Saving UIColor to and loading from NSUserDefaults

7 Solutions Collect From Internet About “Saving UIColor to and loading from NSUserDefaults”

With the accepted answer, you’ll quickly end up with a lot of NSKeyed archives & unarchives all over your code. A cleaner solution is to extend NSUserDefaults. This is exactly what extensions are for; NSUserDefaults probably doesn’t know about UIColor as it is because UIKit and Foundation are different frameworks.


extension NSUserDefaults {

    func colorForKey(key: String) -> UIColor? {
        var color: UIColor?
        if let colorData = dataForKey(key) {
            color = NSKeyedUnarchiver.unarchiveObjectWithData(colorData) as? UIColor
        return color

    func setColor(color: UIColor?, forKey key: String) {
        var colorData: NSData?
        if let color = color {
            colorData = NSKeyedArchiver.archivedDataWithRootObject(color)
        setObject(colorData, forKey: key)



NSUserDefaults.standardUserDefaults().setColor(UIColor.whiteColor(), forKey: "white")
let whiteColor = NSUserDefaults.standardUserDefaults().colorForKey("white")

This can also be done in Objective-C with a category.

I’ve added the Swift file as a gist here.

One way of doing it might be to archive it (like with NSColor, though I haven’t tested this):

NSData *colorData = [NSKeyedArchiver archivedDataWithRootObject:color];
[[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] setObject:colorData forKey:@"myColor"];

And to get it back:

NSData *colorData = [[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] objectForKey:@"myColor"];
UIColor *color = [NSKeyedUnarchiver unarchiveObjectWithData:colorData];

I’ve got the answer by myself


const CGFloat  *components = CGColorGetComponents(pColor.CGColor);
NSUserDefaults *prefs = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
[prefs setFloat:components[0]  forKey:@"cr"];
[prefs setFloat:components[1]  forKey:@"cg"];
[prefs setFloat:components[2]  forKey:@"cb"];
[prefs setFloat:components[3]  forKey:@"ca"];


NSUserDefaults *prefs = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
UIColor* tColor = [UIColor colorWithRed:[prefs floatForKey:@"cr"] green:[prefs floatForKey:@"cg"] blue:[prefs floatForKey:@"cb"] alpha:[prefs floatForKey:@"ca"]];

Thanks for Erica’s UIColor category. I did not really like saving 4 floats in the preferences, and just wanted a single entry.

So using Erica’s UIColor category, I was able to convert the RGB color to/from an NSString which can be saved in the preferences.

// Save a color
NSString *theColorStr = [self.artistColor stringFromColor];
[[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] setObject:theColorStr forKey:@"myColor"];

// Read a color
NSString *theColorStr = [[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] objectForKey:@"myColor"];
if ([theColorStr length] > 0) {
    self.myColor = [UIColor colorWithString:theColorStr];
} else {
    self.myColor = [UIColor colorWithRed:88.0/255.0 green:151.0/255.0 blue:237.0/255.0 alpha:1.0];

Swift 3, UserDefaults Extension

extension UserDefaults {

    internal func color(forKey key: String) -> UIColor? {
        guard let colorData = data(forKey: key) else {
            return nil

        return NSKeyedUnarchiver.unarchiveObject(with: colorData) as? UIColor

    internal func setColor(_ color: UIColor?, forKey key: String) {
        let colorData: Data?
        if let color = color {
            colorData = NSKeyedArchiver.archivedData(withRootObject: color)
        else {
            colorData = nil

        set(colorData, forKey: key)

Example Use

let colorKey = "favoriteColor"

UserDefaults.standard.setColor(, forKey: colorKey)
let favoriteColor = UserDefaults.standard.color(forKey: colorKey)

print("favoriteColor is red: '\(favoriteColor =='")

This answer is based on a previous answer. It is updated for Swift 3.

I needed to store array of UIColor objects in User Defaults. Idea, as stated in other answers, is to convert UIColor to Data and save that data. I’ve made extension on UIColor:

extension UIColor {
   func data() -> Data {
      return NSKeyedArchiver.archivedData(withRootObject: self)
   class func color(withData data: Data) -> UIColor? {
      return NSKeyedUnarchiver.unarchiveObject(with: data) as? UIColor


fileprivate var savedColors: [UIColor]? {
    get {
        if let colorDataArray = UserDefaults.standard.array(forKey: Constants.savedColorsKey) as? [Data] {
            return { UIColor.color(withData: $0)! }
        return nil
    set {
        if let colorDataArray = newValue?.map({ $ }) {
            UserDefaults.standard.set(colorDataArray, forKey: Constants.savedColorsKey)


Edit 2: I seem to have found the answer. Check out the article by Erica Sadun on extending UIColor.

Edit: This code does not seem to work for a UIColor Object. Not sure why…

Here is some code to take a look at:

Saving an object into NSUserDefaults:

 NSUserDefaults *userDefaults =[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
[userDefaults setObject:someColorObject forKey:@"myColor"];

Reading an object from NSUserDefaults:

NSUserDefaults *userDefaults =[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
UIColor *someColor = (UIColor *)[userDefaults objectForKey:@"myColor"];