cookieswap (CookieSwap)

What's New
  • 21Jul2007: I finally got around to making an official release with support for multiple browser windows, 'kiwidesign's' new icon and the ability to remove the cookies from all profiles with one click!
  • 1Feb2007: Thanks to 'kiwidesign' CookieSwap has a real icon! It's the one at the top of this page. I've reskin-ed the UI to remove the 'CookieSwap' term in the status bar (many people have asked for this) and replacing it with this new icon. I should have that change, as well as making CookieSwap work in all browser windows, offically available sometime soon. If you would like to check it out in beta release, see the installation page.
  • 22Jan2007: Michael B. pointed out that CookieSwap does not work when installed with CookieCuller. 0.4.8 fixes the incompatibility, so swaps now work. However, the way that CookieCuller protected cookies are handled on a swap is still being investigated.
  • 1Oct2006: I tested CookieSwap under Linux and found an inconsistency in the nsIFile interface that caused CookieSwap to not work correctly on that platform. I added a workaround, so version 0.4.7 works on Linux as well as Windows. I also verified that CookieSwap works with Firefox 2.0.0 and indicated that in the new version.
  • 1Sept2006: I finally got around to posting CookieSwap on the Firefox Add-ons page. Lots of people are downloading it. I hope they find it a useful as I have.
  • 26Feb2006: I've been busy on a few other projects and I haven't been able to work on CookieSwap. If you have some specific changes you'd like to see please let me know either through the Mailing List or the User Feedback Area
  • 31Jan2006: Please feel free to post any comments you have regarding the current release of cookieSwap to the User Forum so I can get a feel for how to best update the extension.
  • 17Jan2006: The first public beta release is available.
  • 15Jan2006: Sorry for the delay. In beta testing I've found a few bugs and I have all but one fixed. I hope to have a public release this week
  • 2Jan2006: I have a few pictures of the Beta release on the Screenshots page (sorry for the large images). Also, I need some people willing to help with Alpha testing...see notes to the left
  • 28Dec2005: I basically have it working and expect to have an Alpha release within a few days.
  • The User Forum is online...feel free to post comments, suggestions or questions.
  • I hope to have an Alpha version ready by 31Dec2005
  • 21Dec2005: The bugzilla CookieSwap project is now online.
  • 20Dec2005: Mozdev agreed to host CookieSwap!
Other Stuff
  • Special thanks to 'Add & Edit Cookies' [addneditcookies], without which I never would have figured out how to add cookies to the browser. Also, I liked the page layout on that site so much that I fashioned mine in a similar manner.

Updated: 21Jul2007
Version: 0.5.0
Languages: English
Features: Maintain multiple cookie profiles and switch between them on the fly.
Compatibility: Firefox 1.5 - 2.0 ; Mozilla not tested; Windows, Linux and OS X have been tested
Developer: Steve Tine (Email: SteveTine at

The first publicly released version of CookieSwap is now available on the installation page.
Thanks to all the beta testers who helped with the initial beta release. They helped uncover a few bugs that have been fixed (and a few that haven't...check out the release notes on the install page). This release is by no means perfect, but it is working quite well and I wanted to get it out there and get some more feedback to make it even better.

What is it?

CookieSwap is a Firefox/Mozilla extension that enables you to maintain numerous sets or "profiles" of cookies that you can quickly swap between while browsing.

Common uses

CookieSwap allows you to swap all your cookies out of the browser's memory and swap in a new set of cookies. This is useful for tasks like:

What are cookies?

There are numerous sites out there that do a great job explaining cookies (like Cookie Central), but from my prospective they are just little pieces of information that web sites store on your computer/browser to identify you. Sometimes they are nice (when you tell web sites like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc to "remember you" so that you don't need to login every time you visit the site) and sometimes they are bad (since they allow web sites to "track" your activities at their sites and other sites). Often, users want to delete cookies (using the cookie manager or a nice extension like 'Add & Edit Cookies') and setup privacy settings for cookies (using another nice extension like 'CookieCuller'). This extension does not try to replace these extensions, but instead it allows you to temporarily change out all your cookies to quickly change your identity to web sites.

The entire story

I created this extension to solve the problem my wife and I were having with our web e-mail accounts. My wife and I use the same computer in our kitchen and we both have web e-mail accounts (Yahoo!, Gmail, etc) and every time I sit down at the computer, my wife is logged-in to her account. I end up logging her out and then I login. She experiences the same thing when she then sits down. We tried a few solutions to allow us to both be logged in to our own web e-mail account at the same time on the same computer. The first thing I tried was to use separate accounts in Windoze to keep us both logged in at the same time. When we sat down at the computer we would switch users and everything was just as we had left it (desktop, bookmarks, open web pages, etc). Perfect, right? Well, I found out that running Windoze in this mode where multiple people can be logged in is not as secure as one might wish. Also, I'm cheap (I admit it) and I don't really have enough RAM on the machine to be able to change users in a timely manner. It ends up taking almost a minute to change users and have the machine fully functional again. Not ideal.

The second thing I tried was to take advantage of the multiple profiles that Firefox supports. A nice feature (separate bookmarks, cookies, etc) except that I never found a way to run multiple instances of Firefox at the same time each running a different profile. To switch profile, you have to close Firefox and start it again with the new profile. This is a bummer because it is common for both of us to have numerous pages open at the same time (in tabs of course!) and we don't want to close them. So, for the past few months I have just dealt with the fact that I need to log my wife out of Gmail and then log me back in. Not a big deal but this screams for a better solution...enter CookieSwap .

Now, when I sit down at the computer, I "swap" all the cookies in the browser over to my cookies and then reload Gmail...BOOM, now I'm logged-in to Gmail. My wife sits down and swaps out my cookies for her cookies and BOOM, now she's logged-in. No need to close any browser windows or suck up needless RAM just because Bill Gates implemented multiple users in such a poor manner. Obviously Linux handles this concept of multiple users running at the same time much cleaner.

I'm not claiming this is the most elegant solution to the problem, but it meets my immediate needs.

Other potential uses?

Please let me know if you think this type of extension would be useful to you, either in the ways I've explained above or in some other manner that I haven't considered. Please send ideas to the mailing list or just post in the User Forum...thanks!

Future features under consideration

-Maintain cookie privacy settings (set using another nice extension like 'CookieCuller') with each profile so one profile could be ultra paranoid while another profile is wide open to allow all cookies
-Support publishing cookies to a site so that they can be synced across numerous machines used by one user (not sure if this is even a good idea)

-Any suggestions?

Enjoy CookieSwap!
-Steven Tine

For questions or comments about CookieSwap, please send a message to the cookieswap mailing list.
For questions or comments not about a specific project, please read our feedback page.
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