Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard): Visit to Bug Reporter with Safari deletes cookies

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 28th, 2007 • 5:30 pm

Like Rosyna at, I am quite disillusioned about reporting bugs to Apple. I keep reporting tons of bugs, either under the AppleSeed program for pre-release software or through Bug Reporter for released Apple software.

I know that sometimes I might not provide enough information for them to be able to reproduce the bug. All the factors involved in a bug are not always obvious. But at the very least I would expect them to get back to me asking for more information. And when a bug is obvious, confirmed, and 100% reproducible, I’d expect them to do something about it within a reasonable time frame. And when they do something about it, I’d expect them to let me know by updating the status of the bug report properly.

All this is apparently too much to ask. Yet some bugs do eventually get fixed, and some enhancement requests are eventually taken into account, which is why I have not entirely given up, and I am still submitting my bug reports religiously.

So it’s a bit ironic, as far as I am concerned, that Mac OS X 10.5 with Safari 3 has actually introduced a pretty bad bug that is actually caused by visiting… the Bug Reporter web site, of all places.

As indicated by Rosyna at, if you are an ADC member, after you log in and use the navigation tabs to browse your list of already submitted bug reports, Safari actually deletes all the cookies that you’ve accumulated over the years. You can check this by monitoring what happens to your list of cookies in Safari’s preferences while browsing the Bug Reporter web site.

Here are the exact steps that I can use to reproduce this problem 100% reliably.

  1. Go to Bug Reporter home page in Safari 3.0.4 on Mac OS X 10.5.1.
  2. Log in using ADC Apple ID.
  3. Click on “My Originated Problems” button.
  4. Click on “Attention” tab to check list of bug reports requiring attention (usually none, sadly).
  5. Click on “Open” tab to check list of bug reports currently with “Open” status.

That’s it! These steps are enough to cause Safari to delete my entire collection of cookies, as evidenced by the list in Safari’s preferences dialog. The only cookies that are not deleted are the ones for web sites that are currently still loaded in Safari windows. But all the other ones are gone.


Thank God this does not affect the AutoFill feature in Safari, which means that, if you’ve been using the AutoFill feature to get Safari to remember your user names and passwords and re-enter them automatically when required, at least those are still all in memory and you don’t have to retrieve them manually from your database of passwords. (You do have a database of passwords in a secure place with a master password, don’t you? If you don’t, you are living a dangerous life…)

But still, it’s a pretty bad one… And there’s nothing that can be done to avoid it in Safari. Thankfully, accessing Bug Reporter with another web browser does not cause the problem, since each browser uses its own list of cookies. I use Camino on a regular basis and it stores its own cookies in ~/Library/Application Support/Camino/, so I’ll be using Camino from now on to submit bug reports to Apple.

It’s really quite shameful, when you think about it. As Rosyna says, it’s as if Apple wanted to punish us for submitting bug reports! There are no signs of the bug being fixed any time soon—and I am not counting on Apple to actually let us know when the bug is fixed either.


4 Responses to “Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard): Visit to Bug Reporter with Safari deletes cookies”

  1. akatsuki says:

    Don’t despair… Even if Apple isn’t listening, other people are. Plus it makes me feel better to realize there are other people with similar OCD tendencies ;)

  2. Kikujiro says:

    For the record, my gazillion cookies cheerfully survive the listed steps. Safari 3.0.4 (with PithHelmet installed), OS X 10.5.1 (PPC).

  3. ssp says:

    The problem seems to be Intel only according to the original report and from what I’ve heard.

    My workaround: Turn on Safari’s Porn Mode while you’re visiting the bugreporter. (Or use Time Machine to restore your deleted cookie files).

    Let’s see how long Apple need to fix that one…

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Kikujiro: the post at explains that this appears to be an Intel-only bug. I guess I should have mentioned that fact.

    ssp: I’ll try to remember to use, erm, “private browsing” :).

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