Preferences are a simple way to store small data for your application, e.g. user settings, small game state saves and so on. Preferences work like a hash map, using strings as keys, and various primitive types as values. Preferences are also the only way to date to write persistent data when your application is run in the browser.

Obtaining a Preferences instance

Preferences are obtained via the following snippet:

Preferences prefs ="My Preferences");

Note that your application can have multiple preferences, just give them different names.

Writing And Reading Values

Modifying preferences is as simple as modifying a Java Map:

prefs.putString("name", "Donald Duck");
String name = prefs.getString("name", "No name stored");

prefs.putBoolean("soundOn", true);
prefs.putInteger("highscore", 10);

Note that getter methods come in two flavors: with and without a default value. The default value will be returned if there is no value for the specified key in the preferences.


Your changes to a preferences instance will only get persisted if you explicitly call the flush() method.

// bulk update your preferences


On Windows, Linux, and OS X, preferences are stored in an xml file within the user’s home directory.

OS Preferences storage location
Windows %UserProfile%/.prefs/My Preferences
Linux and OS X ~/.prefs/My Preferences

The file is named whatever you passed to

This is useful to know if you want to change or delete them manually for testing.

On Android, the system’s SharedPreferences class is used. This means preferences will survive app updates, but are deleted when the app is uninstalled.

On iOS, an NSMutableDictionary will be written to the given file. [per javadocs]