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Nuxt.js allows you to define JavaScript plugins to be run before instantiating the root Vue.js Application. This is especially helpful when using Vue libraries, external modules or your own plugins.

It is important to know that in any Vue instance lifecycle, only beforeCreate and created hooks are called both, from client-side and server-side. All other hooks are called only from the client-side.

External Packages

We may want to use external packages/modules in our application (one great example is axios) for making HTTP request for both server and client.

First, we should install it via npm:

npm install --save axios

Then we can use it directly in our page components:

  <h1>{{ title }}</h1>

  import axios from 'axios'

  export default {
    async asyncData({ params }) {
      let { data } = await axios.get(`https://my-api/posts/${params.id}`)
      return { title: data.title }

Vue Plugins

If we want to use Vue plugins, like v-tooltip to display tooltips in our application, we need to setup the plugin before launching the app. First we install the plugin

npm install --save v-tooltip

We create the file plugins/vue-tooltips.js:

import Vue from 'vue'
import VTooltip from 'v-tooltip'


Then we add the file path inside the plugins key of our nuxt.config.js:

export default {
  plugins: ['@/plugins/vue-tooltip.js']

To learn more about the plugins configuration key, check out the plugins api.

ES6 plugins

If the plugin is located in node_modules and exports an ES6 module, you may need to add it to the transpile build option:

module.exports = {
  build: {
    transpile: ['vue-notifications']

You can refer to the configuration build docs for more build options.

Inject in \$root & context

Sometimes you want to make functions or values available across the app. You can inject those variables into Vue instances (client side), the context (server side) and even in the Vuex store. It is a convention to prefix those functions with a $.

Nuxt.js provides you with an inject(key, value) method so you can easily inject variables. It is given as the second parameter when exporting a function. The $ will be prepended automatically to the key.


export default (context, inject) => {
  const hello = msg => console.log(`Hello ${msg}!`)
  // Inject $hello(msg) in Vue, context and store.
  inject('hello', hello)
  // For Nuxt <= 2.12, also add 👇
  context.$hello = hello


export default {
  plugins: ['~/plugins/hello.js']

Now $hello(msg) can be used from context, via this in Vue instances and via this in store actions/mutations.


export default {
  mounted () {
    // will console.log 'Hello mounted!'
  asyncData ({ $hello }) {


export const state = () => ({
  someValue: ''

export const mutations = {
  changeSomeValue(state, newValue) {
    this.$hello('store mutation')
    state.someValue = newValue

export const actions = {
  setSomeValueToWhatever({ commit }) {
    this.$hello('store action')
    const newValue = 'whatever'
    commit('changeSomeValue', newValue)

Client or server side only

Beware: Do not use Vue plugins inside exported functions. Exported functions are called before each request, so calling Vue.use(...), Vue.mixin(...), Vue.component(...) may cause your app crash after too many requests.

Some plugins might work only in the browser because they lack SSR support.

Name conventional plugin

If plugin is assumed to be run only in client or server side, .client.js or .server.js can be applied as extension of plugin file, the file will be automatically included in corresponding side.



export default {
  plugins: [
    '~/plugins/foo.client.js', // only in client side
    '~/plugins/bar.server.js', // only in server side
    '~/plugins/baz.js' // both client & server

Object syntax

You can also use the object syntax with the mode property ('client' or 'server') in plugins.



export default {
  plugins: [
    { src: '~/plugins/both-sides.js' },
    { src: '~/plugins/client-only.js', mode: 'client' }, // only on client side
    { src: '~/plugins/server-only.js', mode: 'server' } // only on server side

Using process flags

In case you need to import some libraries in a plugin only on server-side, you can check if the process.server variable is set to true.

Also, if you need to know if you are inside a static app (via nuxt generate), you can check if process.static is set to true. This is only the case during and after the generation.

You can also combine both options to hit the spot when a page is being server-rendered by nuxt generate before being saved (process.static && process.server).


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