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Version: v6

Live Reload

Live Reload is useful for debugging both the web portion of an app as well as native functionality on device hardware or simulators. Rather than deploy a new native binary every time you make a code change, it reloads the browser (or Web View) when changes in the app are detected.

If running on a device, make sure it is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.

Using with Ionic CLI

The Ionic CLI includes a complete Live Reload experience, automating all of the steps that are detailed manually below. Install it along with native-run (a cross-platform command-line utility for running native binaries on devices and simulators/emulators):

npm install -g @ionic/cli native-run

Next, use the ionic cap run command to start the Live Reload process:

ionic cap run android -l --external
ionic cap run ios -l --external

This performs an ionic build, copies web assets into the specified native platform, then opens the IDE for your native project (Xcode for iOS, Android Studio for Android).

The server entry automatically created in capacitor.config.json is removed after the command terminates. For complete details on the ionic cap run command, see here.

Using with Framework CLIs

Capacitor supports CLIs with live reload capability.

First, determine your computer's IP address on your LAN.

  • On macOS, run ifconfig. The IP address is listed under en0 entry, after inet. Alternatively, open System Preferences -> Network -> (select active network) then find the IP listed under Status.
  • On Windows, run ipconfig. Look for the IPv4 address.

Next, start your local web server. The server must be bound to in order to be accessible from the LAN. The command to run will vary, but is typically:

npm run start

With react-scripts, use HOST= npm run start

Within capacitor.config.json, create a server entry then configure the url field using the local web server's IP address and port:

"server": {
"url": "",
"cleartext": true

Next, run npx cap copy to copy the updated Capacitor config into all native projects.

Open the native IDE if it's not already open:

npx cap open ios
npx cap open android

Finally, click the Run button to launch the app and start using Live Reload.

Be careful not to commit the server config to source control.