Who's eating my Firefox cookies?
September 29, 2004 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Firefox question: Why do my cookies for sites such as the Washington Post or New York Times keep disappearing? I can not say for sure, but it seems time related - if I do not visit the site in a few weeks all of a sudden it is asking for my login info. Is there some way to prevent this?
posted by caddis to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Versions prior to 1.0 are limited to three hundred cookies before it starts overwriting them. I believe this has been upped to 1000 in the most recent release.
posted by cedar at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2004

Best answer: See here for how to raise it to an actually reasonable number.
posted by boaz at 5:11 PM on September 29, 2004

When you set a cookie, you also set an expiration date. You should be able to see when the WaPo or NYT cookie is set to expire by going into "View Cookies" under Options > Privacy
posted by yerfatma at 6:18 PM on September 29, 2004

What yerfatma said. Cookies typically have a built-in expiration date (anytime from immediately to good ol' 2038). This is set by the server issuing the cookie, not your browser.
posted by neckro23 at 7:23 PM on September 29, 2004

Thank you Jebus. I've been complaining about this since 2002, but every Mozilla geek I talked to about it totally shined me on with ID10T and PEBKAC types of comments, no slight to yerfatma or neckro23 -- I know WTF I'm doing, thank you very much, and Mozilla kept deleting my cookies. This persisted across Mozilla 0.x-1.x, Netscape 7.x, and Phoenix-Firebird-Firefox, it persisted across different profiles, and persisted across different computers.

I'll have to see if the fix noted at delfuego's site really works, though, because I watched cookie limits very carefully for a time back then and there was no obvious relationship to a presumed 300-cookie limit.

In fact with, allegedly, no fixing of this bug whatsoever, cookie management did improve -- MeFi used to require me to log in pretty frequently, but it's been a rare occurrence for roughly a year now. I still regularly lose cookies for various newspapers and the like, so it's a continuing issue. If I'd ever had the time (and hadn't been so thoroughly dissed by the supposedly-open Bugzilla process) I'd have tried harder to figure out whether it's something about the cookies themselves that makes them prone to early deletion.
posted by dhartung at 12:22 AM on September 30, 2004

Response by poster: Thank you. I have raised my cookie limit. Now to wait and see if this fixes the problem.
posted by caddis at 5:52 AM on September 30, 2004

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