NWJS tend to support the update solution made by community, not a built-in one. Below is the list of existing soutions, which worth checking.
- node-webkit-updater (by @edjafarov)
- nwjs-autoupdater (by @oaleynik)


NPM module which gives you the low-level API to:

  • Check the manifest for version (from your running “old” app).
  • If the version is different from the running one, download new package to a temp directory.
  • Unpack the package in temp.
  • Run new app from temp and kill the old one (i.e. still all from the running app).
  • The new app (in temp) will copy itself to the original folder, overwriting the old app.
  • The new app will run itself from original folder and exit the process.

You should build this logic by yourself though (basic example).


The tiny golang application (when built it is just ~2MB), which can be bundled with NWJS application and then used to unpack updates.
To update target application updater needs to know two things - where zip archive with the new version is located and where is the app’s executable to restart application after update. These can be passed to updater via command line arguments --bundle and --inst-dir, where --bundle is the path to the zip archive with the new app version and --inst-dir is the path to app’s executable.

There are multiple advantages over node-webkit-updater:

  • It can update the updater itself.
  • Doesn’t require elevated privilegies (unless application itself has been installed in the folder which require elevated privilegies).
  • Updater’s executalbe has way smaller size as it doesn’t require bundling the whole new NWJS application with the main application.

The logic to check for updates needs to be built on your own too. The example shows the way how to use javascript module as an entry point for NWJS application and check for updates in background.