Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Disable DOM Storage "Cookies"

Many people are fanatic about managing the cookies stored on their computer to the extent of clearing the browsing history following each session. DOM Storage does not store "cookies" per se, but rather per-session or domain-specific data, the term cookie is generally associated by consumers with data stored by websites visited.

As described in the MSDN Library article, Introduction to DOM Storage:
"DOM Storage is often compared to HTTP cookies. Like cookies, Web developers can store per-session or domain-specific data as name/value pairs on the client using DOM Storage. However, unlike cookies, DOM Storage makes it easier to control how information stored by one window is visible to another."
DOM Storage is comprised of two primary parts

In Session Storage, any data input is stored for the duration of the session. Thus, if a new tab is opened, the data from the Session in the original tab is stored for the new tab.

Local Storage, spans multiple windows and persists beyond the current session. Local Storage allows Web applications to store up to 10 MB of user data. This could include data stored offline for later reading.

The referenced MSDN Library article provides examples more detailed information of both Session Storage and Local Storage.

Disable DOM Storage

It is easy to disable DOM storage "cookies" by following the simple instructions I obtained from Fred de Vries.

Internet Explorer
  • Launch Internet Explorer 8 and open the Tools Menu
  • Select 'Internet Options'
  • Click the 'Advanced' tab
  • Scroll down until you reach ‘Security’
  • Uncheck ‘Enable DOM Storage’
  • Click 'Ok'

Mozila Firefox
  • Launch Firefox and type about:config in the address bar
  • Click "I'll be careful, I promise!" to the warning
  • Scroll down until you reach ‘’ or copy/paste in the filter
  • Double-click the line item and it will change from its default value ‘True’ to ‘False’
  • Close the about:config tab
To undo the change, simply reverse the above steps.


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