What does the "Not allowed to navigate top frame to data URL:" JavaScript exception means in Google Chrome

What does the "Not allowed to navigate top frame to data URL:" JavaScript exception means in Google Chrome

In the last months a new security update for Google Chrome was published that practically removed the possibility to open base64 URIs in the browser directly with JavaScript. What does this means really? For a developer this can be easily understood with the following example, if you try to open a new window using JavaScript providing a base64 string that represents an image, for example:

window.open("data:image/png;base64,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", "_blank");

The execution of the previous JS Code will throw the mentioned exception in the console and if used with _blank target, a new empty window would be shown however without content and only about:blank in the URL bar. A normal user however could be able to copy the base64 string and open it in the browser if he does it manually.

In short words, unless you paste manually the base64 data URI in the browser address input, it is not possible anymore to do it dynamically with JavaScript.

How to bypass this issue in JavaScript

Usually this method of opening a base64 URL directly in another window was used by developers to quickly see the content of an image generated for example in Canvas. In case you need to do the same, you are able to do it by displaying the base64 URL inside an iframe ! Using the same window.open approach, you could simply follow the next example:

/**
 * Display a base64 URL inside an iframe in another window.
 */
function debugBase64(base64URL){
    var win = window.open();
    win.document.write('<iframe src="' + base64URL  + '" frameborder="0" style="border:0; top:0px; left:0px; bottom:0px; right:0px; width:100%; height:100%;" allowfullscreen></iframe>');
}

// e.g This will open an image in a new window
debugBase64("data:image/png;base64,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");

This will open a new window with an iframe that displays the base64 string as if it were shown in the browser as usual. For more information about this issue, there's an interesting discussion in the Google Groups here.

Happy coding !

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