CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




Cookies in web browsers are an easy way for sites to store authentication/login information, settings, and so much more. One of the things that some sites do for security or privacy purposes is force the cookies to expire after a period of time. Sometimes they expire after a day, a week, a year, or when you close your browser. If there was a way to edit the cookies you would be able to adjust the expiration date so that you didn’t run into that problem.

Oh, but wait, there is a way to edit your browser’s cookies! It’s actually rather easy to do in both Firefox and Opera, so today we’ll take a look at how to edit cookies.

–Opera–

One of the great things about Opera is that they give you a lot of control over the content and properties of a cookie. If you want to alter a cookie it is as simple as heading over to the Preferences and clicking a few buttons.

To change a cookie in Opera go to Tools -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cookies -> Manage Cookies. Then find the cookie that you want to change, and click the Edit button. You’ll then be presented with a dialog where you can customize the expiration date or any other information contained within the cookie:

Opera Cookies
Click to Enlarge

As you can see it is rather easy to do in Opera thanks to the built-in advanced editor that the browser comes equipped with.

–Firefox–

Firefox is only able to view your browser’s cookies out-of-the-box, but as expected there are a few extensions available to do the dirty work. My personal favorite is Add N Edit Cookies, which has a simple yet powerful interface for managing and creating cookies.

Once you get the extension installed here’s what you’ll have to do to edit the cookies:

  1. Go to Tools -> Cookie Editor, and then perform a search for the cookie you’re looking for. After you find the cookie you want select it and click the Edit button.
    Firefox Cookie Editor Search
  2. Now you’ll be presented with all of the cookie’s properties that you can edit. To change the expiration date of the cookie fill in the New expiration date bubble located at the bottom of the properties window:

    (Click to enlarge)
    Firefox Cookie Editor Edit

  3. Save your changes, and then close out of the cookie editor.

–Recap–

To sum things up, it is pretty easy to manipulate the cookies in your browser, provided that you have the right tools handy. Some of the websites I visit have the logins expire after a very short period of time or when I close the browser, and it can get rather annoying. By adjusting the dates on some of my cookies I can avoid having to login to many sites over and over again.

Tip: You just need to be careful because often times these short-lived cookies are for your own protection and privacy.