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Keep until firefox closes -Cookies & site data -Accept cookies.... selection still leaves cookies in the list.

  • 9 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 457 views
  • Last reply by berniek

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I could understand it not clearing the cookies if Firefox was to crash or indeed my computer crashed (power failure etc) while I was browsing. I have become increasingly aware of the possibility of "cookie mining". Even though the cookie may be encrypted, knowing where they originated from and how often provides data as to website usage. I now take the view that if Facebook or google or Microsoft or anyone else wish to use my information (of even the most innocuous type) from which they will derive income (advertising profile data) they should pay me for it. The Firefox development community may have a different view but because they are champions of privacy & security, they should tell us. If they have switches that only designed to work "sometimes" they should also tell us and explain the logic. I could understand not clearing cookies from a previous session, because the option may have been different under that session, but I NEVER change that option. Still Firefox seems to be spasmodically not clearing some cookies on exit.

There are all sorts of dire warnings about not blocking cookies and I understand websites may use cookies to improve the "user experience" while you use that website. I also understand that a "hidden" website such as web beacons or other advertising gathering tools can store cookies related to the present "parent" website that you are visiting and these cookies are then available for interrogation by an entirely different website that happens to also use that beacon or tool. In short cookie mining.

Open source is open source. If Mozilla (I am a long time supporter) wishes to have policies or directions that are changing or at odds with what we users expect or have come to believe then that is fine as long as they tell us and explain their reasoning.

Chosen solution

From what I can glean from reading on the internet generally, it seems to me that the saving of cookies, data & history as an undesirable feature is being watered down. Data mining has become an accepted process amoung programmers. In the same way, whilst I do not understand why it is desirable, I had reservations about "screen capture" being a feature in Firefox. In the past capturing a screeen was seen as a major security issue, as private data on a screen could be captured and even though it may be in the form of graphic data, it still can be decoded. Putting "safegards" in to not allow some screens to be captured is just asking for trouble. It seems to me the mish mash approach to the logic of saving data is a real worry.

I understand browsers are highly complex programs and with open source the specification is in constant state of change,

The suggested solutions of a clean install being a solution points squarely to treating users like mushrooms. The very fact that a web browser is able to get into some an undesirable state is alarming in itself. That should set alarm bells ringing immediately. Taking this approach is the surest way to ensure problems become "built in". The real problem is never identified so is never fixed. I guess the answer for this sort of approach is to buy an Apple and use their programs exclusively. A lot less practical function. Cost a lot more.Works for Apple.

Whilst I have always supported the aims of Mozilla, I am starting to think that the solution may well be googles chrome. Firefox used to stand alone way ahead of chrome, but now I am not so sure. I am pretty sure chrome will actively mine my data, but these days I am not sure Mozilla if not doing the same thing is making it so much easier for third parties to do the same.

If I have a swith that says 'keep cookies till i exit" I want it to do that. I want that switch to say "keep cookies till i exit unless I crash or unless i do a session restore or under these detailed circumstances or what some future programmer will decide" if thats what it does.

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Sorry to hear that you are having issues with Firefox clearing your cookies when you exit. This has been brought up in previous threads about this topic, but if you use Firefox's session restore feature, Firefox will keep those cookies on your browser when you close it so that it can recover the session.

If you wish to disable this, do the following:

  1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar
  2. Bypass the security warning
  3. Find the browser.sessionstore.privacy_level preference
  4. Double click it and change it to 2

It's also important to note that automatically clearing Firefox cookies may not work if Firefox crashes (since it tries to restore the session) or if you have Firefox set to automatically use Private Browsing or What happened to Tracking Protection?.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you for reply. I do not use session restore and have not had Firefox crash (though it may have transparently). To make sure I have altered it in (browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash)

I donot use private browsing although I have set that setting to not save Cookies or site preferences or offline data.

