My R&D World

All Things R&D

Cookie Management in Android Web Apps Development

I write this article because cookie management was a big issue which I spent quite some time on it in my GSoC2012 project but Google provides little reference.

Google engineers suggested using HttpURLConnection which would be a trend instead of Apache HTTP Client in this blog. However, HttpURLConnection has far less APIs than Apache HTTP Client which makes new programmers a little confused on how to manage cookies during HTTP request-response transactions. Even the reference of HttpURLConnection provides little useful materials on this field but only suggest using vm-wide cookie manager.

Actually, android.webkit has a very useful cookie manager which makes our programming much easier. Its full name is “android.webkit.CookieManager”.

Below is the code script which I use for cookie management in HTTP request-response.

HttpURLConnection urlConnection = null;
try {
    urlConnection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();

    // Set cookies in requests
    CookieManager cookieManager = CookieManager.getInstance();
    String cookie = cookieManager.getCookie(urlConnection.getURL().toString());
    if (cookie != null) {
        urlConnection.setRequestProperty("Cookie", cookie);

    // Get cookies from responses and save into the cookie manager
    List cookieList = urlConnection.getHeaderFields().get("Set-Cookie");
    if (cookieList != null) {
        for (String cookieTemp : cookieList) {
            cookieManager.setCookie(urlConnection.getURL().toString(), cookieTemp);

    InputStream in = new BufferedInputStream (urlConnection.getInputStream());
} catch (IOException e) {
} finally {
    if (urlConnection != null) {

Line 6 returns a singleton CookieManager so you don’t have to worry about cookie lost when using it in different places. Line 14 is to get cookies if the response message has multiple “Set-Cookie” fields.

Cookies are critical in login system of many websites. Hope this article will help you.


3 responses to “Cookie Management in Android Web Apps Development

  1. Pingback: GSoC 2012 Weekly Report on OI WebIntents Agent (June 11-17) « My R&D World

  2. Sujith February 13, 2014 at 10:59

    Thnks for the article Cheng Zheng .I want to know how you get the cookies after restarting the is there any option to save the cookies in database or somewhere?

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