Manage Service Workers in Firefox and Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 2, 2016

Chrome and Firefox provide users with options to manage registered Service Workers in the browser, including options to remove Service Workers from the browser.

Service Workers are an up and coming feature supported by most modern browsers that enable sites and services to interact with the browser without having to be open in it.

Think of them as on-demand processes that enable the use of push notifications and data synchronization, or make sites work offline.

Web browsers are not designed currently to prompt users all the time when Service Workers are registered in the browser. This happens as a background process most of the time currently.

Manage Service Workers

show notifications

The Service Worker is registered either automatically, or after the user accepts a prompt. Pinterest is a website that registers one automatically when the site is visited in Chrome or Firefox.

This is not made clear to the user as it happens in the background.

Chrome and Firefox offer no clear information on how to manage Service Workers that were added to the browser previously. While capabilities exist, they are more or less hidden from users at this point in time which is problematic if previously registered workers need to be removed from the browser.

This guide provides you with the means to manage workers in Firefox and Chrome.

Useful information

  • Origin is the page the Service Worker was registered from.
  • Scope refers to the pages that the Service Worker controls (accepts fetch and message events from).
  • Script lists the url of the Service Worker JavaScript file.

Manage Service Workers in Mozilla Firefox

firefox manage service workers

Firefox users can manage all registered Service Workers in the browser in the following way:

  1. Load about:serviceworkers in a new tab or the current tab, for instance by copying and pasting the address or bookmarking it and loading it this way.
  2. Firefox displays all registered Service Workers on the page. Each Service Worker is listed with its origin, scope, current worker URL, cache name and other information.
  3. Click on unregister to remove the Service Worker from Firefox, or update to request an update from its source.

Disable Service Workers in Mozilla Firefox

firefox disable service workers

Firefox users can disable Service Workers in the browser in the following way (via our extensive list of Firefox privacy and security settings guide):

  1. Load about:config in the browser's address bar and hit enter.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if a notification is displayed.
  3. Use the search field to find dom.service
  4. Locate dom.serviceWorkers.enabled and double-click on the preference name to set it to false. Doing so disables the Service Workers functionality in Mozilla Firefox.

To undo the change, repeat the process but make sure that the value of the preference is set to true when you are done.

Manage Service Workers in Google Chrome

chrome service workers

  1. You need to load the url chrome://serviceworker-internals/ in the Chrome web browser to open the list of registered workers.
  2. Chrome displays slightly different information than Firefox, including a console log which may come in handy.
  3. Hit the unregister button to remove the selected item from the browser, or start to activate it.

Disable Service Workers in Google Chrome

There does not seem to be a way currently to disable the feature in the Chrome browser. Leave a comment below if you have found a way, and I'll update the article asap.

Useful Resources

The following resources offer additional -- usually focused on development -- resources.

Manage Service Workers in Firefox and Chrome
Article Name
Manage Service Workers in Firefox and Chrome
Find out how to manage Service Workers in the Firefox and Google Chrome web browser, and how to turn them off.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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