What annoys me is that mozilla has a switch that says "accept cookies from websites" and then "keep until Firefox closes". To me that seems pretty unambigous. It doesn't say "Keep until firefox closes unless I do a session restore or unless I have some other switch in Private Browsing or Tracking...." It does not make reference to that at all.

I do not envy open source developers who must decide the philosophical direction of programs. I understand that the commercial companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook etc provide "volunteers" in these spaces (and they have every right to do so). The temptation to make all seeing all omnipotent programs is high. Its must also be high to embrace Microsoft, Google & Facebook philosophies regarding adds. Privacy & Security are terms with quite specific meanings. Its pretty silly to give the impression of privacy & security and then just redefine what it means. Thats a Google & Facebook approach.

Adds DO NOT make it possible for "free" software. They make it possible to eliminate competitors in the market place. Cookies (from beacons) are now at the center of data collection and mining.

As to Mozilla support, I find it "novel" that in answering queries there is an editor (called Common responses) add on that produces answers. Perhaps put it up as a trouble shooting guide or better before the search engine on the help page. If I was a seniour public servant I would be delighted to see something like this. Its a bureaucratic dream. A public help forum for users to answer questions with the forum has a program to deliver standard answers to those questions. Brilliant! Go Microsoft philosophy! We could cut out the users altogether....

Don't worry Mozilla, I still love you, just the same

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Hi, not that many common responses which are all publicly available Support documents. It does help at times.

Since your cookie issue seems to be stuck, please try this : uninstall Firefox. Then Delete the Mozilla Firefox Folders in C:\Program Files , C:\Program Files(x86) & C:\ProgramData Then restart system. Then run Windows Disk Cleanup. (Note: This should be Pinned and run Weekly, If never done below expect 10's of gig's) Then run it again and click the button that says Cleanup System Files. Note: your Firefox Profile is saved. But you should make a back up before you do :

Reinstall with Current Release Firefox 61.0.1 with a Full Version Installer

Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

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Did you try changing the preference that I suggested to see if it made the issue go away?

Also, there are a couple of points that you have made in your response, that I've provided further information on.

berniek said

What annoys me is that mozilla has a switch that says "accept cookies from websites" and then "keep until Firefox closes". To me that seems pretty unambigous. It doesn't say "Keep until firefox closes unless I do a session restore or unless I have some other switch in Private Browsing or Tracking...." It does not make reference to that at all.

This is a fair point. I'm not entirely sure if that's the intended behavior of that feature or if it's just a bug that is being addressed by the developers.

berniek said

As to Mozilla support, I find it "novel" that in answering queries there is an editor (called Common responses) add on that produces answers. Perhaps put it up as a trouble shooting guide or better before the search engine on the help page.

Most of the answers in the common responses sections are in the support documentation on the website and they often provide a link to it. The issue is that few users actually take the time to look through the documentation before contacting support, so I lot of questions can be addressed simply using the common responses template. It also helps to ensure that we are providing consistent information to users across the platform.

Trust me. I've been here for over five years and there are plenty of cases where you can tell that the person asking the question didn't do any research before hand. The common responses definitely come in handy.

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Thanks for the reply. I do not use session restore. I have disabled session restore on crashes. I have now also done the security level you suggested. It will take time to see if it makes any difference. I suspect not but stranger things have happened. As far as looking through the documentation, goes I and like most people who only encounter problems occasionally, have the exactly the same issue with this forum as the internet in general. Lots of people want to be helpful. Lots of people want to be involved. Lots of people have nothing to say but insist on saying it. Lots of people will give answers they know rather than have to admit to themselves they just don't know.

