Using Widevine CDM Plugin

In Electron you can use the Widevine CDM plugin shipped with Chrome browser.

Getting the plugin

Electron doesn’t ship with the Widevine CDM plugin for license reasons, to get it, you need to install the official Chrome browser first, which should match the architecture and Chrome version of the Electron build you use.

Note: The major version of Chrome browser has to be the same with the Chrome version used by Electron, otherwise the plugin will not work even though navigator.plugins would show it has been loaded.

Windows & macOS

Open chrome://components/ in Chrome browser, find WidevineCdm and make sure it is up to date, then you can find all the plugin binaries from the APP_DATA/Google/Chrome/WidevineCDM/VERSION/_platform_specific/PLATFORM_ARCH/ directory.

APP_DATA is system’s location for storing app data, on Windows it is %LOCALAPPDATA%, on macOS it is ~/Library/Application Support. VERSION is Widevine CDM plugin’s version string, like PLATFORM is mac or win. ARCH is x86 or x64.

On Windows the required binaries are widevinecdm.dll and widevinecdmadapter.dll, on macOS they are libwidevinecdm.dylib and widevinecdmadapter.plugin. You can copy them to anywhere you like, but they have to be put together.


On Linux the plugin binaries are shipped together with Chrome browser, you can find them under /opt/google/chrome, the filenames are libwidevinecdm.so and libwidevinecdmadapter.so.

Using the plugin

After getting the plugin files, you should pass the widevinecdmadapter’s path to Electron with --widevine-cdm-path command line switch, and the plugin’s version with --widevine-cdm-version switch.

Note: Though only the widevinecdmadapter binary is passed to Electron, the widevinecdm binary has to be put aside it.

The command line switches have to be passed before the ready event of app module gets emitted, and the page that uses this plugin must have plugin enabled.

Example code:

const {app, BrowserWindow} = require('electron')

// You have to pass the filename of `widevinecdmadapter` here, it is
// * `widevinecdmadapter.plugin` on macOS,
// * `libwidevinecdmadapter.so` on Linux,
// * `widevinecdmadapter.dll` on Windows.
app.commandLine.appendSwitch('widevine-cdm-path', '/path/to/widevinecdmadapter.plugin')
// The version of plugin can be got from `chrome://plugins` page in Chrome.
app.commandLine.appendSwitch('widevine-cdm-version', '')

let win = null
app.on('ready', () => {
  win = new BrowserWindow({
    webPreferences: {
      // The `plugins` have to be enabled.
      plugins: true

Verifying the plugin

To verify whether the plugin works, you can use following ways:

  • Open devtools and check whether navigator.plugins includes the Widevine CDM plugin.
  • Open https://shaka-player-demo.appspot.com/ and load a manifest that uses Widevine.
  • Open http://www.dash-player.com/demo/drm-test-area/, check whether the page says bitdash uses Widevine in your browser, then play the video.

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