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Persisting Login Between Refreshes

Hey all, I’m using the implicit grant login flow and I am very confused.

The https://auth0.com/docs/flows/concepts/single-page-login-flow does not have any information on what to do with access tokens if the page refreshes.

Obviously if you refresh, making the user go to login again is a terrible user experience.

And then https://auth0.com/docs/security/store-tokens says not to store access tokens in local storage. So if not there, where do I store it?

It recommends storing it on my API, but that also does not make any sense. I could create a Bearer Token or HAWK64 and send that back to the client. But then I run into the same thing, if I refresh the page, that token is gone, and if I store it, we’re back to square one, a cross domain scripting attack could take the token and masquerade as the user.

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Hello @jiaccarino,

The references below might be what you are looking for.

I should mention specifically I am talking about a page refresh, not a token refresh. (I don’t actually want to ditch the access token, I am trying to preserve a session on my API)

I’ve realized since posting this I need to use a session identifier (created by my API) on a SameSite cookie, and store the access token on the API server, yes?

For SPAs, you still need to use checkSession() to remain logged in. Have a look at the following blog post which provides a detailed example of a React app. Scroll down to the “Keeping Users Signed In after a Refresh” section, about 3/4s of the way down the page.

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Oh interesting. So I should use that to get user details instead of calling my API to retrieve a cached session?

Additionally, checkSession doesn’t work for me. It says: “responseType is required”

I’ve also made a flowchart to help outline my understanding. Is this more correct?

Ever figure this out? The tokens have to be persisted on the client somehow with implicit flow and auth0 doesn’t want you using local storage. I don’t really see another way unless you go with authorization flow and use httponly cookies from the server.

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Yes’m! Just recall the API.

auth0.checkSession(
        {
          scope: "openid profile email"
        },
        function (err, authResult) {
          // err if automatic parseHash fails
          if (err !== undefined && err) {
            console.error(err);
            return;
          }

          resolve(authResult);
        });

Calling this will fetch a new idToken and access token if the user has already signed on once. I pass both the idtoken and access token up to my API every time I call it like Bearer <Access_Token> <ID_Token>.

Hmmm, I’m doing that as well, but I thought that the renew tokens just helped with expired tokens. My problem is on page reload–everything in-memory is blown away so if there isn’t anything in browser storage or a cookie, I have to log in again. How are you persisting your token info on a page reload?

Thanks!

I don’t, I pull the tokens from authResult. :slight_smile:

authResult.idToken and authResult.accessToken.

It doesn’t ask me to log in again.

this.auth0 = new auth0.WebAuth({
  domain:       AUTH0_DOMAIN,
  clientID:     AUTH0_CLIENT_ID,
  audience:     AUTH0_AUDIENCE,
  redirectUri: SITE_URL + '/auth/confirm',
  responseType: 'id_token token',
});

That’s how I have my client set up. AuthResult will always query Auth0 for new tokens if the session isn’t expired on their end. You don’t have to store anything.

Thanks a lot @jiaccarino for sharing all that knowledge with the rest of community!

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So I’m have a similar issue with persisting logins in a React SPA. However, calling checkSession does nothing. No errors, nothing. I can console log inside of the callback and it never gets called. I’ve pulled the Auth class directly from the examples. Login works just fine, but when I try to renewSession (which calls checkSession), nothing happens.

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