The issue is that when I invoke window.close() or self.close() it doesn't close the window. Now there seems to be a belief that in Chrome you can't close by script any window that is not script created. That is patently false but regardless it is supposed to still do it, even if it requires to pop up an alert to confirm. These are not happening.

So does anyone have real, functional and proven method of closing a window using something like javascript:window.close() or javascript:self.close() that actually does what is expected and something that happens just fine in every browser that is NOT Chrome based? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and I am looking for Javascript specific solution, nothing JQuery or third party implementation.

Update: While much of what has been suggested has serious limitations and usability issues, the latest suggestion (specific to TamperMonkey) using // @grant window.close in the script header will often do the trick even on those tabs that normally can't handle the close method. While not entirely ideal and doesn't generalized to every case, it is a good solution in my case.

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window.close() works for me in chrome. – mash
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window.close is not part of any standard, so there's no guarantee of consistency (or even implementation) across browsers. – Blender
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@Mash, will take your word for it but downvotes are so lame. – GµårÐïåñ
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@GµårÐïåñ: Umm, no it isn't. It has nothing to do with the language. It's a function implemented by browsers. If you can write a minimal example showing how window.close isn't working the way it should, I think that may be more helpful than saying, "it doesn't work". – Blender
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I gave you TWO examples. Spelling it out for you, <a href="javascript:window.close">CLOSE</a> – GµårÐïåñ
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guardian that is improper javascript. Try window.close() and it works. window.close is just a variable name and will not call the function (at least it does not when I test it in chrome 37). When I change your example to window.close() it works in chrome 37. – George
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@George what you have said is moot and adds nothing. – GµårÐïåñ
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GµårÐïåñ What @George said is NOT moot (unless I've totally misunderstood the meaning of the word). He is correct in stating that you have a syntactic error in the javascript in your examples, and if you have the same error in your application-code, then this is more than likely the cause of your issue. IF, however, these are just typos in your examples, then you should correct those typos to get better answers. – Superole

11 Answers 11

Despite thinking it is "patently false", what you say "seems to be a belief" is actually correct. The Mozilla documentation for window.close says

This method is only allowed to be called for windows that were opened by a script using the window.open method. If the window was not opened by a script, the following error appears in the JavaScript Console: Scripts may not close windows that were not opened by script

You say that it is "supposed to still do it" but I don't think you'll find any reference which supports that, maybe you've misremembered something?

Ordinary javascript cannot close windows willy-nilly. This is a security feature, introduced a while ago, to stop various malicious exploits and annoyances.

From the latest working spec for window.close():

The close() method on Window objects should, if all the following conditions are met, close the browsing context A:

  • The corresponding browsing context A is script-closable.
  • The browsing context of the incumbent script is familiar with the browsing context A.
  • The browsing context of the incumbent script is allowed to navigate the browsing context A.

A browsing context is script-closable if it is an auxiliary browsing context that was created by a script (as opposed to by an action of the user), or if it is a browsing context whose session history contains only one Document.

This means, with one small exception, javascript must not be allowed to close a window that was not opened by that same javascript.

Chrome allows that exception -- which it doesn't apply to userscripts -- however Firefox does not. The Firefox implementation flat out states:

This method is only allowed to be called for windows that were opened by a script using the window.open method.


If you try to use window.close from a Greasemonkey / Tampermonkey / userscript you will get:
Firefox: The error message, "Scripts may not close windows that were not opened by script."
Chrome: just silently fails.



The long-term solution:

The best way to deal with this is to make a Chrome extension and/or Firefox add-on instead. These can reliably close the current window.

However, since the security risks, posed by window.close, are much less for a Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey script; Greasemonkey and Tampermonkey could reasonably provide this functionality in their API (essentially packaging the extension work for you).
Consider making a feature request.



The hacky workarounds:

Chrome is currently was vulnerable to the "self redirection" exploit. So code like this used to work in general:

open(location, '_self').close();

This is buggy behavior, IMO, and is now (as of roughly April 2015) mostly blocked. It will still work from injected code only if the tab is freshly opened and has no pages in the browsing history. So it's only useful in a very small set of circumstances.

However, a variation still works on Chrome (v43 & v44) plus Tampermonkey (v3.11 or later). Use an explicit @grant and plain window.close(). EG:

// ==UserScript==
// @name        window.close demo
// @include     http://YOUR_SERVER.COM/YOUR_PATH/*
// @grant       GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==

setTimeout (window.close, 5000);

Thanks to zanetu for the update. Note that this will not work if there is only one tab open. It only closes additional tabs.


Firefox is secure against that exploit. So, the only javascript way is to cripple the security settings, one browser at a time.

