This cookie-based session store is the Rails default. It is dramatically faster than the alternatives.

Sessions typically contain at most a user_id and flash message; both fit within the 4K cookie size limit. A CookieOverflow exception is raised if you attempt to store more than 4K of data.

The cookie jar used for storage is automatically configured to be the best possible option given your application's configuration.

Your cookies will be encrypted using your apps secret_key_base. This goes a step further than signed cookies in that encrypted cookies cannot be altered or read by users. This is the default starting in Rails 4.

Configure your session store in an initializer:

Rails.application.config.session_store :cookie_store, key: '_your_app_session'

In the development and test environments your application's secret key base is generated by Rails and stored in a temporary file in tmp/development_secret.txt. In all other environments, it is stored encrypted in the config/credentials.yml.enc file.

If your application was not updated to Rails 5.2 defaults, the secret_key_base will be found in the old config/secrets.yml file.

Note that changing your secret_key_base will invalidate all existing session. Additionally, you should take care to make sure you are not relying on the ability to decode signed cookies generated by your app in external applications or JavaScript before changing it.

Because CookieStore extends Rack::Session::Abstract::Persisted, many of the options described there can be used to customize the session cookie that is generated. For example:

Rails.application.config.session_store :cookie_store, expire_after: 14.days

would set the session cookie to expire automatically 14 days after creation. Other useful options include :key, :secure and :httponly.

Class Public methods
new(app, options = {})
# File actionpack/lib/action_dispatch/middleware/session/cookie_store.rb, line 59
def initialize(app, options = {})
  super(app, options.merge!(cookie_only: true))
Instance Public methods
delete_session(req, session_id, options)
# File actionpack/lib/action_dispatch/middleware/session/cookie_store.rb, line 63
def delete_session(req, session_id, options)
  new_sid = generate_sid unless options[:drop]
  # Reset hash and Assign the new session id
  req.set_header("action_dispatch.request.unsigned_session_cookie", new_sid ? { "session_id" => new_sid.public_id } : {})
# File actionpack/lib/action_dispatch/middleware/session/cookie_store.rb, line 70
def load_session(req)
  stale_session_check! do
    data = unpacked_cookie_data(req)
    data = persistent_session_id!(data)
    [["session_id"]), data]