Why Doesn’t Closing A Tab Delete A Session Cookie


I'm using session-based cookies with my website. To my complete surprise, I noticed if I set a session cookie (not a persistent cookie), close a tab, and then reconnect to the site, the session cookies are still there. That's not what I would have expected, actually. I would have expected the session cookies to be deleted.

If you close the browser, a session cookie is deleted, so why not closing a tab to have the same result?

Therefore, I'm using PHP5 and jQuery. Is there anything I can do such that when a tab is closed I can fix this session issue? Unfortunately the onbeforeunload event on the BODY tag is not useful here because when you click away from a page it fires that event, not just closing a tab.

Best Solution

The session cookie is per-process not per window. So even if you selected New Window you'd still get the same session id. This behavior makes sense. You wouldn't want a user to re-sign in each time they opened a new window while browsing your site.

I'm not aware off hand of any real way around this.

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