Programming language: Swift
License: MIT License
Latest version: v4.1.0

Defaults alternatives and similar libraries

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Swifty and modern UserDefaults

Store key-value pairs persistently across launches of your app.

It uses UserDefaults underneath but exposes a type-safe facade with lots of nice conveniences.

It's used in production by all my apps (1 million+ users).


  • Strongly typed: You declare the type and default value upfront.
  • SwiftUI: Property wrapper that updates the view when the UserDefaults value changes.
  • Codable support: You can store any Codable value, like an enum.
  • NSSecureCoding support: You can store any NSSecureCoding value.
  • Observation: Observe changes to keys.
  • Debuggable: The data is stored as JSON-serialized values.
  • Customizable: You can serialize and deserialize your own type in your own way.

Benefits over @AppStorage

  • You define strongly-typed identifiers in a single place and can use them everywhere.
  • You also define the default values in a single place instead of having to remember what default value you used in other places.
  • You can use it outside of SwiftUI.
  • You can observe value updates.
  • Supports many more types, even Codable.
  • Easy to add support for your own custom types.
  • Comes with a convenience SwiftUI Toggle component.


  • macOS 10.15+
  • iOS 13+
  • tvOS 13+
  • watchOS 6+


Add https://github.com/sindresorhus/Defaults in the “Swift Package Manager” tab in Xcode.

Requires Xcode 14.1 or later

Support types

  • Int(8/16/32/64)
  • UInt(8/16/32/64)
  • Double
  • CGFloat
  • Float
  • String
  • Bool
  • Date
  • Data
  • URL
  • UUID
  • NSColor (macOS)
  • UIColor (iOS)
  • Color (SwiftUI)
  • Codable
  • NSSecureCoding
  • Range, ClosedRange

Defaults also support the above types wrapped in Array, Set, Dictionary, Range, ClosedRange, and even wrapped in nested types. For example, [[String: Set<[String: Int]>]].

For more types, see the enum example, Codable example, or advanced Usage. For more examples, see [Tests/DefaultsTests](./Tests/DefaultsTests).

You can easily add support for any custom type.

If a type conforms to both NSSecureCoding and Codable, then Codable will be used for the serialization.


API documentation.

You declare the defaults keys upfront with a type and default value.

The key name must be ASCII, not start with @, and cannot contain a dot (.).

import Defaults

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let quality = Key<Double>("quality", default: 0.8)
    //            ^            ^         ^                ^
    //           Key          Type   UserDefaults name   Default value

You can then access it as a subscript on the Defaults global:

//=> 0.8

Defaults[.quality] = 0.5
//=> 0.5

Defaults[.quality] += 0.1
//=> 0.6

Defaults[.quality] = "🦄"
//=> [Cannot assign value of type 'String' to type 'Double']

You can also declare optional keys for when you don't want to declare a default value upfront:

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let name = Key<Double?>("name")

if let name = Defaults[.name] {

The default value is then nil.

You can also specify a dynamic default value. This can be useful when the default value may change during the lifetime of the app:

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let camera = Key<AVCaptureDevice?>("camera") { .default(for: .video) }

Enum example

enum DurationKeys: String, Defaults.Serializable {
    case tenMinutes = "10 Minutes"
    case halfHour = "30 Minutes"
    case oneHour = "1 Hour"

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let defaultDuration = Key<DurationKeys>("defaultDuration", default: .oneHour)

//=> "1 Hour"

(This works as long as the raw value of the enum is any of the supported types)

Codable example

struct User: Codable, Defaults.Serializable {
    let name: String
    let age: String

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let user = Key<User>("user", default: .init(name: "Hello", age: "24"))

//=> "Hello"

Use keys directly

You are not required to attach keys to Defaults.Keys.

let isUnicorn = Defaults.Key<Bool>("isUnicorn", default: true)

//=> true

SwiftUI support


You can use the @Default property wrapper to get/set a Defaults item and also have the view be updated when the value changes. This is similar to @State.

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let hasUnicorn = Key<Bool>("hasUnicorn", default: false)

struct ContentView: View {
    @Default(.hasUnicorn) var hasUnicorn

    var body: some View {
        Text("Has Unicorn: \(hasUnicorn)")
        Toggle("Toggle", isOn: $hasUnicorn)
        Button("Reset") {

Note that it's @Default, not @Defaults.

You cannot use @Default in an ObservableObject. It's meant to be used in a View.


There's also a SwiftUI.Toggle wrapper that makes it easier to create a toggle based on a Defaults key with a Bool value.

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let showAllDayEvents = Key<Bool>("showAllDayEvents", default: false)

struct ShowAllDayEventsSetting: View {
    var body: some View {
        Defaults.Toggle("Show All-Day Events", key: .showAllDayEvents)

You can also listen to changes:

struct ShowAllDayEventsSetting: View {
    var body: some View {
        Defaults.Toggle("Show All-Day Events", key: .showAllDayEvents)
            // Note that this has to be directly attached to `Defaults.Toggle`. It's not `View#onChange()`.
            .onChange {
                print("Value", $0)

Requires at least macOS 11, iOS 14, tvOS 14, watchOS 7.

Observe changes to a key

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let isUnicornMode = Key<Bool>("isUnicornMode", default: false)

// …

Task {
    for await value in Defaults.updates(.isUnicornMode) {
        print("Value:", value)

In contrast to the native UserDefaults key observation, here you receive a strongly-typed change object.

Reset keys to their default values

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let isUnicornMode = Key<Bool>("isUnicornMode", default: false)

Defaults[.isUnicornMode] = true
//=> true


//=> false

This works for a Key with an optional too, which will be reset back to nil.

Control propagation of change events

Changes made within the Defaults.withoutPropagation closure will not be propagated to observation callbacks (Defaults.observe() or Defaults.publisher()), and therefore could prevent infinite recursion.

let observer = Defaults.observe(keys: .key1, .key2) {
        // …

        Defaults.withoutPropagation {
            // Update `.key1` without propagating the change to listeners.
            Defaults[.key1] = 11

        // This will be propagated.
        Defaults[.someKey] = true

It's just UserDefaults with sugar

This works too:

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let isUnicorn = Key<Bool>("isUnicorn", default: true)

//=> true

Shared UserDefaults

let extensionDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: "com.unicorn.app")!

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let isUnicorn = Key<Bool>("isUnicorn", default: true, suite: extensionDefaults)

//=> true

// Or

//=> true

Default values are registered with UserDefaults

When you create a Defaults.Key, it automatically registers the default value with normal UserDefaults. This means you can make use of the default value in, for example, bindings in Interface Builder.

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let isUnicornMode = Key<Bool>("isUnicornMode", default: true)

print(UserDefaults.standard.bool(forKey: Defaults.Keys.isUnicornMode.name))
//=> true

Note A Defaults.Key with a dynamic default value will not register the default value in UserDefaults.




Type: class

Stores the keys.

Defaults.Key (alias Defaults.Keys.Key)

Defaults.Key<T>(_ key: String, default: T, suite: UserDefaults = .standard)

Type: class

Create a key with a default value.

The default value is written to the actual UserDefaults and can be used elsewhere. For example, with a Interface Builder binding.


public protocol DefaultsSerializable {
    typealias Value = Bridge.Value
    typealias Serializable = Bridge.Serializable
    associatedtype Bridge: Defaults.Bridge

    static var bridge: Bridge { get }

Type: protocol

Types that conform to this protocol can be used with Defaults.

The type should have a static variable bridge which should reference an instance of a type that conforms to Defaults.Bridge.


public protocol DefaultsBridge {
    associatedtype Value
    associatedtype Serializable

    func serialize(_ value: Value?) -> Serializable?
    func deserialize(_ object: Serializable?) -> Value?

Type: protocol

A Bridge is responsible for serialization and deserialization.

It has two associated types Value and Serializable.

  • Value: The type you want to use.
  • Serializable: The type stored in UserDefaults.
  • serialize: Executed before storing to the UserDefaults .
  • deserialize: Executed after retrieving its value from the UserDefaults.


Defaults.AnySerializable<Value: Defaults.Serializable>(_ value: Value)

Type: class

Type-erased wrapper for Defaults.Serializable values.

  • get<Value: Defaults.Serializable>() -> Value?: Retrieve the value which type is Value from UserDefaults.
  • get<Value: Defaults.Serializable>(_: Value.Type) -> Value?: Specify the Value you want to retrieve. This can be useful in some ambiguous cases.
  • set<Value: Defaults.Serializable>(_ newValue: Value): Set a new value for Defaults.AnySerializable.


Type: func

Reset the given keys back to their default values.

You can also specify string keys, which can be useful if you need to store some keys in a collection, as it's not possible to store Defaults.Key in a collection because it's generic.


Defaults.removeAll(suite: UserDefaults = .standard)

Type: func

Remove all entries from the given UserDefaults suite.

Defaults.withoutPropagation(_ closure:)

Execute the closure without triggering change events.

Any Defaults key changes made within the closure will not propagate to Defaults event listeners (Defaults.observe() and Defaults.publisher()). This can be useful to prevent infinite recursion when you want to change a key in the callback listening to changes for the same key.

Defaults.migrate(keys..., to: Version)

Defaults.migrate<T: Defaults.Serializable & Codable>(keys..., to: Version)
Defaults.migrate<T: Defaults.NativeType>(keys..., to: Version)

Type: func

Migrate the given keys to the specific version.

@Default(_ key:)

Get/set a Defaults item and also have the SwiftUI view be updated when the value changes.



public protocol DefaultsCollectionSerializable: Collection, Defaults.Serializable {
    init(_ elements: [Element])

Type: protocol

A Collection which can store into the native UserDefaults.

It should have an initializer init(_ elements: [Element]) to let Defaults do the de-serialization.


public protocol DefaultsSetAlgebraSerializable: SetAlgebra, Defaults.Serializable {
    func toArray() -> [Element]

Type: protocol

A SetAlgebra which can store into the native UserDefaults.

It should have a function func toArray() -> [Element] to let Defaults do the serialization.

Advanced usage

Custom types

Although Defaults already has built-in support for many types, you might need to be able to use your own custom type. The below guide will show you how to make your own custom type work with Defaults.

  1. Create your own custom type.
struct User {
    let name: String
    let age: String
  1. Create a bridge that conforms to Defaults.Bridge, which is responsible for handling serialization and deserialization.
struct UserBridge: Defaults.Bridge {
    typealias Value = User
    typealias Serializable = [String: String]

    public func serialize(_ value: Value?) -> Serializable? {
        guard let value else {
            return nil

        return [
            "name": value.name,
            "age": value.age

    public func deserialize(_ object: Serializable?) -> Value? {
            let object,
            let name = object["name"],
            let age = object["age"]
        else {
            return nil

        return User(
            name: name,
            age: age
  1. Create an extension of User that conforms to Defaults.Serializable. Its static bridge should be the bridge we created above.
struct User {
    let name: String
    let age: String

extension User: Defaults.Serializable {
    static let bridge = UserBridge()
  1. Create some keys and enjoy it.
extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let user = Defaults.Key<User>("user", default: User(name: "Hello", age: "24"))
    static let arrayUser = Defaults.Key<[User]>("arrayUser", default: [User(name: "Hello", age: "24")])
    static let setUser = Defaults.Key<Set<User>>("user", default: Set([User(name: "Hello", age: "24")]))
    static let dictionaryUser = Defaults.Key<[String: User]>("dictionaryUser", default: ["user": User(name: "Hello", age: "24")])

Defaults[.user].name //=> "Hello"
Defaults[.arrayUser][0].name //=> "Hello"
Defaults[.setUser].first?.name //=> "Hello"
Defaults[.dictionaryUser]["user"]?.name //=> "Hello"

Dynamic value

There might be situations where you want to use [String: Any] directly, but Defaults need its values to conform to Defaults.Serializable. The type-eraser Defaults.AnySerializable helps overcome this limitation.

Defaults.AnySerializable is only available for values that conform to Defaults.Serializable.

Warning: The type-eraser should only be used when there's no other way to handle it because it has much worse performance. It should only be used in wrapped types. For example, wrapped in Array, Set or Dictionary.

Primitive type

Defaults.AnySerializable conforms to ExpressibleByStringLiteral, ExpressibleByIntegerLiteral, ExpressibleByFloatLiteral, ExpressibleByBooleanLiteral, ExpressibleByNilLiteral, ExpressibleByArrayLiteral, and ExpressibleByDictionaryLiteral.

Which means you can assign these primitive types directly:

let any = Defaults.Key<Defaults.AnySerializable>("anyKey", default: 1)
Defaults[any] = "🦄"

Other types

Using get and set

For other types, you will have to assign it like this:

enum mime: String, Defaults.Serializable {
    case JSON = "application/json"
    case STREAM = "application/octet-stream"

let any = Defaults.Key<Defaults.AnySerializable>("anyKey", default: [Defaults.AnySerializable(mime.JSON)])

if let mimeType: mime = Defaults[any].get() {
    //=> "application/json"


if let mimeType: mime = Defaults[any].get() {
    //=> "application/octet-stream"

Wrapped in Array, Set, or Dictionary

Defaults.AnySerializable also support the above types wrapped in Array, Set, Dictionary.

