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While looking at my Android browser settings, I notice there is this advanced setting for individual websites.

Android Website Settings

So far I have only Twitter using this special setting on my browser. But I do not know what is inside. I can clear history, clear cache, clear forms, clear passwords for all websites at the click of a button. But I need to clear this website data individually.

Does anyone has any idea what is stored inside this website settings? And how do I read the data in it?

2 Answers 2

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It varies from website to website. HTML 5 has a feature called local storage, which lets websites store a modest amount of data in the browser for future visits. They're a bit like cookies, but can be used to store more data. Like cookies, different sites use it for different things.

Some sites (most commonly web games) use local storage to save the Javascript and other files the site uses, so that you can keep using/playing it even when you don't have an internet connection. Or they might use it as a cache for icons on the site, so it loads faster next time you visit.

Some sites use it to save your preferences on the site (e.g. search options, or what posts you've read) to give you the same view or content on multiple visits without you having to login and save preferences on the server. They might even use it for your content: for example, a forum site might save draft posts/comments in local storage before you post them, so your work isn't lost even if you lose connection to the site while writing.

Because the data aren't meaningful outside of the site, and only the Javascript on the site knows how to interpret them, Chrome doesn't offer a way to view or edit the data for each site.

CSS Tricks has a brief description of local storage, along with some examples of what sites do or might use it for.

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  • I don't think it is HTML5 local storage. Because if you fire up Chrome developer toolbar and examine this site under the Resources tab, you can see that local storage is used to set a value for se:fkey. But there is no website preference for this site. Sep 5, 2014 at 5:00
  • Perhaps I've misunderstood your question. Could you add a screenshot of the thing you're asking about?
    – Dan Hulme
    Sep 5, 2014 at 7:49
  • Sorry, it should be website settings. I have uploaded a screenshot. On my another phone it is labelled as website data. Sep 5, 2014 at 8:35
  • Yeah, that's local storage. The confusing name "settings" is because the list also includes sites with permission to access your location, record video and sound, &c. Each site is listed once, with a row of icons listing the permissions/features it's using, and the box icon is for local storage: it fills up according to how much storage the site is using.
    – Dan Hulme
    Sep 5, 2014 at 8:38
  • But if that is the case, then why isn't Android SE or any other sites that use local storage listed here? Sep 5, 2014 at 8:45
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Open the website from a windows pc with firefox and this addon to view exactly what is saved into localstorage...

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