The simple-storage module lets you easily and persistently store data across Firefox restarts. If you're familiar with DOM storage on the Web, it's kind of like that, but for add-ons.

The simple storage module exports an object called storage that is persistent and private to your add-on. It's a normal JavaScript object, and you can treat it as you would any other.

To store a value, just assign it to a property on storage:

var ss = require("simple-storage"); = [1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13]; = true; = null; = 3.1337; = { a: "foo", b: { c: true }, d: null }; = "O frabjous day!";

You can store array, boolean, number, object, null, and string values. If you'd like to store other types of values, you'll first have to convert them to strings or another one of these types.

Be careful to set properties on the storage object and not the module itself:

// This is no good!
var ss = require("simple-storage"); = "I will not be saved! :(";

Simple Storage and "cfx run"

The simple storage module stores its data in your profile. Because cfx run by default uses a fresh profile each time it runs, simple storage won't work with add-ons executed using cfx run - that is, stored data will not persist from one run to the next.

The easiest solution to this problem is to use the --profiledir option to cfx run.

If you use this method, you must end your debugging session by quitting Firefox normally, not by cancelling the shell command. If you don't close Firefox normally, then simple storage will not be notified that the session is finished, and will not write your data to the backing store.

Constructing Arrays

Be careful to construct array objects conditionally in your code, or you may zero them each time the construction code runs. For example, this add-on tries to store the URLs of pages the user visits:

var ss = require("simple-storage"); = [];

require("tabs").on("ready", function(tab) {;

var widget = require("widget").Widget({
  id: "log_history",
  label: "Log History",
  width: 30,
  content: "Log",
  onClick: function() {

But this isn't going to work, because it empties the array each time the add-on runs (for example, each time Firefox is started). Line 2 needs to be made conditional, so the array is only constructed if it does not already exist:

if (! = [];

Deleting Data

You can delete properties using the delete operator. Here's an add-on that adds three widgets to write, read, and delete a value:

var widgets = require("widget");
var ss = require("simple-storage");

var widget = widgets.Widget({
  id: "write",
  label: "Write",
  width: 50,
  content: "Write",
  onClick: function() { = 1;
    console.log("Setting value");

var widget = widgets.Widget({
  id: "read",
  label: "Read",
  width: 50,
  content: "Read",
  onClick: function() {

var widget = widgets.Widget({
  id: "delete",
  label: "Delete",
  width: 50,
  content: "Delete",
  onClick: function() {
    console.log("Deleting value");

If you run it, you'll see that after clicking "Read" after clicking "Delete" gives you the expected output:

info: undefined


The simple storage available to your add-on is limited. Currently this limit is about five megabytes (5,242,880 bytes). You can choose to be notified when you go over quota, and you should respond by reducing the amount of data in storage. If the user quits the application while you are over quota, all data stored since the last time you were under quota will not be persisted. You should not let that happen.

To listen for quota notifications, register a listener for the "OverQuota" event. It will be called when your storage goes over quota.

function myOnOverQuotaListener() {
  console.log("Uh oh.");
ss.on("OverQuota", myOnOverQuotaListener);

Listeners can also be removed:

ss.removeListener("OverQuota", myOnOverQuotaListener);

To find out how much of your quota you're using, check the module's quotaUsage property. It indicates the percentage of quota your storage occupies. If you're within your quota, it's a number from 0 to 1, inclusive, and if you're over, it's a number greater than 1.

Therefore, when you're notified that you're over quota, respond by removing storage until your quotaUsage is less than or equal to 1. Which particular data you remove is up to you. For example: = [ /* some long array */ ];
ss.on("OverQuota", function () {
  while (ss.quotaUsage > 1);

Private Browsing

If your storage is related to your users' Web history, personal information, or other sensitive data, your add-on should respect private browsing mode. While private browsing mode is active, you should not store any sensitive data.

Because any kind of data can be placed into simple storage, support for private browsing is not built into the module. Instead, use the private-browsing module to check private browsing status and respond accordingly.

For example, the URLs your users visit should not be stored during private browsing. If your add-on records the URL of the selected tab, here's how you might handle that: = [];
var privateBrowsing = require("private-browsing");
if (!privateBrowsing.isActive) {
  var url = getSelectedTabURL();;

For more information on supporting private browsing, see its Mozilla Developer Network documentation. While that page does not apply specifically to SDK-based add-ons (and its code samples don't apply at all), you should follow its guidance on best practices and policies.

API Reference


storage : object

A persistent object private to your add-on. Properties with array, boolean, number, object, null, and string values will be persisted.

quotaUsage : number

A number in the range [0, Infinity) that indicates the percentage of quota occupied by storage. A value in the range [0, 1] indicates that the storage is within quota. A value greater than 1 indicates that the storage exceeds quota.



The module emits this event when your add-on's storage goes over its quota.