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Optimizely platform cookies

Describes cookies and how they are used by the different products and features in the Optimizely platform.

A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored by the web browser on the computer of a visitor, while browsing a website. The main purpose of a cookie is for websites to remember stateful information, or to record a visitor's browsing activity.

Cookies are usually small text files that are stored locally in the browser directory or program data subfolders. The website stores a corresponding file (with same ID tag).

Cookies and Optimizely 

Select the following sections to see how cookies are user in parts of the Optimizely platform.

SameSite cookies attributes 

With version 80, Google Chrome implemented the changes the IETF has proposed for the SameSite cookie attribute. These are:

  • The default setting for cookies without a SameSite attribute changes from SameSite = None to SameSite = Lax.
  • When using SameSite = None, you must also specify Secure. Otherwise, the cookie is rejected. Secure requires communication over HTTPS.

To comply to these changes, Microsoft ASP.NET emits a SameSite cookie header when HttpCookie.SameSite value is None. As part of this change, FormsAuth and SessionState cookies are also issued with SameSite = Lax instead of the previous default value None.

See Work with SameSite cookies in ASP.NET for documentation on the changes in ASP.NET.

Known issues - PDF preview for secured PDF

A bug in Chrome affects large PDFs with restricted access when SameSite = Lax for forms authentication. See the blog by Linus Ekström: Issues with PDF preview for secured PDF:s in Google Chrome due to .NET security patch.

Troubleshoot cookies

The new policy should work for most websites and cookies. Websites that cannot comply with the requirements of Lax have to change the default values. An example of a limitation with Lax is that you cannot iframe the site under another domain and still use cookie-based features such as authentication and session state.



Older browsers might not support SameSite or implement a different behavior on SameSite.

Configure SameSite for anti-forgery

Configuring the built-in anti-forgery used in Optimizely user interface (requires EPiServer.CMS.Core 11.15):

context.Services.Configure<AspNetAntiForgeryOptions>(options => 
        options.CookieSameSiteType = SameSiteType.None;
        options.CookieRequireSSL = true;

Configure SameSite for forms authentication

Configuring forms authentication to using None and HTTPS:

      <forms cookieSameSite="None" requireSSL="true" />

Configure SameSite for session state

Configuring session state to using None:

<sessionState cookieSameSite="None" cookieless="false" timeout="360">

Configure SameSite default values for cookies

Configuring the default for all cookies that do not explicitly use SameSite:

<httpCookies sameSite="None" requireSSL="true" />

Revert behavior of sending SameSite = None to browsers

Revert to the previous behavior of not sending SameSite = None to browsers:

      <add key="aspnet:SuppressSameSiteNone" value="true" />