The end result is lots of answers that have just been cut & pasted from someone elses answer, and often its not really applicable but it still makes it into the results of the search. After wading through 10 pages of answers with the search results getting less and less relevant, it becomes obvious that either the problem has not been encountered before, the search I am doing has not got the right format, or my question is wrong. So with that in mind, cutting & pasting is somewhat counter productive. The common answers just allows that to happen much more frequently. Eventually it will get to the stage all queries will result pages and pages of common responses, Taken to the extreme in the far future it will resolve itself because there will only be one answer and it will apply to every search. I understand it does make it so much less tedious for the responders. I appreciate their/your efforts. The internet has unfortunately become the biggest source of misinformation and irrelevance. Concensus has replaced fact. Opinion or "guesses" or "try this" has replaced answers. It seems to be very hard for people to say "I don't know" Its the age old problem. If you know/have the answer you know where to look. If you don't know the answer you probably dont know where to look. (otherwise you would look)

I will leave it for now and see if it has gone away.

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Pkshadow said

Hi, not that many common responses which are all publicly available Support documents. It does help at times. Since your cookie issue seems to be stuck, please try this : uninstall Firefox. Then Delete the Mozilla Firefox Folders in C:\Program Files , C:\Program Files(x86) & C:\ProgramData Then restart system. Then run Windows Disk Cleanup. (Note: This should be Pinned and run Weekly, If never done below expect 10's of gig's) Then run it again and click the button that says Cleanup System Files. Note: your Firefox Profile is saved. But you should make a back up before you do : Reinstall with Current Release Firefox 61.0.1 with a Full Version Installer Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

Thans for the reply. I can manually delete cookies. When I exit Firefox the cookies seem to be deleted Somtimes when opening a new session there are "left over" or carried over cookies in the list. It seems also that the delete cookies on exit delete only those cookies for that session not any of these leftover cookies. I will try what has been suggested first then will go through the process you suggest. I already do disk clean up weekly from my administrator account and again after anything has updated. I will do the clean Firefox reinstall after a week or so when I ascertain the other solution did or did not work. I also have installed the ForgetMe button as well but I will keep that as a last resort.

more options

Chosen Solution

From what I can glean from reading on the internet generally, it seems to me that the saving of cookies, data & history as an undesirable feature is being watered down. Data mining has become an accepted process amoung programmers. In the same way, whilst I do not understand why it is desirable, I had reservations about "screen capture" being a feature in Firefox. In the past capturing a screeen was seen as a major security issue, as private data on a screen could be captured and even though it may be in the form of graphic data, it still can be decoded. Putting "safegards" in to not allow some screens to be captured is just asking for trouble. It seems to me the mish mash approach to the logic of saving data is a real worry.

I understand browsers are highly complex programs and with open source the specification is in constant state of change,

The suggested solutions of a clean install being a solution points squarely to treating users like mushrooms. The very fact that a web browser is able to get into some an undesirable state is alarming in itself. That should set alarm bells ringing immediately. Taking this approach is the surest way to ensure problems become "built in". The real problem is never identified so is never fixed. I guess the answer for this sort of approach is to buy an Apple and use their programs exclusively. A lot less practical function. Cost a lot more.Works for Apple.

Whilst I have always supported the aims of Mozilla, I am starting to think that the solution may well be googles chrome. Firefox used to stand alone way ahead of chrome, but now I am not so sure. I am pretty sure chrome will actively mine my data, but these days I am not sure Mozilla if not doing the same thing is making it so much easier for third parties to do the same.

If I have a swith that says 'keep cookies till i exit" I want it to do that. I want that switch to say "keep cookies till i exit unless I crash or unless i do a session restore or under these detailed circumstances or what some future programmer will decide" if thats what it does.

more options

You can disable third-party cookies or make third-party cookies act as session cookies that expire automatically.

You can set network.cookie.thirdparty.sessionOnly to true on the about:config page to make third-party cookies behave as session cookies that expire when Firefox is closed.

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I accept the risk!" to continue.

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Thank you for your reply. It does not seem to be third party cookies. I already have accept third party cookies and data set to "never" It seems to me that some cookies/data under some obscure condition are not erased on exit. Next time firefox is used and closed, any cookies still saved from the previous use are not eliminated. This sort of makes sense since none of these cookies were written in this latest session. Perhaps some websites have found a way to make their cookies persist. I often wonder if server side session replays could be used to do just that. The browser shouldn't allow it but who knows?