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Pass cookies from HttpURLConnection (java.net.CookieManager) to WebView (android.webkit.CookieManager)

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I’ve seen answers about how this should work with the old DefaultHttpClient
but there’s not a good example for HttpURLConnection

I’m using HttpURLConnection to make requests to a web application. At the start of the my Android application, I use CookieHandler.setDefault(new CookieManager()) to automatically deal with the session cookies, and this is working fine.

At some point after the login, I want to show live pages from the web application to the user with a WebView instead of downloading data behind the scenes with HttpURLConnection. However, I want to use the same session I established earlier to prevent the user from having to login again.

How do I copy the cookies from java.net.CookieManager used by HttpURLConnection to android.webkit.CookieManager used by WebView so I can share the session?

How to&Answers:

I would like to suggest a completely different approach to your problem. Instead of copying cookies from one place to another (manual sync), let’s make HttpURLConnection and WebViews use the same cookie storage.

This completely eliminates the need for sync. Any cookie updated in any one of them, will be immediately and automatically reflected in the other.

To do this, create your own implementation of java.net.CookieManager which forwards all requests to the WebViews’ webkit android.webkit.CookieManager.


import java.io.IOException;
import java.net.CookieManager;
import java.net.CookiePolicy;
import java.net.CookieStore;
import java.net.URI;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;

public class WebkitCookieManagerProxy extends CookieManager 
    private android.webkit.CookieManager webkitCookieManager;

    public WebkitCookieManagerProxy()
        this(null, null);

    WebkitCookieManagerProxy(CookieStore store, CookiePolicy cookiePolicy)
        super(null, cookiePolicy);

        this.webkitCookieManager = android.webkit.CookieManager.getInstance();

    public void put(URI uri, Map<String, List<String>> responseHeaders) throws IOException 
        // make sure our args are valid
        if ((uri == null) || (responseHeaders == null)) return;

        // save our url once
        String url = uri.toString();

        // go over the headers
        for (String headerKey : responseHeaders.keySet()) 
            // ignore headers which aren't cookie related
            if ((headerKey == null) || !(headerKey.equalsIgnoreCase("Set-Cookie2") || headerKey.equalsIgnoreCase("Set-Cookie"))) continue;

            // process each of the headers
            for (String headerValue : responseHeaders.get(headerKey))
                this.webkitCookieManager.setCookie(url, headerValue);

    public Map<String, List<String>> get(URI uri, Map<String, List<String>> requestHeaders) throws IOException 
        // make sure our args are valid
        if ((uri == null) || (requestHeaders == null)) throw new IllegalArgumentException("Argument is null");

        // save our url once
        String url = uri.toString();

        // prepare our response
        Map<String, List<String>> res = new java.util.HashMap<String, List<String>>();

        // get the cookie
        String cookie = this.webkitCookieManager.getCookie(url);

        // return it
        if (cookie != null) res.put("Cookie", Arrays.asList(cookie));
        return res;

    public CookieStore getCookieStore() 
        // we don't want anyone to work with this cookie store directly
        throw new UnsupportedOperationException();

and finally use it by doing this on your application initialization:

// unrelated, just make sure cookies are generally allowed

// magic starts here
WebkitCookieManagerProxy coreCookieManager = new WebkitCookieManagerProxy(null, java.net.CookiePolicy.ACCEPT_ALL);


As compared with DefaultHttpClient, there are a few extra steps. The key difference is how to access the existing cookies in HTTPURLConnection:

  1. Call CookieHandler.getDefault() and cast the result to java.net.CookieManager.
  2. With the cookie manager, call getCookieStore() to access the cookie store.
  3. With the cookie store, call get() to access the list of cookies for the given URI.

Here’s a complete example:

protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    // Get cookie manager for WebView
    // This must occur before setContentView() instantiates your WebView
    android.webkit.CookieSyncManager webCookieSync =
    android.webkit.CookieManager webCookieManager =

    // Get cookie manager for HttpURLConnection
    java.net.CookieStore rawCookieStore = ((java.net.CookieManager)

    // Construct URI
    java.net.URI baseUri = null;
    try {
        baseUri = new URI("http://www.example.com");
    } catch (URISyntaxException e) {
        // Handle invalid URI

    // Copy cookies from HttpURLConnection to WebView
    List<HttpCookie> cookies = rawCookieStore.get(baseUri);
    String url = baseUri.toString();
    for (HttpCookie cookie : cookies) {
        String setCookie = new StringBuilder(cookie.toString())
            .append("; domain=").append(cookie.getDomain())
            .append("; path=").append(cookie.getPath())
        webCookieManager.setCookie(url, setCookie);

    // Continue with onCreate


I magically solved all my cookie problems with this one line in onCreate:

CookieHandler.setDefault(new CookieManager());


I had the same problem, and this is my solution :

Just after login (it’s important because before, you may be don’t have cookie yet) using httpurlconnection POST (after getResponseCode), I do :

 responseCode = connexion.getResponseCode();
 if (responseCode == HttpURLConnection.HTTP_OK) {
     final String COOKIES_HEADER = "Set-Cookie";
     cookie = connexion.getHeaderField(COOKIES_HEADER);

(where cookie is a public String in my class)

And in the webview activity, where I want to display a web page from server using WebView, I do :

    String url = "http://toto.com/titi.html";        // the url of the page you want to display
    android.webkit.CookieManager cookieManager = android.webkit.CookieManager.getInstance();
    cookieManager.setCookie(url, cookie);

As my webview is in a fragment, I had to use getActivity() for the Context, I also had to specify android.webkit. before CookieManager otherwise it cannot be resolved (import java.net instead of android.webkit cookie manager).

cookie is the same String as above (in my Fragment, I had to recover it using :

    cookie = getArguments().getString(COOKIE);

and in my MainActivity, I send it by :

    Bundle arg = new Bundle();
    arg.putString(Fragment_Cameras.COOKIE, cookie);

I hop this can help !