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I'm running Windows 7 for some time now and use Internet Explorer 8 as my main browser. What I've noticed is that it "loses" cookies A LOT! I mean it!

Typical situation:

I log in into a side checking the remember me checkbox. I reboot the computer/restart the browser, go to the site, get logged in automatically -> I'm happy. From time to time however, I'm asked for the credentials.

Normal situation you would say. So would I if it didn't happen few times a week. Come on!

On Internet Explorer 7 I didn't notice this as much. Cookies were lost once a quarter or so. Note that i was using IE7Pro with my IE - dunno however if it has anything to do with my current problem.

Anyway I wonder if this behavior is "normal" or is it only me?

more info for people that suggest it may be normal - cookie expiring and stuff. When it happens I loose all auth cookies - gmail, bloglines and whatnot!

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Are there any specific sites that exhibit this behaviour? Is the time period consistent, or random? Do you log in to the sites from other computers? – RJFalconer Jan 5 '10 at 20:26
Random sites/all sites. Including, as mentioned in the other comment: google (gmail), stackoverflow, bloglines Those worked before. Yet again I've always used used IE7Pro with my IE so it MAY be why I didn't notice the cookies dying on me. – Mikeon Jan 5 '10 at 21:02
I have this problem as well for many months and it happens on many computers. There is something about IE8 that makes it "purge" authentication cookies at a random period. It can happen while browsing half way. – icelava Jan 9 '10 at 6:56
Exactly icelava! Just happened to me today 2 (TWICE!) - had to login twice to bloglines today. Also got "logged out" out of superuser! This is lame! – Mikeon Jan 9 '10 at 17:35
I use Firefox 3.6.13 almost exclusively and have noticed my cookies expiring early ever since moving to a Windows 7 machine. It happens across many sites that I use very frequently, and did not happen back when I was on XP. I rarely use IE - only when I have to for testing - so I can't say whether I'm dropping cookies on IE. It is very frustrating. Sigh. – user60841 Dec 29 '10 at 23:18
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It is an IE8 bug. The IE8 process model is new and very flawed. If (when) IE8 processes hang or the computer is rebooted with IE8 open, cookies are lost.

To be very clear, it is not on "some machines" and not a 3rd party plugin or software issue. The problem has nothing to do with the cookie expiration date, the PC date or any other user or site controlled setting, it is a BUG in IE8, PERIOD.

Microsoft has yet to admit that there is an issue, so there is no fix for the issue. This and numerous other crippling BUGS in IE8 are being ignored, likely because they are too hard to fix and a result of serious flaws in the new process model that would require a ground up rebuild (IE9).

So... live with it or find another browser.

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All what you say actually matches the behavior I'm getting. Do you base your answer on your own observation only or on something more? – Mikeon Sep 7 '10 at 21:12
why do all these problems only occur on "some machines" then? – Luke Mar 6 '13 at 23:28

Like BlueNovember said, some sites set cookies with expiration dates. However, If you want to remain logged in and save your passwords to certain sites, make sure AutoComplete is turned on in IE 8. Go to Tools > Internet Options and click open the Content tab. Under "AutoComplete" click settings and check the box titled "User names and passwords on forms." Also, in the General tab under "Browsing History" make sure "delete browsing history on exit" isn't checked, and click the Settigns button to further customize how your cookies are stored.

I hope this information helps!

  • Jake

MSFT Internet Explorer Outreach Team

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Autocomplete works on the sites where I loose cookies. Even Internet Explorer stored passwords work there. As for settings you mentioned - all is "turned on" as it should. – Mikeon Jan 6 '10 at 6:32
I believe it is highly unlikely that all sites will expire authentication cookies at the same time while one is surfing half way in IE... – icelava Jan 15 '10 at 5:47

Switching to "/" as path for the cookie solved the problem for me. I had a more specific path before.

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BeanAnimal seems to be correct.

I am seeing a problem where a cookie being set by my site while using HTTPS is not being returned to the server when the connection switches to HTTP (again, IE8 Win7). The cookie is present on other HTTPS requests.

There is some evidence that the problem has to do with the process model in that I am able to get around the issue by running IE as administrator (obviously not advised, just for testing this problem).

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Cookies can be set with an expiry time. In my experience it's normal for most sites to not let you remain logged in for more than a week.

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ofc some sites prevent this but I'm using the same set of sites now as I had with IE7 where I didn't have those problems. Sites I use are for example - whan did you last login? I'm also using google/various apps and still can't remember having to login THAT often before. – Mikeon Jan 5 '10 at 20:39

I just fixed my cookie disappearing problem. My problem was the date on this pc was set to tomorrow. IE8 deleted the cookies that were set to expire in a day or less. The best part is I picked up a whole day!

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If you've got more information edit your previous post rather than adding a new answer. Super User is a question and answer site rather than a forum. – ChrisF Jan 30 '10 at 17:11

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