You can open up about:config and set
allow_scripts_to_close_windows to true.

If your script is for personal use, go ahead and do that. If you ask anyone else to turn that setting on, they would be smart, and justified, to decline with prejudice.

There currently is no equivalent setting for Chrome.

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Hey my friend, glad to finally hear from you. Just a note, on Fx you can bypass that limitation by flipping the dom.allow_scripts_to_close_windows;false to true but I guess nothing in Chrome without hacking the source/rebuild which is how I got around it for now. I know and have talked to the TM developer and in the recent alpha/beta we have put it as a compatibility option (setting of the script) to run in man-in-the-middle style, works. I guess short of the hacks we have no clean solution, pity. – GµårÐïåñ
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If anyone is having trouble with window.close or the particular behavior difference among browsers, read this answer very carefully - it really does have all the right information. – Bron Davies
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Is there a way to check if the window was opened by script or not ? (I need to show/hide a back button, I don't want to use the hack) Thanks EDIT: window.opener === null – Cétia
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Since Chrome 36.0.1985.125 WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2014, The hacky workarounds may not work, detail in my answer. – swcool
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@swcool, just retested on Chrome 36.0.1985.125 m. The hack still works; but it's reasonable to assume it will be blocked sometime in the future. – Brock Adams
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@brock-adams, interesting. For my extension project, I have to make change for this Chrome new update, otherwise it won't work any more. Thanks for your reply. – swcool
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I use Firefox and i put both allow_scripts_to_close_windows;true and open(location, '_self').close(); to make it work. Thanks a lot. – erm3nda
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it is not working for me right now – Simona Adriani
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The hacky chrome solution doesn't work. Can I turn a tampermonkey script to an extension and this will give it the privilege to close a tab? – shinzou
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@kuhaku, try injecting the workaround. I haven't retested on latest Chrome in a while, but swcool erroneously reported that the hole has been plugged. Yes, extensions can close just about any tab. – Brock Adams
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By injecting it you mean like this? pastebin.com/XgRJu31a it doesn't work. It just keep refreshing the page endlessly. – shinzou
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@kuhaku: No, use addJS_Node() from this answer. – Brock Adams
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I either do something wrong or it doesn't work, I bet it's the first option: pastebin.com/8VmBkV6j – shinzou
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@kuhaku: Yes, you still need to create a GM_main() function and put the location hack inside it. However, I just retested and this will now only work if the tab was freshly opened. That is the tab is still on its first page and has nothing in the tab's browsing history. If that is not your case, then your only recourse is to write an extension. – Brock Adams
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window.close() will work in Tampermonkey if you set @grant to a value other than none. See this thread. – zanetu
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@Brock Adams What do you mean by "navigation"? I tried a global userscript (i.e. hastebin.com/raw/uwexuyusen) containing setTimeout(window.close, 5000) and randomly scrolling and clicking links on a page (including links pointing to parts of the current page, and links pointing to another website) but it always works (in Chrome v44.0.2403.155 and Tampermokey BETA v3.12.4752). One restriction of Tampermonkey I forgot to mention is that you cannot close a tab using window.close() if that is the only one left, that is, you cannot shut down Chrome completely. – zanetu
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You're right, @zanetu, your script works for me too on TM 3.11 and Chrome 43.0.2357.124 m. Updated the answer. – Brock Adams

I am using the method posted by Brock Adams and it even works in Firefox, if it's user initiated.

open(location, '_self').close();

I am calling it from a button press so it is user initiated, and it is still working fine using Chrome 35-40, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 7-8 and ALSO Firefox 29-35. I tested using version 8.1 of Windows and Mac OS X 10.6, 10.9 & 10.10 if that is different.


The complete code:

HTML:

<input type="button" name="Quit" id="Quit" value="Quit" onclick="return quitBox('quit');" />

JavaScript:

function quitBox(cmd)
{   
    if (cmd=='quit')
    {
        open(location, '_self').close();
    }   
    return false;   
}

Try this test page: (Now tested in Chrome 40 and Firefox 35)

http://browserstrangeness.bitbucket.io/window_close_tester.htm

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Forgot about the user initiated exceptions; good catch. I think most userscripters want fully automatic operation though. They already have a handy, user initiated close mechanism -- that little X in the upper right. (^_^) – Brock Adams
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Somehow, this doesn't work for me. Neither on firefox 30 nor on Chrome 37. All it does is make the page become blank (really weird behavior). My code is <button onclick="open(location,'_self').close()" >Close Window</button>. Am I doing something obviously wrong? It seems to me that this is also user initiated. Note that I get the same result if I use a <button> or an <input type="button">. – LordOfThePigs
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Added a test page above in the answer for you. – Jeff Clayton
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Link is dead????????????????????????????? where is it????????? – YumYumYum
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@YumYumYum thanks for the post, bitbucket.org changed the link to bitbucket.io recently - fixed in the answer now – Jeff Clayton

Chrome Fixed the security issues on version 36.0.1985.125

Chrome 36.0.1985.125 WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2014 Release note

From my observation, this update fixed the issue on using window.close() to close the popup window. You will see this in the console when it fail, "Scripts may close only the windows that were opened by it.". That means The hacky workarounds (Brock Adams's answer) may not work in the latest release.

