user will be informed via prompt if the current process is untrusted.

Returns Boolean - true if the current process is a trusted accessibility client and false if it is not.

systemPreferences.getMediaAccessStatus(mediaType) macOS

  • mediaType String - microphone or camera.

Returns String - Can be not-determined, granted, denied, restricted or unknown.

This user consent was not required until macOS 10.14 Mojave, so this method will always return granted if your system is running 10.13 High Sierra or lower.

systemPreferences.askForMediaAccess(mediaType) macOS

  • mediaType String - the type of media being requested; can be microphone, camera.

Returns Promise<Boolean> - A promise that resolves with true if consent was granted and false if it was denied. If an invalid mediaType is passed, the promise will be rejected. If an access request was denied and later is changed through the System Preferences pane, a restart of the app will be required for the new permissions to take effect. If access has already been requested and denied, it must be changed through the preference pane; an alert will not pop up and the promise will resolve with the existing access status.

Important: In order to properly leverage this API, you must set the NSMicrophoneUsageDescription and NSCameraUsageDescription strings in your app's Info.plist file. The values for these keys will be used to populate the permission dialogs so that the user will be properly informed as to the purpose of the permission request. See Electron Application Distribution for more information about how to set these in the context of Electron.

This user consent was not required until macOS 10.14 Mojave, so this method will always return true if your system is running 10.13 High Sierra or lower.

systemPreferences.getAnimationSettings()

Returns Object:

  • shouldRenderRichAnimation Boolean - Returns true if rich animations should be rendered. Looks at session type (e.g. remote desktop) and accessibility settings to give guidance for heavy animations.
  • scrollAnimationsEnabledBySystem Boolean - Determines on a per-platform basis whether scroll animations (e.g. produced by home/end key) should be enabled.
  • prefersReducedMotion Boolean - Determines whether the user desires reduced motion based on platform APIs.

Returns an object with system animation settings.

systemPreferences.appLevelAppearance macOS

A String property that can be dark, light or unknown. It determines the macOS appearance setting for your application. This maps to values in: NSApplication.appearance. Setting this will override the system default as well as the value of getEffectiveAppearance.

Possible values that can be set are dark and light, and possible return values are dark, light, and unknown.

This property is only available on macOS 10.14 Mojave or newer.

systemPreferences.effectiveAppearance macOS Readonly

A String property that can be dark, light or unknown.

Returns the macOS appearance setting that is currently applied to your application, maps to NSApplication.effectiveAppearance

Please note that until Electron is built targeting the 10.14 SDK, your application's effectiveAppearance will default to 'light' and won't inherit the OS preference. In the interim in order for your application to inherit the OS preference you must set the NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance key in your apps Info.plist to false. If you are using electron-packager or electron-forge just set the enableDarwinDarkMode packager option to true. See the Electron Packager API for more details.


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