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4.15.4 • Public • Published

Cordova Background Geolocation · npm npm

🆕 🛑 Capacitor version now available! See capacitor-background-geolocation 🛑

The most sophisticated background location-tracking & geofencing module with battery-conscious motion-detection intelligence for iOS and Android.

The plugin's Philosophy of Operation is to use motion-detection APIs (using accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer) to detect when the device is moving and stationary.

  • When the device is detected to be moving, the plugin will automatically start recording a location according to the configured distanceFilter (meters).

  • When the device is detected be stationary, the plugin will automatically turn off location-services to conserve energy.

Also available for Capacitor, React Native, Flutter.

The Android plugin requires purchasing a license. However, it will work for DEBUG builds. It will not work with RELEASE builds without purchasing a license.

(2018) This plugin is supported full-time and field-tested daily since 2013.

Home Settings


🔷 Installing the plugin

⚠️ After installing the plugin, you must Configure the Plugin for both iOS & Android. ⚠️ Cocoapods >= 1.10.0 is required.

$ pod --version
// if < 1.10.0
$ sudo gem install cocoapods
  • From npm

$ cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt
  • Ionic

$ ionic cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt
  • Capacitor

npm install cordova-background-geolocation-lt
npx cap sync

ℹ️ See Capacitor Setup

  • Phonegap Build

  <plugin name="cordova-background-geolocation-lt" source="npm">


From master (latest, greatest.)

$ cordova plugin add

🔷 Configuring the plugin


  • Open config.xml: Add the following namespace attribute to the top-level <widget> element:
+ xmlns:android=""
  • Within the <platform name="android"> container, add the license key using a <config-file /> element:
  • ℹ️ If you haven't yet purchased a license, you can skip this step — the plugin is fully functional in DEBUG builds without a license so you can try before you buy. You will see a Toast message "License Validation Failure" when your app boots — ignore it.
<platform name="android">
      <!-- Cordova Background Geolocation License -->
      <config-file parent="/manifest/application" target="app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml">
            android:value="YOUR_LICENSE_KEY_HERE" />

Polygon Geofencing Add-on

If you've purchased a license for the Polygon Geofencing add-on, add the following license key to your AndroidManifest (Polygon Geofencing is fully functional in DEBUG builds so you can try before you buy):

<platform name="android">
      <!-- Cordova Background Geolocation License -->
      <config-file parent="/manifest/application" target="app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml">
            android:value="YOUR_POLYGON_LICENSE_KEY_HERE" />

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) Support

If you've purchased an HMS Background Geolocation License for installing the plugin on Huawei devices without Google Play Services installed, add your HMS Background Geolocation license key:

<platform name="android">
      <!-- Cordova Background Geolocation License -->
      <config-file parent="/manifest/application" target="app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml">
            android:value="YOUR_LICENSE_KEY_HERE" />
      <!-- HMS Background Geolocation License -->
      <config-file parent="/manifest/application" target="app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml">
            android:value="YOUR_HMS_LICENSE_KEY_HERE" />

⚠️ Huawei HMS support requires cordova-background-geolocation >= 3.11.0.

AlarmManager "Exact Alarms" (optional)

The plugin uses AlarmManager "exact alarms" for precise scheduling of events (eg: Config.stopTimeout, Config.motionTriggerDelay, Config.schedule). Android 14 (SDK 34), has restricted usage of "AlarmManager exact alarms". To continue using precise timing of events with Android 14, you can manually add this permission to your AndroidManifest. Otherwise, the plugin will gracefully fall-back to "in-exact AlarmManager scheduling". For more information about Android's AlarmManager, see the Android API Docs.

📂 In your config.xml, add the following block within the <platform name="android"> block (exactly as-shown:

  <platform name="android">
      <config-file parent="/manifest" target="app/src/main/AndroidManifest.xml">
          <uses-permission android:minSdkVersion="34" android:name="android.permission.USE_EXACT_ALARM" />

⚠️ It has been announced that Google Play Store has plans to impose greater scrutiny over usage of this permission (which is why the plugin does not automatically add it).

AndroidX (cordova-android >= 9.0.0)

It's highly recommended to configure your app for Android X when using Cordova 10 / cordova-android >= 9.0.0.

<platform name="android">
        <preference name="AndroidXEnabled" value="true" />

⚠️ If you see the following error, you need to configure your app for Android X.

java.lang.RuntimeException: Unable to get provider com.transistorsoft.locationmanager.util.LogFileProvider: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException

⚠️ On older version of Cordova, If you change your license key after building android, you might receive an error:


-Element meta-data#com.transistorsoft.locationmanager.license at AndroidManifest.xml duplicated
-with element declared at AndroidManifest.xml duplicated with element declared at AndroidManifest.xml

Simply remove and re-add the android platform:

$ cordova platform remove android
$ cordova platform add android

Android Gradle Dependency Configuration.

