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Monday, March 2, 2009

bug 155 - IE8 InPrivate mode destroys your sites sessions

Issue: #155
Affects: IE8 RC1

Internet Explorer 8 has a feature called InPrivate, a.k.a. "porn mode". in which the browser will automatically "lose" all your browsing information when you close the browser so that no other user, coworker, family member, or significant other can see where you've been. No history, no cookies, no cache, no search keywords, nada.

The feature isn't only for secretly viewing porn but also for checking private email on a shared computer, buying someone a secret gift, quietly searching for another career, or posting updates on without anyone knowing.

However the key to the success of this feature is ensuring that every last minuscule detail is removed - otherwise the feature is useless.

In the first previews of this feature, some traces were left behind so Microsoft worked hard to clean up any lose ends but they went a bit too far.

When you open an InPrivate window to check say your web based email, there's a good chance that you'll open one of those emails or internal links in another tab (that is the beauty of having tabs) however when you open the new tab... it strips every little bit of info about where you've been away - including the session information that confirmed you were a valid, logged in user!

So all of a sudden on the new tab - you are no longer logged in! In fact if you go back to the first tab and try to click a link or refresh - you're logged out there too!

We're sure they plan to fix this before the final IE8 RTM release... we'll keep you posted with updates when we see that this is fixed.


1.) Go to about:tabs in IE8 RC1
2.) Click the link to open an InPrivate browsing session
3.) Go to Gmail or a similar online web site that requires you to log in
4.) Browse around, all is well
5.) Now open some links in new tabs (middle-click the links)
6.) Are you still logged in? or did you get dropped?
7.) After being dropped out of your session, go back to the first tab and browse around
8.) Now you are dropped out of your session in all tabs - woops!

Known Workarounds: None.

Related Issues: None.

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