Profile Management

Manage Internet Explorer cookie folders

This article applies to Profile Management 3.1 and later.

When managing the Internet Explorer cookies folder, you need to ensure transactional integrity while reducing profile bloat. To achieve this goal, use the Folders to mirror and Process Internet cookie files on logoff policies.

Detailed steps are as follows:

  1. Specify cookie folders to mirror

  2. If the profile bloat issue occurs, enable deletion of stale cookies on user logoff.

For your changes to take effect, run the gpupdate /force command from the command prompt, as documented in this Microsoft article.

Overview

This section explains how the two policies help manage cookies folders.

Let’s take the Internet Explorer 8 cookies folder as an example. That folder contains index.dat and cookies files. Index.dat references cookie files when users browse the Internet. For example, a user has two Internet Explorer sessions, each from a different device, and the user visits different sites in each session. Cookies from each site are added to the corresponding devices.

How to ensure transactional integrity

Let’s see what happens when the user logs off from both sessions in the preceding example. Cookies from the sessions are merged while the index.dat file is synchronized with the one from the last logged off session. As a result, the cookies files and the references to those cookie files in index.dat become unmatched.

The Folders to mirror policy resolves the issue. With this policy set, Profile Management copies the entire folder to the destination during profile synchronization. For more information about how this policy works, see Manage transactional folders.

How to avoid profile bloat

Browsing in new sessions results in a bloated cookie folder. Also, when websites are revisited, stale cookies build up. The Process Internet cookie files on logoff policy resolves the issue by removing stale cookies from the profile on user logoff.

Note:

Cookies and browsing history information from Internet Explorer 9 and earlier are not compatible with cookies and browsing history information from Internet Explorer 10 and later. Users are advised not to move across multiple systems that have different versions of Internet Explorer installed. [#474200]

Enable the Folders to mirror policy. In the policy, based on the OS versions supported in your deployment, specify the cookie folders to mirror.

  1. Go to Profile Management > File system > Synchronization.

  2. Double-click the Folders to mirror policy.

  3. Select Enabled.

  4. In the List of folders to mirror field, add the following cookie folders. Use Enter to separate folders.
    • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies for Version 2 profiles.
    • AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCookies (cookies folder for Windows 8.1 and later)
    • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies (cookies folder for Windows 7 and Windows 8)
    • AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache (folder available for Internet Explorer 10 and later where the cookie database file Webcache01.dat is stored)
  5. Click OK.

  6. If you’re using Profile Management 2106 or later, double-click the Accelerate folder mirroring policy, and then select Enabled.

(Optional) Delete stale cookies on logoff

To have Profile Management delete stale cookies on user logoff, enable the Process Internet cookie files on logoff policy.

The policy increases the logoff time, so enable it only when you experience profile bloat issues.

  1. Go to Profile Management > Advanced Settings.
  2. Double-click the Process Internet cookie files on logoff policy.
  3. Select Enabled.
  4. Click OK.
Manage Internet Explorer cookie folders