So, in the previous Chrome released builds, the below code block may worked but not with this update.

window.open('', '_self', '');
window.close();

For this update, you have to update your code accordingly to close the popup window. One of the solution is to grab the popup window id and use

chrome.windows.remove(integer windowId, function callback)

method to remove it. Chrome extension windows API can be found at chrome.windows.

Actually my chrome extension MarkView was facing this issue and I had to update my code to make it work for this Chrome Update. By the way, MarkView is tool to read and write Awesome Markdown Files, it provides features including Content Outline, Sortable Tables and code block syntax highlight with line number.

I also created this post, any comments are welcome.

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The correct hack is open(location, '_self').close(); -- note the use of the return value from open(). This still works on Chrome 36.0.1985.125 m – Brock Adams
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In my case, I just test again with open(location, '_self').close();, I got "Unauthorized" error on this. This error is different with 'window.close()(warning on this"Scripts may close only the windows that were opened by it."). It looked like open(location, '_self').close();` moved forward a little bit, but it can't complete in my case. Thanks @brock-adams for the comment. – swcool
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I have typescript and when i put chrome.windows.remove it says could not find symbol chrome. how can i resolve this? do i need to add some sort of reference? – DevT
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@devt chrome.windows.remove is Chrome extension API, your javascript should be recognized by your chrome extension program. You can try it inside background.js, in your chrome extension manifest.json you need to have: "background": { "scripts": ["background.js"], ... }, – swcool
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I had removed MarkView login function for users to access freely. So the example I mentioned in above is not available now. – swcool

Many people are still trying to find a way to close the Chrome browser using javascript. The following method only works when you use Chrome as APP launcher - kiosk for example!

I have tested the following:

I'm using the following extension: Close Kiosk

I'm following the usage instructions and it seems to work just fine (make sure you clear the cache while doing the tests). The javascript I use is (attached to click event):

window.location.href = '/closekiosk';

I hope that helps somebody, as it's the only working solution I have found.

Note: It seems the extension runs in background and adds a Chrome tray icon. It has the following option checked: "Let Chrome run in background" (or similar text). You may need to play with it, until it work for you. I unchecked it and now it works just fine!

This might be old, but let's answer it.

I use top.close() to close a tab. window.close() or other open...close didn't work for me.

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This also suffers from the "Scripts may not close windows that were not opened by script." problem mentioned in other answers. – kad81
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This does not work. similar parent.close() – Xin
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please give solution on your answer. please don't discuss problem only on your answer. – Bimal Das

I found a new way that works for me perfetly

var win = window.open("about:blank", "_self");
win.close();
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Didn't work. : / – Ivan Ivković
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this dont work in IE11 – VimalKumar
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this is 2017 and i still get the error of "Scripts may not close windows that were not opened by script." – Akintunde007
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Nice hack for confirm button of IE 11. – Gopal00005
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Not working in latest chrome as well. – Subhajit

The below code worked for me -

window.open('location', '_self', '');
window.close();

Tested on Chrome 43.0.2357.81

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Can you add your Chrome version please? – Stephan
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My chrome version is 43.0.2357.81. – DfrDkn
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For me that just replaces the current window, with a window at /location. – alianos-
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@alianos- for me too. – RicardoGonzales
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Not working in latest chrome - Version 61.0.3163.100 (Official Build) (64-bit) – Subhajit

Only if you open a new window using window.open() will the new window be able to close using code as I have mentioned above. This works perfectly for me :) Note : Never use href to open the page in a new tab. Window.close() does not work with "href" . Use window.open() instead.

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It is just replacing the curren window. No more. – RicardoGonzales

Try something like this onclick="return self.close()"

In tampermonkey now you can use

// @grant        window.close

And then just simply call

window.close();
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I have confirmed that this works in many instances but still occasional stubborn ones but better than nothing, thank you. I will add it to the post. – GµårÐïåñ
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Just as a note: Not working for me in Greasemonkey 3.10 – mt025

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