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Ensuring data privacy

Material for MkDocs makes compliance with data privacy regulations very easy, as it offers a native cookie consent solution to seek explicit consent from users before setting up analytics. Additionally, external assets can be automatically downloaded for self-hosting.


8.4.0 .zip

Material for MkDocs ships a native and extensible cookie consent form which asks the user for consent prior to sending requests to third parties. Add the following to mkdocs.yml:

    title: Cookie consent
    description: >- # (1)!
      We use cookies to recognize your repeated visits and preferences, as well
      as to measure the effectiveness of our documentation and whether users
      find what they're searching for. With your consent, you're helping us to
      make our documentation better.
  1. You can add arbitrary HTML tags in the description, e.g. to link to your terms of service or other parts of the site.

The following properties are available:


This property sets the title of the cookie consent, which is rendered at the top of the form and must be set to a non-empty string.


This property sets the description of the cookie consent, is rendered below the title, and may include raw HTML (e.g. a links to the terms of service).


This property allows to add custom cookies or change the initial checked state and name of built-in cookies. Currently, the following cookies are built-in:

  • Google Analyticsanalytics (enabled by default)
  • GitHubgithub (enabled by default)

Each cookie must receive a unique identifier which is used as a key in the cookies map, and can be either set to a string, or to a map defining name and checked state:

      analytics: Custom name
        name: Google Analytics
        checked: false
      analytics: Google Analytics # (1)!
      custom: Custom cookie
  1. If you define a custom cookie as part of the cookies property, the analytics cookie must be added back explicitly, or analytics won't be triggered.

If Google Analytics was configured via mkdocs.yml, the cookie consent will automatically include a setting for the user to disable it. Custom cookies can be used from JavaScript.


[accept, manage] This property defines which buttons are shown and in which order, e.g. to allow the user to accept cookies and manage settings:

      - accept
      - manage # (1)!
  1. If the manage settings button is omitted from the actions property, the settings are always shown.

The cookie consent form includes three types of buttons:

  • accept – Button to accept selected cookies
  • reject – Button to reject all cookies
  • manage – Button to manage settings

When a user first visits your site, a cookie consent form is rendered:

Cookie consent enabled

In order to comply with GDPR, users must be able to change their cookie settings at any time. This can be done by adding a simple link to your copyright notice in mkdocs.yml:

copyright: >
  Copyright © 2016 - 2024 Martin Donath –
  <a href="#__consent">Change cookie settings</a>

Built-in privacy plugin

9.5.0 privacy

The built-in privacy plugin automatically identifies external assets as part of the build process and downloads all assets for very simple self-hosting. Add the following lines to mkdocs.yml:

  - privacy

For a list of all settings, please consult the plugin documentation.

Hosting images externally and optimizing them automatically

This option makes the built-in privacy plugin an excellent choice for when you want to host assets like images outside of your git repository in another location to keep them fresh and your repository lean.

Additionally, as of insiders-4.30.0, the built-in privacy plugin was entirely rewritten and now works perfectly with the built-in optimize plugin, which means that external assets can be passed through the same optimization pipeline as the rest of your documentation. This means you can store and edit unoptimized files outside of your repository, and let both plugins built a highly optimized site for you.

If you want to implement separate pipelines, i.e., optimize some images differently from others or exclude some images from downloading, you can use multiple instances of the built-in privacy plugin.

Why can't Material for MkDocs bundle all assets by design?

The primary reason why Material for MkDocs can't just bundle all of its own assets is the integration with Google Fonts, which offers over a thousand different fonts that can be used to render your documentation. Most of the fonts include several weights and are split up into different character sets to keep the download size small, so the browser only downloads what is really needed. For Roboto, our default regular font, this results in 42 *.woff2 files in total.

If Material for MkDocs would bundle all font files, the download size would be in the hundreds of megabytes, slowing down automated builds. Furthermore, authors might add external assets like third-party scripts or style sheets that would need to be remembered to be defined as further local assets.

This is the very reason the built-in privacy plugin exists — it automates the process of downloading all external assets manually to ensure compliance with GDPR with some some [technical limitations].

Expand to inspect example

For the official documentation, the built-in privacy plugin downloads the following resources:

└─ assets/external/
      ├─ roboto/v29/
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc-CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc0CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc1CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc2CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc3CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc5CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TjASc6CsQ.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic-CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic0CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic1CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic2CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic3CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic5CsTKlA.woff2
        ├─ KFOjCnqEu92Fr1Mu51TzBic6CsQ.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xEIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xFIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xGIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xHIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xIIzI.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xLIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOkCnqEu92Fr1Mu51xMIzIFKw.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fABc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fBBc4.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fBxc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fCBc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fCRc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fChc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmSU5fCxc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfABc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfBBc4.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfBxc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfCBc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfCRc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfChc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOlCnqEu92Fr1MmWUlfCxc4EsA.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu4WxKOzY.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu4mxK.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu5mxKOzY.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu72xKOzY.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu7GxKOzY.woff2
        ├─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu7WxKOzY.woff2
        └─ KFOmCnqEu92Fr1Mu7mxKOzY.woff2
      └─ robotomono/v13/
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSV0mf0h.woff2
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSZ0mf0h.woff2
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSd0mf0h.woff2
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSh0mQ.woff2
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSt0mf0h.woff2
         ├─ L0xTDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIhJHg45mwgGEFl0_3vrtSM1J-gEPT5Ese6hmHSx0mf0h.woff2
         ├─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtElOUlYIw.woff2
         ├─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtEleUlYIw.woff2
         ├─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtEluUlYIw.woff2
         ├─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtEm-Ul.woff2
         ├─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtEmOUlYIw.woff2
         └─ L0xdDF4xlVMF-BfR8bXMIjhOsXG-q2oeuFoqFrlnAIe2Imhk1T8rbociImtEn-UlYIw.woff2

Advanced settings


The following advanced settings are currently reserved to our sponsors. They are entirely optional, and don't affect the functionality of the blog, but can be helpful for customizations:

We'll add more settings here, as we discover new use cases.


Custom cookies

8.4.0 .zip

If you've customized the cookie consent and added a custom cookie, the user will be prompted to accept or reject your custom cookie. Once the user accepts or rejects the cookie consent, or changes the settings, the page reloads1. Use additional JavaScript to query the result:

var consent = __md_get("__consent")
if (consent && consent.custom) {
  /* The user accepted the cookie */
} else {
  /* The user rejected the cookie */
  - javascripts/consent.js

  1. We reload the page to make interop with custom cookies simpler. If Material for MkDocs would implement a callback-based approach, the author would need to make sure to correctly update all scripts that use cookies. Additionally, the cookie consent is only answered initially, which is why we consider this to be a good trade-off of DX and UX.