Open stuff like URLs, files, executables. Cross-platform.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import open from '';



Open stuff like URLs, files, executables. Cross-platform.

This is meant to be used in command-line tools and scripts, not in the browser.

If you need this for Electron, use shell.openPath() instead.

Note: The original open package was previously deprecated in favor of this package, and we got the name, so this package is now named open instead of opn. If you're upgrading from the original open package (open@0.0.5 or lower), keep in mind that the API is different.


  • Actively maintained.
  • Supports app arguments.
  • Safer as it uses spawn instead of exec.
  • Fixes most of the original node-open issues.
  • Includes the latest xdg-open script for Linux.
  • Supports WSL paths to Windows apps.


$ npm install open


const open = require('open');

// Opens the image in the default image viewer and waits for the opened app to quit.
await open('unicorn.png', {wait: true});
console.log('The image viewer app quit');

// Opens the URL in the default browser.
await open('');

// Opens the URL in a specified browser.
await open('', {app: {name: 'firefox'}});

// Specify app arguments.
await open('', {app: {name: 'google chrome', arguments: ['--incognito']}});


It uses the command open on macOS, start on Windows and xdg-open on other platforms.

open(target, options?)

Returns a promise for the spawned child process. You would normally not need to use this for anything, but it can be useful if you'd like to attach custom event listeners or perform other operations directly on the spawned process.


Type: string

The thing you want to open. Can be a URL, file, or executable.

Opens in the default app for the file type. For example, URLs opens in your default browser.


Type: object


Type: boolean
Default: false

Wait for the opened app to exit before fulfilling the promise. If false it's fulfilled immediately when opening the app.

Note that it waits for the app to exit, not just for the window to close.

On Windows, you have to explicitly specify an app for it to be able to wait.

background (macOS only)

Type: boolean
Default: false

Do not bring the app to the foreground.

newInstance (macOS only)

Type: boolean
Default: false

Open a new instance of the app even it's already running.

A new instance is always opened on other platforms.


Type: {name: string | string[], arguments?: string[]} | Array<{name: string | string[], arguments: string[]}>

Specify the name of the app to open the target with and optionally, app arguments. app can be an array of apps to try to open and name can be an array of app names to try. If each app fails, the last error will be thrown.

The app name is platform dependent. Don't hard code it in reusable modules. For example, Chrome is google chrome on macOS, google-chrome on Linux and chrome on Windows. If possible, use open.apps which auto-detects the correct binary to use.

You may also pass in the app's full path. For example on WSL, this can be /mnt/c/Program Files (x86)/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe for the Windows installation of Chrome.


Type: boolean
Default: false

Allow the opened app to exit with nonzero exit code when the wait option is true.

We do not recommend setting this option. The convention for success is exit code zero.


An object containing auto-detected binary names for common apps. Useful to work around cross-platform differences.

const open = require('open');

await open('', {
    app: {

Supported apps


  • open-cli - CLI for this module
  • open-editor - Open files in your editor at a specific line and column

Get professional support for this package with a Tidelift subscription
Tidelift helps make open source sustainable for maintainers while giving companies
assurances about security, maintenance, and licensing for their dependencies.