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Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

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New Contributor

Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

Hey,

My problem is that I set Tools / Options / Privacy / History to "Use custom settings for history", and then under cookies I set Keep until: to "I close Firefox".

Yet, when I close my browser and restart none of the cookies are deleted. If I save my tabs, I stay logged in on the websites that are open on the saved tabs. But even if I close the website, and then quit. And then reopen the website after launching Firefox again, I am still logged in. Whereas Firefox is set not to remember any of my usernames or passwords, so the only way this can happen is via cookies. Therefore, the cookies are not deleted. But I can also see it in the list of cookies: it's full of old stuff.

So why are cookies not deleted despite this setting?

Firefox has beeen pretty soft on privacy lately, and frankly I don't understand why. The possibility to have history older than X days automatically deleted has also been gone for a long time, and now this cookie setting doesn't work, either.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Site Moderator

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

If you reopen tabs automatically the next time then Firefox stores cookies from those tabs by default as part of the session data in the sessionstore.js file.

You can set the browser.sessionstore.privacy_level pref to 2 (never) or 1 (non-HTTPS) on the about:config page to disable saving cookies via session restore.

The browser.sessionstore.privacy_level_deferred pref is used when you do not reopen the previous session automatically via "Show my windows and tabs from last time" and uses the same values.

5 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

hello Ansings, the "Keep until: I close Firefox" setting might only work for newly acquired cookies - the cookies already present will stay until they reach their originally set expiry date, therefore you would have to manually delete all old cookies once so that the setting works fully as you intended.

(older versions of zonealarm might also interfere with the cookie management in firefox, but i don't know if this is the case on your system - http://kb.mozillazine.org/Websites_report_cookies_are_disabled...)

New Contributor

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

Hi madperson,

I turned this setting on a long time ago. Basically, it's one of the first things I do after installing my OS and Firefox. So there shouldn't be so many old cookies there.

But anyways, just now I deleted all the cookies manually via Tools / Options / Privacy / Show Cookies / Remove All Cookies to be sure that all the old stuff is wiped out. And yet it still doesn't work.

I logged in to my Gmail account (the Remember Me box ain't checked), closed the tab containing my Gmail account and then closed Firefox. After that I verified in the Task Manager that firefox.exe is indeed not running anymore. So Firefox definitely shut down properly. Then, I restarted Firefox and opened a tab, entered gmail.com, and I was still logged in, therefore the cookies were not deleted.

I have the 10.1.101.000 version of ZoneAlarm, which as it turns out after googling it is indeed not the latest version (it was released in March 2012). The ZoneAlarm Firefox add-on that automatically comes with the firewall is disabled in Firefox.

Site Moderator

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

If you reopen tabs automatically the next time then Firefox stores cookies from those tabs by default as part of the session data in the sessionstore.js file.

You can set the browser.sessionstore.privacy_level pref to 2 (never) or 1 (non-HTTPS) on the about:config page to disable saving cookies via session restore.

The browser.sessionstore.privacy_level_deferred pref is used when you do not reopen the previous session automatically via "Show my windows and tabs from last time" and uses the same values.

New Contributor

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

Thank you! This is it! The "Keep cookies until: I close Firefox" setting seems to change browser.sessionstore.privacy_level_deferred to 1. So it only applies to non-HTTPS pages, that's why I stay logged in on Gmail and stuff. So I changed it to 2, and it works now.

Still I don't understand why I have to go to about:config for such basic issues, why can't this be set in a more straightforward way in the Options? There should be like an advanced options or something for stuff like this. Just a suggestion.

Thanks again for both answers, y'all.

New Contributor

Re: Why are cookies not deleted when I close Firefox?

I couldn't agree more with Ansings.

I do NOT have "Show my windows and tabs from last time" set and I cannot delete cookies manually or any other way. When I delete them manually, they appear to go away but appear again in a couple of minutes.

Which of the about:config settings (1 or 2) would apply -- I want to selectively delete the darned cookies -- and where the heck is about:config and how do I edit it?