Hooks Guide

Cordova Hooks represent special scripts which could be added by application and plugin developers or even by your own build system to customize cordova commands. Hook scripts could be defined by adding them to the special predefined folder (/hooks) or via configuration files (config.xml and plugin.xml) and run serially in the following order:

  • Application hooks from /hooks;
  • Application hooks from config.xml;
  • Plugin hooks from plugins/.../plugin.xml.

Note: /hooks directory is considered deprecated in favor of the hook elements in config.xml and plugin.xml.

Supported hook types

The following hook types are supported:

after_plugin_install // Plugin hooks in plugin.xml are executed for a plugin being installed only
before_plugin_install // Plugin hooks in plugin.xml are executed for a plugin being installed only
before_plugin_uninstall // Plugin hooks in plugin.xml are executed for a plugin being uninstalled only
pre_package // Windows and Windows Phone only

Ways to define hooks

Via /hooks directory

Note: this method is considered deprecated in favor of the hook elements in config.xml and plugin.xml.

To execute custom action when corresponding hook type is fired, use hook type as a name for a subfolder inside 'hooks' directory and place you script file here, for example:

# script file will be automatically executed after each build

When using these hooks, they will always be run as executable files, not as loadable JavaScript modules. Remember: Make your scripts executable in this case.


Hooks can be defined in project's config.xml using <hook> elements, for example:

<hook type="before_build" src="scripts/appBeforeBuild.bat" />
<hook type="before_build" src="scripts/appBeforeBuild.js" />
<hook type="before_plugin_install" src="scripts/appBeforePluginInstall.js" />

<platform name="wp8">
    <hook type="before_build" src="scripts/wp8/appWP8BeforeBuild.bat" />
    <hook type="before_build" src="scripts/wp8/appWP8BeforeBuild.js" />
    <hook type="before_plugin_install" src="scripts/wp8/appWP8BeforePluginInstall.js" />

<platform name="windows8">
    <hook type="before_build" src="scripts/windows8/appWin8BeforeBuild.bat" />
    <hook type="before_build" src="scripts/windows8/appWin8BeforeBuild.js" />
    <hook type="before_plugin_install" src="scripts/windows8/appWin8BeforePluginInstall.js" />

Plugin hooks (plugin.xml)

As a plugin developer you can define hook scripts using <hook> elements in a plugin.xml like that:

<hook type="before_plugin_install" src="scripts/beforeInstall.js" />
<hook type="after_build" src="scripts/afterBuild.js" />

<platform name="wp8">
    <hook type="before_plugin_install" src="scripts/wp8BeforeInstall.js" />
    <hook type="before_build" src="scripts/wp8BeforeBuild.js" />

before_plugin_install, after_plugin_install, before_plugin_uninstall plugin hooks will be fired exclusively for the plugin being installed/uninstalled.

Script Interface


If you are writing hooks using Node.js you should use the following module definition:

module.exports = function(context) {

You can make your scipts async using Q:

module.exports = function(context) {
    var Q = context.requireCordovaModule('q');
    var deferral = new Q.defer();

      console.log('hook.js>> end');
    }, 1000);

    return deferral.promise;

context object contains hook type, executed script full path, hook options, command-line arguments passed to Cordova and top-level "cordova" object:

  "hook": "before_plugin_install",
  "scriptLocation": "c:\\script\\full\\path\\appBeforePluginInstall.js",
  "cmdLine": "The\\exact\\command\\cordova\\run\\with arguments",
  "opts": {
    "cordova": {
      "platforms": ["wp8"],
      "plugins": ["com.plugin.withhooks"],
      "version": "0.21.7-dev"
    "plugin": {
      "id": "com.plugin.withhooks",
      "pluginInfo": {
      "platform": "wp8",
      "dir": "C:\\path\\to\\the\\project\\plugins\\com.plugin.withhooks"
  "cordova": {...}

context.opts.plugin object will only be passed to plugin hooks scripts.

You can also require additional Cordova modules in your script using context.requireCordovaModule in the following way:

var Q = context.requireCordovaModule('q');

Note: new module loader script interface is used for the .js files defined via config.xml or plugin.xml only. For compatibility reasons hook files specified via /hooks folders are run via Node child_process spawn, see 'Non-javascript' section below.


Note: we highly recommend writing your hooks using Node.js so that they are cross-platform, see 'Javascript' section above.

Non-javascript scripts are run via Node child_process spawn from the project's root directory and have the root directory passes as the first argument. All other options are passed to the script using environment variables:

  • CORDOVA_VERSION - The version of the Cordova-CLI.
  • CORDOVA_PLATFORMS - Comma separated list of platforms that the command applies to (e.g.: android, ios).
  • CORDOVA_PLUGINS - Comma separated list of plugin IDs that the command applies to (e.g.: org.apache.cordova.file, org.apache.cordova.file-transfer)
  • CORDOVA_HOOK - Path to the hook that is being executed.
  • CORDOVA_CMDLINE - The exact command-line arguments passed to cordova (e.g.: cordova run ios --emulate)

If a script returns a non-zero exit code, then the parent cordova command will be aborted.

Also, note that even if you are working on Windows, and in case your hook scripts aren't bat files (which is recommended, if you want your scripts to work in non-Windows operating systems) Cordova CLI will expect a shebang line as the first line for it to know the interpreter it needs to use to launch the script. The shebang line should match the following example:

#!/usr/bin/env [name_of_interpreter_executable]

Sample Usage

This sample demonstrates Cordova hooks usage to trace to the console output the size of generated .apk file for Android platform.

Create blank Cordova app and add the following definition to config.xml to tell Cordova to run afterBuild.js script after each platform build.

<hook type="after_build" src="scripts/afterBuild.js" />

Create scripts/afterBuild.js file and add the following implementation. We use async version of fs.stat method to demonstrate how async functionality could be done via hooks.

module.exports = function(ctx) {
    // make sure android platform is part of build 
    if (ctx.opts.platforms.indexOf('android') < 0) {
    var fs = ctx.requireCordovaModule('fs'),
        path = ctx.requireCordovaModule('path'),
        deferral = ctx.requireCordovaModule('q').defer();

    var platformRoot = path.join(ctx.opts.projectRoot, 'platforms/android');
    var apkFileLocation = path.join(platformRoot, 'build/outputs/apk/android-debug.apk');

    fs.stat(apkFileLocation, function(err,stats) {
        if (err) {
             deferral.reject('Operation failed');
        } else {
            console.log('Size of ' + apkFileLocation + ' is ' + stats.size +' bytes');

    return deferral.promise;

Parameter ctx in example above is passed by Cordova and represents execution context such as script full path, target platform, command-line arguments, etc and also exposes additional helper functionality. See Script Interface section above for more details.

You can now add android platform and execute build.

cordova platform add android
cordova build
Size of path\to\app\platforms\android\build\outputs\apk\android-debug.apk is 1821193 bytes

More good usage examples could be found here: