A Swift library to enable easy persistent UserDefaults storage

What's New


  • Prevent a crash which occurs if the UserDefaults data is not convertible to the property type

Persisted Property Wrapper

Swift Swift Version Cocoapods platforms GitHub

Persisted Property Wrapper is a Swift library to enable extremely easy persistance of variables in the UserDefaults database on Apple platforms.

To use Persisted Property Wrapper you simply annotate a variable as being @Persisted. It supports the standard UserDefaults types (Int, String, Bool, Date and more), along with RawRepresentable enums where the RawValue is storable in UserDefaults, as well as any type which conforms to Codable or NSSecureCoding. Plus of course any Optional wrapper of any of these types. The type-validity is checked at compile-time: attempting to use on any variables of a non-supported type will cause a compile-time error.


Stick a @Persisted attribute on your variable.

The first argument of the initializer is the string key under which the value will be stored in UserDefaults. If the type is non-Optional, you must also supply a defaultValue, which will be used when there is no value stored in UserDefaults.

For example:

@Persisted("UserSetting1", defaultValue: 42)
var someUserSetting: Int

@Persisted("UserSetting2") // defaultValue not necessary since Int? is an Optional type
var someOtherUserSetting: Int?

Storing Enums

Want to store an enum value? If the enum has a backing type which is supported for storage in UserDefaults, then those can also be marked as @Persisted, and the actual value stored in UserDefaults will be the enum's raw value. For example:

enum AppTheme: Int {
    case brightRed
    case vibrantOrange
    case plainBlue

struct ThemeSettings {
    // Stores the underlying integer backing the selected AppTheme
    @Persisted("theme", defaultValue: .plainBlue)
    var selectedTheme: AppTheme

Storing Codable types

Any codable type can be Persisted too; this will store in UserDefaults the JSON-encoded representation of the variable. For example:

struct AppSettings: Codable {
    var welcomeMessage = "Hello world!"
    var isSpecialModeEnabled = false
    var launchCount = 0

    @Persisted(encodedDataKey: "appSettings", defaultValue: .init())
    static var current: AppSettings

// Example usage: this will update the value of the stored AppSettings
func appDidLaunch() {
    AppSettings.current.launchCount += 1

Note that the argument label encodedDataKey must be used. This is required to remove ambiguity about which storage method is used, since UserDefaults-storable types can be Codable too.

For example, the following two variables are stored via different mechanisms:

// Stores the integer in UserDefaults
@Persisted("storedAsInteger", defaultValue: 10)
var storedAsInteger: Int

// Store the data of a JSON-encoded representation of the value. Don't use on iOS 12!
@Persisted(encodedDataKey: "storedAsData", defaultValue: 10)
var storedAsData: Int

Note: on iOS 12, using the encodedDataKey initializer with a value which would encode to a JSON fragment (e.g. Int, String, Bool, etc) will cause a crash. This is due to a bug in the Swift runtime shipped prior to iOS 13. Using encodedDataKey has no benefit in these cases anyway.

Storing types which implement NSCoding

Any NSObject which conforms to NSSecureCoding can be Persisted too; this will store in UserDefaults the encoded representation of the object obtained from NSKeyedArchiver. For example:

class CloudKitSyncManager {
    @Persisted(archivedDataKey: "ckServerChangeToken")
    var changeToken: CKServerChangeToken?

Note that the argument label archivedDataKey must be used. As above, this is required to remove ambiguity about which storage method is used.

Note: this storage mechanism is only supported on iOS 11 and up.

Alternative Storage

By default, a @Persisted property is stored in the UserDefaults.standard database; to store values in a different location, pass the storage: parameter to the property wrapper:

extension UserDefaults {
    static var alternative = UserDefaults(suiteName: "alternative")!

@Persisted("alternativeStoredValue", storage: .alternative)
var alternativeStoredValue: Int?

Why a Library?

After all, there are lots of examples of similar utilities on the web. For example, this post by John Sundell shows how a @UserDefaultsBacked property wrapper can be written in a handful of lines.

However, during development of my app, I found that I really wanted to store enum values in UserDefaults. For any enum which is backed by integer or a string, there was an obvious ideal implementation - store the enum's raw value. To provide a single API to persist both UserDefaults-supported types as well as enum values backed by UserDefaults-supported types proved a little tricky; adding the requirement that everything needed to also work on Optional wrappers of any supported type, and the problem became more complex still. Once solved for my app, I thought why not package up?


  • Xcode 12
  • Swift 5.3


Swift Package Manager

Add as a Swift Package Dependency in Xcode.


To install via CocoaPods, add the following line to your Podfile:

pod 'PersistedPropertyWrapper', '~> 2.0'


Copy the contents of the Sources directory into your project.


  • SwiftyUserDefaults has more functionality, but you are required to define your stored properties in a specific extension.
  • AppStorage: native Apple property wrapper, but tailored to (and defined in) SwiftUI, and only available in iOS 14


  • Swift Tools 5.3.0
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  • None
Last updated: Tue Mar 21 2023 14:24:41 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)