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FireFox suddenly expiring cookies

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
My Yahoo! mail cookie now only sets as "Expires: At end of session." So I have to log in after each time I close the mail window. In IE it still sets by length (allows multiple sessions over 24 hours). The only change was the Microsoft Windows updates a few days ago.

Will increase/split points for all helpful comments!
Watch Question

Hey Controltheweb,
Please launch Firefox and access Tools, Options and Privacy.
Is the field "Allow sites to set cookies" selected?
Also in the field below this there is an area entitled "Keep Cookies" with options from a drop down menu.
Which option is selected?

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Has always been set to accept cookies until they expire.
Top Expert 2008

Greetings, controltheweb !

In the Cookies tab, click View Cookies.  Delete all references to Yahoo.  Then click "Exceptions" button.  Type in Yahoo.com and click "Allow".  Click OK.  This will force Firefox to allow Yahoo cookies until they expire.

esc_toe_account and controltheweb, are you the same person?

Best wishes!


I accessed the site from a PC that was already logged in as someone else. My error. This is me! I will try that, war1 -- thanks!

Just make sure when you follow war1's advice the "unless I have removed cookies set by this site." option is UNCHECKED.


The cookie for mail.yahoo.com still sets as "Expires: At end of session" and when the browser is closed and then reopened the cookie is gone. Only happens on a Windows XP PRo PC. On a Win2000 PC, the cookie retains.


Note that none of the yahoo.com cookies show this issue .. only the mail.yahoo.com one.
Top Expert 2008

Wonder if Yahoo has changed the cookie to only allow to keep for session.  Check with Yahoo Support if the change was made.


Does appear there is something to that .. but why why only start after a Windows update for one version of Windows? It seems that the update might be the culprit, preventing normal usage. But that seems like an unlikely occurence. Microsoft preventing Yahoo! working properly in FireFox would certainly make news.
It is setting the same for me with XP Home and Firefox and it is only the Mail cookie.  Maybe they are trying to do the same thing as Gmail and limit the security of the emails.   Personally, if I was on a public computer or at work, I would prefer to have to insert my password for my emails if I have walked away from my desk.

Although, very strange.  I had previously checked the cookies and yahoo mail a little while ago.  Closed Browser and TB.  Came back at least half an hour later. Opened Firefox to my homepage of my.yahoo.com, clicked on the Inbox at the top and went directly there.

Am I wrong, but isn't a session when you have the browser Opened and then close it would be 1 session?

I will start digging around Yahoo's support.

"I get the message "your login session has expired." Why?"
You'll see this message if it has been more than eight hours since you last signed into Yahoo! Mail and you did not click the "Sign Out" link at the end of your session. We display this message and ask that you log in again as a safeguard for Yahoo! Mail users, specifically ones who use public or shared computers.

You may also want to check your account information. If you've chosen to be prompted for a password more frequently than every eight hours, your session will expire after the specified amount of time. To change this, follow these steps:

Please note that opening another browser window and logging into a second Yahoo! Mail account will automatically sign you out of the first. When you return to the first account, clicking on any link will give you the "your login session has expired" message.

If you repeatedly receive the message "your login session has expired" or are repeatedly cycled back to the sign-in screen with no error message after entering your ID and password, then the problem you're having may be caused by a difficulty setting your user cookie.

With more info there, not too helpful, but I guess they are considering their sessions 8 hours per computer.

More here,


Thanks for your note, mtz1of4.

A more detailed view of this issue is that the cookie behaves differently on Windows XP vs. Windows 2000 with the same versions of FireFox as I mentioned above. So it seems unlikely to be a generic policy or procedural issue with Yahoo!, Windows or Firefox.
Top Expert 2008
>> Only happens on a Windows XP PRo PC

Are you using WinXP SP2?  There could be a security setting that causing the cookies to expire at end of session.   Create a new Firefox profile and see if the problem occurs in new profile.


In order to create a new profile, you use the Profile Manager. To start the Profile Manager in Windows, follow these steps:

   1. Close Firefox completely (select File > Exit from the main menu of Firefox).
   2. Select Start > Run... from the Windows Start menu.
   3. Enter firefox.exe -profilemanager and press OK.


war1, your advice is a beautiful thing!
Top Expert 2008

controltheweb, glad creating a new profile worked for you.


The type of cookie didn't change, but the action of it did .. it persists after closing and reopening the browser window. So I was misinterpreting "Expires: At end of session."

As I pointed out above the cookie stayed for me also after closing and opening the browser as long as you haven't either Signed Out of mail OR logged in as  different member name.  It looks like Yahoo has set a session as 8 hours.

One more thought  I had controltheweb was to try the User Agent Switcher extension and see if setting it as IE would help also.  You could give it a shot.  https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=59&application=firefox
Thanks for the above assist and grade.
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