Any opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer (I'm self-employed).

Jan 11, 2011

NewTwitter not working with Safari's private mode

A couple of days ago I tweeted that I had trouble with NewTwitter. It turns out that Twitter does not work correctly with Safari in "Private mode." At the time, only the top bar would load, no other content was visible in my browser. After switching off the private mode, Twitter yet again worked as expected. Even after turning private mode back on. This meant that I was unable to reproduce the problem.

Today, new problems. This time, the timeline of other users does not load. I get to see their profile, but without the timeline. My own timeline works just fine. Checking with Burp, and comparing with a page load without private mode, I'm able to verify that there's no request for the timeline. Checking the error console reveals the following:

What a strange error message:

QUOTA_EXCEEDED_ERR: DOM Exception 22: An attempt was made to add something to storage that exceeded the quota.

Some investigation reveled that this is an HTML 5 feature, as usual there were clues at stackoverflow.
When turning off private browsing, everything's fine, there are no errors reported.

Checking the localStorage W3 documentation gives me a strong feeling that Safari denies local storage when in private mode, and instead should have thrown a SECURITY_ERR exception (not that it matters to most end users).

I'm not sure who's creating the problem here, Safari or Twitter. I'll send the issue to Apple and Twitter. If I get a response I'll update this post.

Update 19 jan.: Twitter responded to my e-mail just now, they promised to fix the issue. Good stuff.


  1. Hey, Did twitter came back to you with a resolution? I run into the same issue and found your post via google, I'm sure others do so, too

  2. Hi Gregor,

    as I noted 19. Jan, Twitter promised to fix the issue, and they did. If it has resurfaced, you might want to let them know!


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  19. I tweeted a few days ago that I was having issues with NewTwitter. It turns out that using Safari in "Private mode" with Twitter does not work properly. At the moment, my browser would only load the top bar; no more content could be seen. Twitter once more operated as intended after turning off private mode. even after reactivating private mode. This indicated that I was unable to duplicate the issue. today's issues are new. The timelines of other users are not loading at this moment. They allow me to view their profile, but not their timeline. My own timeframe functions perfectly. Checking with Burp, and comparing with a page load without private mode, I'm able to verify that there's no request for the timeline.
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