Why are My Cookies Being Deleted in IE8?

1 minute read

Ever since I upgraded from IE7 to IE8 (first to the beta, then to the released version), I’ve seen that my cookies seem to disappear from time to time.  This is evidenced by the fact that I need to log in again to such innocuous sites as my.yahoo.com.  I’ve finally figured out that this seems to be happening every time I reboot my machine (or it decides to crash upon waking up from hibernation – this happens all the time.  ARGH.)  Sometimes it takes a while to see patterns in these things.  Or I just ignore it until it bugs me enough to do something about it.

In searching for a solution, I’ve seen that a lot of folks are having problems with IE8 and CCleaner with respect to cookies, but I’m not running CCleaner.  Some other posts led me to look at the Delete Browsing History screen below.  You can get to this either from Tools / Internet Options / Browsing History / Delete or from Safety / Delete Browsing History…

imageAs I understand it, having Preserve Favorites website data checked means that content belonging to sites in your Favorites will preserve their cookies and temporary Internet files.  But I rarely use Favorites (sort of a perverse laziness).  Now I really like cookies.  I don’t really worry too much about my privacy at this level and I don’t *want* to have to retype my usernames and set other settings all the time.

Unfortunately this screen is an *active* delete of browsing history, so I don’t think that changing anything will have an effect.  I’m not the only one complaining about this out on the ‘Net, so hopefully there’s a solution out there somewhere.  Let me know if you find it!

I’ve posted this question to the MSDN Internet Explorer Web Development Forum but so far, no responses.



  1. Hi!

    I have the same problem in IE8, and it sucks. The funny thing is that hundreds of people out their have the same problem and no one have a solution. Before I re-installed Vista I never had this problem and now it happens all the time, sometimes many times per day. It seams that the “best” solution to the problem is to sitch to e.g. Firefox, but I want IE to work again. But maybe it’s so simple as a bug, I mean it is a Microsoft product.

  2. I have the same problem, but I don’t need a crash for it to manifest. I’ll be sitting here with a few sessions open and all is well. I’ll switch over to yahoo email and discover it’s been logged out yet again. When I see this I know ALL my cookies were whacked. My Google search preferences have been reset. It’s quite frustrating.

  3. I found a solution for my IE8 cookie deletion problem. I am using IE8 and Windows 7 under Parallels on a Mac, so there were a number of variables. All software updates have been applied. I searched everywhere for a solution, but like everyone on this forum and others, found nothing except more questions. I checked and unchecked every box available and test, rebooted, on and on for weeks. I then tried one more thing and it worked. I added sites where I wanted to maintain cookies to “sites” under the privacy tab. (options–>privacy–>sites–>always accept cookies regardless of compact privacy policy) IE8 seems to treat compact privacy policies (under certain configurations) much stricter than prior browsers and “restricts” first party cookies even with the strictest policies, thereby deleting cookies upon closing the browser. Thus, the “randomness” of the behavior as you can’t control the compact privacy policies on other sites. This may not be the solution in your case, but I have tested this 30 times with my coders and it is consistently replicable. Note: I have staff that have IE8 and Windows 7 in virtual environments on PC’s and they are not having the cookie deletion issue.

    I believe that IE8 under certain configurations (mine and maybe yours) is misreading the compact privacy policy of websites as it was deleting cookies on my website where the compact privacy policy meets the strictest requirement for acceptance. There should have been no need to add it to sites whose cookies would not be deleted. However, when I added it to “privacy sites” it maintained cookies as did the NYTimes, facebook etc.

    Sites without a compact privacy policy under IE8 will find that users will not be able to log in at all in most cases.

  4. Post script: I am not running ccleaner or virus software (purposefully during this testing period), nor do I have the “delete browser history” checked. All setting are at default with the exception of the action above.

  5. Well I added a couple of sites to my “allow” list, as suggested.

    A note though … this has not happened to me much, if at all, in the past few weeks! I wonder if a MS update has solved the problem? This was happening multiple times per day and has suddenly dissappeared.

    • I agree with Todd: The problem seems far, far less than it used to be. I think some of the Microsoft Updates patches (I always install everything) must have fixed some things. Fewer IE8 crashes lately, too.

      Thanks for the info, Patricia. I’m sure there will be others who find that it fixes their issues, too.


  6. Thank you very much Patricia. Tools / Privacy / Advanced -> Check “Override automatic cookie handling” -> select “Accept” -> select “Accept” -> Check “Always allow session cookies” and problem gone!

  7. I have also had this problem quite a bit. Actually it has happened twice today even! One thing you can do to save your information is to go to “File, Import and Export, Export to a file and click on all three boxes and it will save the Cookies, Favorites and Feeds to a text file in your Documents folder. When your cookies get deleted, you can just import them again and everything normally will come back. Unfortunately some times you still have to enter data. I haven’t been able to figure out why this is happenning but it definately has something to do with IE8 as it didn’t happen before in IE7. Hopefully this will get fixed in IE9 that will be out later this year hopefully.


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