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Hotmail logs you off if it can't find a cookie on your computer to identify your login information. To stay logged in you must keep the cookie.

Hi, Leo. My mom uses Hotmail using IE 9 and would like to always stay logged in, not having to enter the email and password. The Hotmail window gives the condition of staying logged in by checking a box: "Keep me logged in". We do this, but when you close the browser and go back again to Hotmail it will ask you to login. The odd part is that this problem occurs every so often and has worked without this problem for at least two months straight. Now, I suggested LastPass, which does work, but she would still then have to sign in to that also. Any solutions?

In this excerpt from Answercast #92 I look at the result of regularly deleting cookies from your computer... you won't stay logged into websites.

Hotmail logs you off

Typically, when this happens "something" is overwriting, or cleaning, the cookies in your browser.

Deleted cookies

Hotmail, and pretty much any other site that you actually log into, maintains your logged-in state by virtue of keeping a cookie on your machine.

If you are running cookie-cleaning utilities periodically, or if your anti-malware software for some reason is a little too aggressive about cleaning out cookies, this would be the exact scenario that you would see. It would operate exactly like this.

Without cookies you must login

Once the cookies are deleted, you have to re-login to all of the sites, actually, that you happened to be logged in to prior to the cleaning.

So, my advice is to examine your computer's tools to see if you are running any kind of a cookie clearing or system maintenance utility that may cleaning cookies that you're unaware of. Double check with your anti-malware tools to make sure that they're not interfering with cookies.

Ultimately, it all boils down to cookies.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6294 - February 4, 2013 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
February 5, 2013 9:55 AM

Another possibility is length of time. Even if you mark 'keep me logged in', that only extends the time. It's not forever. Generally, it will keep your login active for anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks, depending on the program. I only mention this because I know my own mother will sometimes go a few weeks before checking her email.

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