Here is the example for [String: Defaults.AnySerializable]:

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let magic = Key<[String: Defaults.AnySerializable]>("magic", default: [:])

enum mime: String, Defaults.Serializable {
    case JSON = "application/json"

// …
Defaults[.magic]["unicorn"] = "🦄"

if let value: String = Defaults[.magic]["unicorn"]?.get() {
    //=> "🦄"

Defaults[.magic]["number"] = 3
Defaults[.magic]["boolean"] = true
Defaults[.magic]["enum"] = Defaults.AnySerializable(mime.JSON)

if let mimeType: mime = Defaults[.magic]["enum"]?.get() {
    //=> "application/json"

For more examples, see [Tests/DefaultsAnySerializableTests](./Tests/DefaultsTests/DefaultsAnySeriliazableTests.swift).

Serialization for ambiguous Codable type

You may have a type that conforms to Codable & NSSecureCoding or a Codable & RawRepresentable enum. By default, Defaults will prefer the Codable conformance and use the CodableBridge to serialize it into a JSON string. If you want to serialize it as a NSSecureCoding data or use the raw value of the RawRepresentable enum, you can conform to Defaults.PreferNSSecureCoding or Defaults.PreferRawRepresentable to override the default bridge:

enum mime: String, Codable, Defaults.Serializable, Defaults.PreferRawRepresentable {
    case JSON = "application/json"

extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let magic = Key<[String: Defaults.AnySerializable]>("magic", default: [:])

print(UserDefaults.standard.string(forKey: "magic"))
//=> application/json

Had we not added Defaults.PreferRawRepresentable, the stored representation would have been "application/json" instead of application/json.

This can also be useful if you conform a type you don't control to Defaults.Serializable as the type could receive Codable conformance at any time and then the stored representation would change, which could make the value unreadable. By explicitly defining which bridge to use, you ensure the stored representation will always stay the same.

Custom Collection type

  1. Create your Collection and make its elements conform to Defaults.Serializable.
struct Bag<Element: Defaults.Serializable>: Collection {
    var items: [Element]

    var startIndex: Int { items.startIndex }
    var endIndex: Int { items.endIndex }

    mutating func insert(element: Element, at: Int) {
        items.insert(element, at: at)

    func index(after index: Int) -> Int {
        items.index(after: index)

    subscript(position: Int) -> Element {
  1. Create an extension of Bag that conforms to Defaults.CollectionSerializable.
extension Bag: Defaults.CollectionSerializable {
    init(_ elements: [Element]) {
        self.items = elements
  1. Create some keys and enjoy it.
extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let stringBag = Key<Bag<String>>("stringBag", default: Bag(["Hello", "World!"]))

Defaults[.stringBag][0] //=> "Hello"
Defaults[.stringBag][1] //=> "World!"

Custom SetAlgebra type

  1. Create your SetAlgebra and make its elements conform to Defaults.Serializable & Hashable
struct SetBag<Element: Defaults.Serializable & Hashable>: SetAlgebra {
    var store = Set<Element>()

    init() {}

    init(_ store: Set<Element>) {
        self.store = store

    func contains(_ member: Element) -> Bool {

    func union(_ other: SetBag) -> SetBag {

    func intersection(_ other: SetBag) -> SetBag {
        var setBag = SetBag()
        setBag.store = store.intersection(other.store)
        return setBag

    func symmetricDifference(_ other: SetBag) -> SetBag {
        var setBag = SetBag()
        setBag.store = store.symmetricDifference(other.store)
        return setBag

    mutating func insert(_ newMember: Element) -> (inserted: Bool, memberAfterInsert: Element) {

    mutating func remove(_ member: Element) -> Element? {

    mutating func update(with newMember: Element) -> Element? {
        store.update(with: newMember)

    mutating func formUnion(_ other: SetBag) {

    mutating func formSymmetricDifference(_ other: SetBag) {

    mutating func formIntersection(_ other: SetBag) {
  1. Create an extension of SetBag that conforms to Defaults.SetAlgebraSerializable
extension SetBag: Defaults.SetAlgebraSerializable {
    func toArray() -> [Element] {
  1. Create some keys and enjoy it.
extension Defaults.Keys {
    static let stringSet = Key<SetBag<String>>("stringSet", default: SetBag(["Hello", "World!"]))

Defaults[.stringSet].contains("Hello") //=> true
Defaults[.stringSet].contains("World!") //=> true


How can I store a dictionary of arbitrary values?

After Defaults v5, you don't need to use Codable to store dictionary, Defaults supports storing dictionary natively. For Defaults support types, see Support types.

How is this different from SwiftyUserDefaults?

It's inspired by that package and other solutions. The main difference is that this module doesn't hardcode the default values and comes with Codable support.




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