Firefox not saving cookie exceptions anymore

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 22, 2012
Updated • Nov 22, 2012

The Firefox web browser ships with options to blacklist or whitelist domains to either block cookies a domain tries to save on the system or to allow cookies so that they can be saved to the system. That's useful to block tracking cookies for instance or to allow cookies to be set by your favorite sites to make sure they are always saved even if you have selected to not allow cookies from all the other sites on the Internet.

To configure the blacklist or whitelist click on the Firefox button at the top and select Options from the menu that opens up. You can alternatively press Alt to bring up the menubar and select Tools > Options this way. When you are in the options switch to the Privacy tab and locate the Exceptions button next to cookies. Note that you only see that if you select Use custom settings for history under Firefox will on the page.

firefox 17 cookies exceptions

A click on Exceptions opens another window where web addresses can be whitelisted or blacklisted. Here you can also manage existing cookie exceptions as they are all listed in a table in the window. As far as exceptions go, you can block websites so that cookies won't be saved anymore even if they try to set cookies, or allow cookies permanently or only for browsing sessions.

cookies exceptions

The latest Firefox update to version 17.0, and maybe even earlier than that in regards to beta, aurora and nightly versions of the browser, has somehow corrupted the cookies exception feature in Firefox.

While it is still possible to add web addresses to the exceptions list, you will notice that Firefox will not save the exceptions anymore. When you close Firefox and reopen it again, you will notice that the previously added exceptions are not there anymore.

They stay only for the browsing session, and you can close and reopen the exceptions window to check that this is the case. As soon as you close the browser and reopen it again, the exceptions are no longer listed here in the menu.

A Firefox support thread over at the official Mozilla Support site indicates that multiple users are having the same issue. The only viable option for now seems to be to downgrade the browser to 16.0.1 instead which behaves exactly as it should be in regards to saving cookies exceptions in the browser.

Have you noticed any issues with cookies exceptions in Firefox 17 or newer?

Update: Deleting the permissions.sqlite file in the Firefox proflie directory resolves the issue. The easiest way to get there is to enter about:support in the browser's address bar. Locate the show folder button under Application Basics and click on it. Close Firefox afterwards, delete the permissions.sqlite file, and restart the browser.


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  1. ticktock666 said on December 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I didn’t have a “scheme:file” record in my permissions.sqlite, but I managed to fix it in a different way :
    I backed up my file, then allowed firefox to create a new one, then proceeded to compare the 2 files using portable sqlite, and it turns out my old file had missing entries under database structure, so I simply added them, and it works again :D

    maybe those entries were added during the transition from one firefox version to the other, but the permissions database was not updated in my case (I use portable FF)

    the missing entries were the following :
    expireType / INTEGER
    expireTime / INTEGER
    appId / INTEGER
    isInBrowserElement / INTEGER

    to add them, simply open permissions.sqlite in SQLite Database Browser Portable (kudos to Chris), then click “edit -> modify table” and start adding them up, you won’t an “INTEGER” type, so simply click the 3 dots and enter it manually

    Hope this will help someone else

  2. Chris said on November 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I have a lot of permission rules so I didn’t want to lose them by deleting the permissions.sqlite file.
    Based on what I read in a mozillazine topic (1) & a bug report (2), I used SQLite Database Browser Portable (3) to delete a “scheme:file” record from the permissions.sqlite database, which solved the problem for me.


    1. Palmomino said on November 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Deleting the “scheme:file” record worked for me too.

      Thanks a lot.

  3. Virtualguy said on November 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    lainiwaku, Waterfox is the same source code as Firefox, just compiled in 64-bit. The only apparent advantage is that it handles video better. Generally speaking, it’s slower in every other benchmark.

    1. john said on November 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      >> it handles video better

  4. Dwight Stegall said on November 23, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Try reinstalling Firefox. That feature in version 17 is working fine for me. I only allow cookies from sites where I have login accounts.

    That feature in Chrome never has worked. I uninstalled it. Now I use Firefox as my default browser and only use IE when I have no other choice.

  5. Transcontinental said on November 23, 2012 at 2:00 am

    No problem here with Cookie Exceptions on Firefox 17. Policy is refuse all and exception is manual accept.

  6. lainiwaku said on November 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    today i have just go to waterfox !

  7. boris said on November 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Exceptions work. Tried it, no problems. Probably corrupted on your computer.

  8. Anonymous said on November 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Delete permissions.sqlite in C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\*Profile* Firefox will create a new file that works.

    1. Ray said on May 18, 2014 at 3:56 am

      Thank you Anonymous. This worked for me!

      And thank you Martin for posting about this! Still relevant :)

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