Quite often, other 3rd-party plugins will require the same dependencies used by background-geolocation, including:

  • play-services:location
  • libraries
  • okhttp (Android HTTP library)

If your app requests different versions of these dependencies, it can cause a build-failure (See wiki Solving Build Failures). Background Geolocation exposes the following Android CLI configuration --variable to help you align the required dependency versions with other plugins:

Cordova CLI --variable are used as follows:

❗ To apply changes to these --variable, you must remove/re-add the cordova platform(s)

$ cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt --variable FOO=value_foo --variable BAR=value_bar

// After adding --variable, remove and re-add the platform
$ cordova platform remove android
$ cordova platform add android
@variable GOOGLE_API_VERSION ["20.+"]

Sets the desired version of play-services-location dependency. Many other plugins require play-services dependencies, (eg: cordova-plugin-googlemaps, phonegap-plugin-push): If the version of play-services and/or firebase is not aligned to the same version for ALL plugins, your build will fail.

$ cordova plugin add <git-url> --variable GOOGLE_API_VERSION=20.0.0
@variable OKHTTP_VERSION ["3.12.+"]

Sets the desired version of okhttp to import. The Android plugin uses okhttp for its HTTP service. Some other plugins can also import okhttp (eg: cordova-plugin-advanced-http). If both plugins don't align themselves to the same version, your Android build will fail.

$ cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt --variable OKHTTP_VERSION=3.12.+


iOS requires a number of "Usage Strings" for location and motion-usage authorization. iOS will render these strings upon the dialog used to request permission from the user. Take care to write relevent descriptions of why your app requires these authorizations as they can affect whether Apple accepts your app or not.

Paste all the following elements into the <platform name="ios"> container:

<platform name="ios">
    <!-- background-geolocation -->
    <config-file parent="NSLocationAlwaysAndWhenInUseUsageDescription" target="*-Info.plist">
        <string>[CHANGEME] Background location tracking is required for our app so we can...</string>
    <config-file parent="NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription" target="*-Info.plist">
        <string>[CHANGEME pre-iOS11.  No longer used with iOS 12] Background location tracking is required for our app so we can...</string>
    <config-file parent="NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription" target="*-Info.plist">
        <string>[CHANGEME] Background location tracking is required for our app so we can...</string>
    <config-file parent="NSMotionUsageDescription" target="*-Info.plist">
        <string>[CHANGEME] Device motion updates help determine when the device is stationary so the app can save power by turning off location-updates</string>
    <!-- /background-geolocation -->

Configuring for useSignificantChangesOnly

For those using useSignificantChangesOnly: true, possibly because Apple denied your use of the background location capability, you can disable background location by providing the BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION --variable with an empty-string:

$ cordova plugin add cordova-background-geolocation-lt --variable BACKGROUND_MODE_LOCATION=""

$ cordova platform remove ios
$ cordova platform add ios

🔷 Using the Plugin

There are three simple steps to using BackgroundGeolocation:

  1. Listen to events.
  2. #ready the plugin.
  3. #start the plugin.

Ionic 2+ with Typescript

The plugin hosts its own Typescript API:

Sample Implementation

// You may import any optional interfaces
import BackgroundGeolocation, {
} from "cordova-background-geolocation-lt";

class HomeView {
  // Like any Cordova plugin, you must wait for Platform.ready() before referencing the plugin.
  configureBackgroundGeolocation() {
    // 1.  Listen to events.
    BackgroundGeolocation.onLocation(location => {
      console.log('[location] - ', location);

    BackgroundGeolocation.onMotionChange(event => {
      console.log('[motionchange] - ', event.isMoving, event.location);

    BackgroundGeolocation.onHttp(response => {
      console.log('[http] - ', response.success, response.status, response.responseText);

    BackgroundGeolocation.onProviderChange(event => {
      console.log('[providerchange] - ', event.enabled, event.status, event.gps);

    // 2.  Configure the plugin with #ready
      reset: true,
      debug: true,
      logLevel: BackgroundGeolocation.LOG_LEVEL_VERBOSE,
      desiredAccuracy: BackgroundGeolocation.DESIRED_ACCURACY_HIGH,
      distanceFilter: 10,
      url: '',
      autoSync: true,
      stopOnTerminate: false,
      startOnBoot: true
    }, (state) => {
      console.log('[ready] BackgroundGeolocation is ready to use');
      if (!state.enabled) {
        // 3.  Start tracking.

