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Sessions in Laravel 9

This tutorial will show you the basics of Sessions in Laravel.

The following documentation is based on my Laravel Sessions for Beginners tutorial where we are going to cover the basics of sessions in Laravel.

Session Configuration

When a user interacts with your web application, data needs to be stored temporary. In most cases, it will be done in a session.

A session allows you to store states between page requests. An example might be a product page. When you store a value from the product page inside a session, you can access that session in the shopping cart.

All your session settings and drivers are stored in the /config/session.php file. The first thing you’ll notice in the session.php file is that you have the option to change up your SESSION_DRIVER. This might seem odd, but you can actually choose between the following drivers:

  • File (Default)
  • Cookie
  • Database
  • Memcached
  • Redis
  • Amazon Web Service
  • DynamoDB
  • Array

Another interesting setting is the encrypt. You can choose whether you want to encrypt your session data or not. By default, it’s always turned off. If you’re working with sentive data inside your sessions, you can set the value equal to true.

'encrypt' => false, //true

Creating our first session

I’ve created a new controller called PagesController and I’ve setup two methods and routes called index() and about().

public function index()
    return view('index');

public function about()
    return view('about');

You can define a session through the Session Facade or the global session helper. I prefer to use the Session Facade so that’s what we’re going to use in this tutorial.

The two most common methods are get() and put(). In order to retrieve data, we got to use the get() method. If we navigate to the index.blade.php file, we could use the Session façade in the same exact way to get a value. Be aware that you always need to provide a key of the session. You can attach a fallback value as well, which can be a string or a closure.

{{ Session::get('name') }}

{{ Session::get('name', 'Default name!') }}

The put() method allows you to save data, and it accepts two parameters. The first one will be the key, and the second parameter will be the value. The second parameter can also be an array with multiple values.

Session::put('name', 'John');

A session should be accessible throughout the entire application. If we navigate to the /about page and print out the get() method with a key of name, you’ll see that our name will be printed out again.

Available methods on session instance

There are a couple important methods available that you can perform on your session Facade. We’ve already performed the two most basic ones, which is the get() method to get data, and put() to insert values into our session.

Session::push($key, $value)

The next one will be the push method, which allows you to add a value to an array.

Session::put('name', ['John']);
Session:push('name', 'Michael');


The next method is a method I’ve used quite a lot in my tutorials, which is the has() method. The has() method checks whether there’s a value set at the provided key.

if(Session::has('name')) {
    echo 'Name does exist';


exists() will check whether there’s a value set at the provided key.

if(Session::exists('name')) {
    echo 'Name does exist';


The all() method returns an array of everything that’s in the session, including those values set by the framework.


Session::forget($key) & Session::flush()

forget() removes a previously set session value and the flush() method removes every session value, even those set by the framework itself.



The last available method is the regenerate() method, which will regenerate the _token value from your session.


How to store sessions in database

Whenever you want to combine session data with meta data, I recommend you to store sessions in the database because you can track whenever and how often a user has logged in. But you should also keep in mind that the numbers of record can grow tremendously inside your database, which can make your site slow as well.

Let’s pull in a frontend scaffolding to save a user_id inside a session.

composer require laravel/breeze --dev
php artisan breeze:install
php artisan migrate
npm install
npm run dev

We don’t need to generate the sessions migration ourselves because Artisan allows us to generate one.

php artisan session:table

This will create a new migration inside the /database/migrations folder with the name of {datetime}}_create_sessions_table.php.

Schema::create('sessions', function (Blueprint $table) {
    $table->string('ip_address', 45)->nullable();
  • user_id is the user_id that is logged in. It’s optional, so you don’t need to be logged in to set the array.
  • ip_address will be the ip address that you use when setting your session. On your localhost, this will most likely be
  • user_agent will be the software that present content for end users.
  • payload is the portion of transmitted data.
  • last_activity will be a datetime of when a user had his last activity.

You can only add your session into the database if you change up your SESSION_DRIVER. This can be done inside the /config/session.php file, but the best way is to define an env variable.



Change up the RegisterController so set a session when a user creates a new account

protected function create(array $data)
    $user = User::create([
        'name' => $data['name'],
        'email' => $data['email'],
        'password' => Hash::make($data['password']),

    Session::push('user', [
        'id' => $data['id'],
        'name' => $data['name'],
        'email' => $data['email']

    return $user;

If you then print out all values inside the PagesController:


Refresh the /endpoint, where you find an name array with information of a user, and if you perform

SELECT * FROM sessions;

Inside MySQL, you’ll see a new session!

Credits due where credits due…

Thanks to Laravel for giving me the opportunity to make this tutorial on Sessions.