In Rails 5, if both request.cookies and cookies are returning nil, it's likely that cookies are not being set or processed correctly in your application. Here are a few possible reasons and solutions to investigate:

  1. Cookies Not Set: Make sure that you are setting cookies in your application properly. You can set cookies using the cookies method in your controller actions. For example:

    # Set a cookie named 'user_id' with value '123' cookies[:user_id] = { value: '123', expires: 1.hour.from_now }

    If you are setting cookies in a before_action or a different controller, ensure that it runs before the action where you are trying to access the cookies.

  2. Missing Cookie Middleware: Check if the ActionDispatch::Cookies middleware is included in your application's middleware stack. This middleware is responsible for handling cookies in Rails. It should be included by default in a standard Rails application.

    In your config/application.rb file, make sure you have the following line:

    config.middleware.use ActionDispatch::Cookies
  3. Cookies Disabled in the Browser: Ensure that cookies are not disabled in your browser. If cookies are disabled, the browser will not send cookies in subsequent requests, and Rails won't receive them. Make sure your browser allows cookies from your application.

  4. Cookie Domain and Path: Check the domain and path settings when setting and reading cookies. If you have explicitly set the domain or path for the cookies, make sure it matches when setting and reading them.

  5. Test in Incognito Mode: Cookies might behave differently when testing locally, especially if you are using browser extensions or other tools that affect cookie behavior. Test your application in an incognito or private browsing mode to ensure that no extensions interfere with the cookies.

  6. Web Server Configuration: If you are running your Rails application behind a web server (e.g., Nginx or Apache), check the server's configuration. Sometimes, web server configurations can interfere with cookies.

By investigating these aspects, you should be able to determine why both request.cookies and cookies are returning nil in your Rails 5 application and address the issue accordingly.

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