Javascript/HTML Storage Options Under File Protocol (file://)

I am developing an html application that is essentially a series of pages like a book. Within this application, I would like to store several JavaScript variables across pages. Think things like pages read, bookmarks, etc. When this application is viewed over HTTP, I plan to use localStorage with fallbacks for older browsers (globalStorage, userData, etc.).

However, this completely breaks down if the files are accessed via "file://", for example if viewed off of a CD. It seems that most (if not all) localStorage solutions will not work under the file protocol. Cookies are not an option either under "file://".

Any ideas on how to persist JavaScript data across html pages when they are being viewed via "file://"?

It really only needs to be available in the current user session. I really don't want to use frames, but as of yet, I can't think of another way to accomplish this



A buddy of mine at work helped me out with this problem by sharing his implementation of using to store data across pages of a single window/session.

A similar implementation (and discussion around the method) can be found here:

Preliminary tests I've been doing on this method look very promising. I tested this, under the file protocol (loading page from desktop, a.k.a. - "file:\") on the following browsers. It worked on all of them!!

  • IE 6
  • IE 7
  • IE 8
  • IE 9
  • FF 3.6
  • FF 4
  • Chrome 11
  • Opera 10
  • Safari 4

I have not yet done any testing as to how much data you can store here, but the internets seem to agree on a value of 2 MB.

Sources, links, more information


On Webkit (Chromium 12.0.742.21 dev-m) localStorage over file protocol worked fine to me.

On Gecko it's reported and should be improved soon.

You can even find a workaround, but I recommend that you develop using Chrome nightly build. So you'll not lose time moving it back to localStorage in future.


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