Back up SvelteKit stores to localStorage

I found a better tool for this

The team at Square has created an excellent package called @square/svelte-async-stores that in addition to having a "persisted" variant of store that can back up to localStorage, has a ton of other features including SWR-like behavior! I recommend that if you're doing anything more sophisticated with stores.

Svelte stores are part of the reason it's my favorite JavaScript framework to work with. They're reactive, globally-sharable, and have an ergonomic API. The only problem with them is that, like most JS global state solutions, they disappear on page refresh. Let's fix that by writing a few helper functions to back them up to localStorage.

make a stores.ts file

If you're not familiar with Svelte stores, the official Svelte interactive tutorial is where you should head first. It really is an excellent way to get used to the concepts. Then make a store.ts (or store.js) file in your Svelte project directory. If you're using SvelteKit like I am these days, I like to put it in /lib/stores.ts to be able to import it later easily with $lib/stores thanks to SvelteKit's $ imports.

Now you can create stores as you normally would, importing readable, writable, and derived stores as necessary. Here is one of my stores as an example:

import { writable } from 'svelte/store'

// Trip ID. The ID of the user's most recent reserved trip.
export const tripId = writable('')

a fromLocalStorage method

The first step in a robust, backed-up Svelte store is to get a value from local storage if it exists, and fallback to a provided initial value if it's provided. I've named this function fromLocalStorage. It uses SvelteKit's importable environment variable to detect if we're in a browser or server-side context, so that we don't accidentally try to use localStorage when there isn't a window present.

import { browser } from '$app/env';

// Get value from localStorage if in browser and the value is stored, otherwise fallback
function fromLocalStorage(storageKey: string, fallbackValue: any) {
	if (browser) {
		const storedValue = window.localStorage.getItem(storageKey)
		if (storedValue !== 'undefined' && storedValue !== null) {
			return (typeof fallbackValue === 'object') 
				? JSON.parse(storedValue)
				: storedValue
	return fallbackValue

Nothing too crazy going on here, right? Local storage will return undefined if you try to get items that don't exist, so we need to verify that storedValue is valid before returning it, and if not or if we're not in the browser, just return the fallback default value. I also added a check to see if our fallback value has a typeof equal to Object (which includes things like Arrays and Dates in JavaScript), so that we can parse them to match the desired type on the way out.

Returning to our example store, here's what it looks like after augmenting it to use fromLocalStorage:

// Trip ID. The ID of the user's most recent reserved trip.
export const tripId = writable(fromLocalStorage('tripId', ''))

It slots right into the initial value we pass into our writable store. I like this approach because it allows us to opt into which of our stores are important enough to be backed up to local storage, and let some just exist in memory. We haven't wrapped things in too many abstractions.

a toLocalStorage method

Now we have a writable store that will pull from local storage if a value is there. You can verify this works by manually putting values in your local storage using the developer tools of your browser (it's in the Application tab in Chromium-based browsers), and I recommend you do this if it's your first time working with the localStorage API just to get familiar with it. But for things to really work we'll hook up a listener to push the store's value into local storage any time it changes.

One of the defining features of Svelte stores is that they have a subscribe() method. Our toLocalStorage function will basically be a general store listener that pushes any new received values into local storage at the provided storageKey:

function toLocalStorage(store, storageKey: string) {
	if (browser) {
		store.subscribe(value => {
			let storageValue = (typeof value === 'object') 
				? JSON.stringify(value)
				: value
			window.localStorage.setItem(storageKey, storageValue)

In the inverse of our fromLocalStorage function, I've added a ternary assignment to make sure we stringify() any objects before putting them into local storage. Returning once again to our example store, here it is given full local storage superpowers:

// Trip ID. The ID of the user's most recent reserved trip.
export const tripId = writable(fromLocalStorage('tripId', ''))
toLocalStorage(tripId, 'tripId')

And just like that, you've got backed up store values for any reactive state in your app! If you don't make any use of SvelteKit load functions or page endpoints you should be all set. Reach out if you have any issues or questions. If you do need your data to work server-side as well, let's handle that use case now.

handling server-side use cases

You can't use Svelte stores script tags with context="module", which makes sense since those are not a part of the runtime and have no concept of reactivity, they simply load and run normal JavaScript.

However, in several places in my app I have a localStorage-powered store that also is used in these load functions to perform a query from my CMS, so I needed the value out of localStorage even if I couldn't get the store itself. In cases like this, I recommend you export your initial value of the store separately from the store itself, so that you can import just the backed up value. My example here is the saved pick-up time for a rental reservation:

// src/lib/stores.ts
import { offsetNowHours } from './timeHelpers';

// Trip pickup, saved as a Date.
// Initial value is used in the individual car page to validate availability on load,
// Because Svelte stores are not available within that context.
export const pickupInitialValue = fromLocalStorage('pickup', offsetNowHours(1.5))
export const pickup = writable(pickupInitialValue)
toLocalStorage(pickup, 'pickup')

// Trip dropoff, saved as a Date.
export const dropoffInitialValue = fromLocalStorage('dropoff', offsetNowHours(25.5))
export const dropoff = writable(dropoffInitialValue)
toLocalStorage(dropoff, 'dropoff')

Note how the initial values of both pickup and dropoff are now broken out and exported as their own values. This means that in a page load function I can still have localStorage backups by importing them like in the snippet from a Svelte component below:

// src/routes/cars/[id].svelte
<script context="module">
	import { getCarById, validateCarDates } from '$lib/cms';
	import { pickupInitialValue, dropoffInitialValue } from '$lib/stores';
	export const prerender = false; // set page to not pre-render for live car info
	export async function load({ params }) {
		const car = await getCarById(

		if (!car) {
			return {
				status: 308,
				redirect: '/',
		const isAvailable = await validateCarDates(, {
			pickup: pickupInitialValue,
			dropoff: dropoffInitialValue,
		return {
			props: {

I have been really happy with how resilient and easy to use this workflow has been while I've been building a rental car site for my sister, and I hope it makes your work with SvelteKit even more enjoyable than it already is. Happy coding.