Cordova / Ionic 1

// Like any Cordova plugin, you must wait for deviceready before referencing the plugin.
function onDeviceReady() {
  // 1.  Listen to events
  var bgGeo = window.BackgroundGeolocation;

  bgGeo.onLocation(function(location) {
    console.log('[location] -', location);

  bgGeo.onMotionChange(function(event) {
    console.log('[motionchange] -', event.isMoving, event.location);

  bgGeo.onHttp(function(response) {
    console.log('[http] - ', response.success, response.status, response.responseText);

  bgGeo.onProviderChange(function(event) {
    console.log('[providerchange] -', event.status, event.enabled, event.gps,;

  // 2. Execute #ready method:
    reset: true,
    debug: true,
    logLevel: bgGeo.LOG_LEVEL_VERBOSE,
    desiredAccuracy: bgGeo.DESIRED_ACCURACY_HIGH,
    distanceFilter: 10,
    url: '',
    autoSync: true,
    stopOnTerminate: false,
    startOnBoot: true
  }, function(state) {    // <-- Current state provided to #configure callback
    // 3.  Start tracking
    console.log('BackgroundGeolocation is configured and ready to use');
    if (!state.enabled) {
      bgGeo.start().then(function() {
        console.log('- BackgroundGeolocation tracking started');

  // NOTE:  Do NOT execute any API methods which will access location-services
  // until the callback to #ready executes!
  // For example, DO NOT do this here:
  // bgGeo.getCurrentPosition();   // <-- NO!
  // bgGeo.start();                // <-- NO!

ℹ️ NOTE: The configuration {} provided to the #ready method is applied only when your app is first booted — for every launch thereafter, the plugin will automatically load the last known configuration from persistant storage. If you wish to force the #ready method to always apply the supplied config {}, you can specify reset: true

  reset: true,  // <-- true to always apply the supplied config
  distanceFilter: 10
}, function(state) {
  console.log('- BackgroundGeolocation is ready: ', state);

⚠️ Do not execute any API method which will require accessing location-services until the callback to #ready executes (eg: #getCurrentPosition, #watchPosition, #start).

Promise API

The BackgroundGeolocation Javascript API supports Promises for nearly every method (the exceptions are #watchPosition and adding event-listeners (eg: #onLocation). For more information, see the API Documentation

// Traditional API still works:
BackgroundGeolocation.ready({desiredAccuracy: 0, distanceFilter: 50}).then(state => {
  console.log('- BackgroundGeolocation is ready: ', state);
}).catch(error => {
  console.log('- BackgroundGeolocation error: ', error);

🔷 Advanced Sample Application

A fully-featured SampleApp is available in its own public repo. After first cloning that repo, follow the installation instructions in the README there. This SampleApp includes a settings-screen allowing you to quickly experiment with all the different settings available for each platform.

If you're using XCode, boot the SampleApp in the iOS Simulator and enable Debug->Location->Freeway Drive.

🔷 Simple Testing Server

A simple Node-based web-application with SQLite database is available for field-testing and performance analysis. If you're familiar with Node, you can have this server up-and-running in about one minute.


Copyright (c) 2018, Transistor Software (9224-2932 Quebec Inc)
All rights reserved.
  1. Preamble: This Agreement governs the relationship between YOU OR THE ORGANIZATION ON WHOSE BEHALF YOU ARE ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT (hereinafter: Licensee) and Transistor Software, a LICENSOR AFFILIATION whose principal place of business is Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Hereinafter: Licensor). This Agreement sets the terms, rights, restrictions and obligations on using [{software}] (hereinafter: The Software) created and owned by Licensor, as detailed herein

  2. License Grant: Licensor hereby grants Licensee a Personal, Non-assignable & non-transferable, Commercial, Royalty free, Including the rights to create but not distribute derivative works, Non-exclusive license, all with accordance with the terms set forth and other legal restrictions set forth in 3rd party software used while running Software.

    2.1 Limited: Licensee may use Software for the purpose of: - Running Software on Licensee's Website[s] and Server[s]; - Allowing 3rd Parties to run Software on Licensee's Website[s] and Server[s]; - Publishing Software’s output to Licensee and 3rd Parties; - Distribute verbatim copies of Software's output (including compiled binaries); - Modify Software to suit Licensee’s needs and specifications.

    2.2 Binary Restricted: Licensee may sublicense Software as a part of a larger work containing more than Software, distributed solely in Object or Binary form under a personal, non-sublicensable, limited license. Such redistribution shall be limited to unlimited codebases.

  3. 2.3 Non Assignable & Non-Transferable: Licensee may not assign or transfer his rights and duties under this license.

    2.4 Commercial, Royalty Free: Licensee may use Software for any purpose, including paid-services, without any royalties

    2.5 Including the Right to Create Derivative Works: Licensee may create derivative works based on Software, including amending Software’s source code, modifying it, integrating it into a larger work or removing portions of Software, as long as no distribution of the derivative works is made.

  4. Term & Termination: The Term of this license shall be until terminated. Licensor may terminate this Agreement, including Licensee's license in the case where Licensee :

    3.1 became insolvent or otherwise entered into any liquidation process; or

    3.2 exported The Software to any jurisdiction where licensor may not enforce his rights under this agreements in; or

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    3.4 Licensee in breach of any of the terms of clause 2 to this license; or

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