No, really, it's still the same computer!
February 11, 2008 9:38 PM   Subscribe

What is losing some of my identifying information from Firefox every time I reboot the computer?

I'm running Firefox v. on Windows Vista with a Vaio VGN-N230E laptop. Every time I reboot the computer (as for installation of certain updates), I find that I am no longer logged into some sites that normally remember me (Metafilter, for one), and financial pages that require verification beyond a password when you access them from a different computer think I'm on a new computer (this is the only one I use) and require me to jump through verification hoops (Chase has one that requires them to call me with a PIN, which was a problem when their verification system was down for nearly a month--I rely on being able to pay certain bills online).

Is there anything I can change about my computer settings so that I'm still me after a reboot? Is this a cookie issue? I have cookies set to only delete when they expire, and I looked in the cookie manager and found tons of cookies (though, come to think of it, none from websites I know are affected, and those should be leaving some, right?).
posted by Cricket to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is a setting:

Tools... Options... Privacy... Cookies

Accept cookies from sites [Exceptions...]
Keep Until: [they expire [v]] [Show Cookies...]

But when that happened to me it was because my cookie cache was corrupt. It's handily located at;

%System drive%\users\[username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[profile id]\cookies.txt

Try renaming the file while Firefox is closed. It'll reset everything but it might remember from there on.
posted by krisjohn at 9:56 PM on February 11, 2008

Also check for overzealous anti-spyware tools. Some of them are total cookie monsters.
posted by flabdablet at 10:48 PM on February 11, 2008

Another configuration that could cause this:

Tools > Options > Privacy >

Always clear private data when I close Firefox (Checked)
Ask me before clearing private data (Unchecked)

By default it should be the other way around:

Always clear private data when I close Firefox (Unchecked)
Ask me before clearing private data (Checked)

posted by B(oYo)BIES at 11:23 PM on February 11, 2008

What krisjohn said, but your cookies are probably only kept "until I close my browser."
posted by rhizome at 11:25 PM on February 11, 2008

A lot of sites remember you from the cookie AND the IP ADDRESS you were at. If you're rebooting your computer, perhaps you're getting a new IP address that doesn't match their site or the cookie?
posted by lockle at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: This happens when I reboot, not when I restart the browser, and I did make sure ccleaner wasn't auto-cleaning or eating some of the cookies. I did check all those firefox settings (except that I don't think the pathway to the Firefox application settings is the same in Vista, unless "application data" is by default hidden). The IP address issue is more likely, but it should be the router that actually has the IP address other websites see, right? Should that change when I reboot just my computer?
posted by Cricket at 10:08 PM on February 12, 2008

You're probably hitting the cookie limits in Firefox. It happens to me too. I have to re-login to my own blog about 3x a week.
posted by mathowie at 11:33 PM on February 12, 2008

I've been using Firefox for a very long time, and I have never run into the cookie limit as far as I know. I wonder if this is because I've also been using Adblock Plus for as long as I've been using Firefox?

Advertising sites looooove handing out cookies.
posted by flabdablet at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2008

I'm having the same issue on Firefox on Ubuntu. It's driving me nuts, sites always forget who I am. But not every site -- MetaFilter and reddit always remember me. My banks and mediawiki, however, don't.

Cricket, did you have any luck fixing this?
posted by knave at 1:00 PM on March 25, 2008

« Older Things to do in Birmingham   |   Aborted OSX 10.5.2 update help needed. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.