3.33.0 • Public • Published


A key/value store for application preferences.


Install the module

npm install @wordpress/preferences --save

This package assumes that your code will run in an ES2015+ environment. If you're using an environment that has limited or no support for such language features and APIs, you should include the polyfill shipped in @wordpress/babel-preset-default in your code.

Key concepts


Many API calls require a 'scope' parameter that acts like a namespace. If you have multiple parameters with the same key but they apply to different parts of your application, using scopes is the best way to segregate them.


Each preference is set against a key that should be a string.


Values can be of any type, but the types supported may be limited by the persistence layer configure. For example if preferences are saved to browser localStorage in JSON format, only JSON serializable types should be used.


Defaults are the value returned when a preference is undefined. These are not persisted, they are only kept in memory. They should be during the initialization of an application.


Data store

Set the default preferences for any features on initialization by dispatching an action:

import { dispatch } from '@wordpress/data';
import { store as preferencesStore } from '@wordpress/preferences';

function initialize() {
	// ...

	dispatch( preferencesStore ).setDefaults(
			myBooleanFeature: true,

	// ...

Use the get selector to get a preference value, and the set action to update a preference:

	.select( 'core/preferences' )
	.get( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName' ); // 1
	.dispatch( 'core/preferences' )
	.set( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName', 2 );
	.select( 'core/preferences' )
	.get( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName' ); // 2

Use the toggle action to flip a boolean preference between true and false:

	.select( 'core/preferences' )
	.get( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName' ); // true
	.dispatch( 'core/preferences' )
	.toggle( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName' );
	.select( 'core/preferences' )
	.get( 'namespace/editor-or-plugin-name', 'myPreferenceName' ); // false

Setting up a persistence layer

By default, this package only stores values in-memory. But it can be configured to persist preferences to browser storage or a database via an optional persistence layer.

Use the setPersistenceLayer action to configure how the store persists its preference values.

wp.data.dispatch( 'core/preferences' ).setPersistenceLayer( {
	// `get` is asynchronous to support persisting preferences using a REST API.
	// it will immediately be called by `setPersistenceLayer` and the returned
	// value used as the initial state of the preferences.
	async get() {
		return JSON.parse( window.localStorage.getItem( 'MY_PREFERENCES' ) );

	// `set` is synchronous. It's ok to use asynchronous code, but the
	// preferences store won't wait for a promise to resolve, the function is
	// 'fire and forget'.
	set( preferences ) {
			JSON.stringify( preferences )
} );

For application that persist data to an asynchronous API, a concern is that loading preferences can lead to slower application start up.

A recommendation is to pre-load any persistence layer data and keep it in a local cache particularly if you're using an asynchronous API to persist data.

Note: currently get is called only when setPersistenceLayer is triggered. This may change in the future, so it's sensible to optimize get using a local cache, as shown in the example below.

// Preloaded data from the server.
let cache = preloadedData;
wp.data.dispatch( 'core/preferences' ).setPersistenceLayer( {
	async get() {
		if ( cache ) {
			return cache;

		// Call to a made-up async API.
		return await api.preferences.get();
	set( preferences ) {
		cache = preferences;
		api.preferences.set( { data: preferences } );
} );


The PreferenceToggleMenuItem components can be used with a DropdownMenu to implement a menu for changing preferences.

function MyEditorMenu() {
	return (
			{ () => (
				<MenuGroup label={ __( 'Features' ) }>
						label={ __( 'My feature' ) }
						info={ __( 'A really awesome feature' ) }
						messageActivated={ __( 'My feature activated' ) }
						messageDeactivated={ __( 'My feature deactivated' ) }
			) }

API Reference


The following set of dispatching action creators are available on the object returned by wp.data.dispatch( 'core/preferences' ):


Returns an action object used in signalling that a preference should be set to a value


  • scope string: The preference scope (e.g. core/edit-post).
  • name string: The preference name.
  • value *: The value to set.


  • Object: Action object.


Returns an action object used in signalling that preference defaults should be set.


  • scope string: The preference scope (e.g. core/edit-post).
  • defaults Object<string, *>: A key/value map of preference names to values.


  • Object: Action object.


Sets the persistence layer.

When a persistence layer is set, the preferences store will:

  • call get immediately and update the store state to the value returned.
  • call set with all preferences whenever a preference changes value.

setPersistenceLayer should ideally be dispatched at the start of an application's lifecycle, before any other actions have been dispatched to the preferences store.


  • persistenceLayer WPPreferencesPersistenceLayer: The persistence layer.


  • Object: Action object.


Returns an action object used in signalling that a preference should be toggled.


  • scope string: The preference scope (e.g. core/edit-post).
  • name string: The preference name.


The following selectors are available on the object returned by wp.data.select( 'core/preferences' ):


Returns a boolean indicating whether a prefer is active for a particular scope.


  • state Object: The store state.
  • scope string: The scope of the feature (e.g. core/edit-post).
  • name string: The name of the feature.


  • *: Is the feature enabled?

Contributing to this package

This is an individual package that's part of the Gutenberg project. The project is organized as a monorepo. It's made up of multiple self-contained software packages, each with a specific purpose. The packages in this monorepo are published to npm and used by WordPress as well as other software projects.

To find out more about contributing to this package or Gutenberg as a whole, please read the project's main contributor guide.

Code is Poetry.

Package Sidebar


npm i @wordpress/preferences

Weekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

191 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • riad
  • gutenbergplugin
  • mamaduka
  • ryanwelcher
  • garypendergast
  • aduth
  • adamsilverstein
  • gziolo
  • ntwb
  • noisysocks
  • kadamwhite
  • jorgefilipecosta
  • ellatrix
  • iandunn206
  • whyisjake
  • ockham
  • sirreal
  • nosolosw
  • wpisabel
  • ntsekouras
  • nerrad
  • desrosj
  • talldanwp
  • peterwilsoncc