If you've come across the issue of the Session Cookie Lifetime configuration not being honored in Magento 1.9, you're not alone.

Many developers have faced this problem and found it frustrating when attempting to override the default value set in the system configuration.

In Magento 1.9, setting the Cookie Lifetime in the system configuration should affect the duration of the frontend session cookie.

However, it has been observed that Magento may not always honor this value, despite it being set in the admin panel.

This issue could lead to unexpected behavior and negatively impact user experience, as well as potentially compromising security.

Investigating the Issue

Upon digging into the codebase, it becomes apparent that the root of the problem lies in how Magento manages session cookies.

By understanding the flow of cookie handling in Magento, you can pinpoint where the configuration value might be getting overridden.

Checking Core Files

Inspecting the core files responsible for session management, such as app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Session/Abstract/Varien.php, may provide insights into how the Cookie Lifetime is being handled internally.

Look for references to the Cookie Lifetime configuration and analyze how it interacts with the session initialization process.

Custom Modules and Overrides

Another aspect to consider is the presence of custom modules or third-party extensions that could potentially interfere with the session management flow.

Modules that manipulate session behavior or override core session classes might inadvertently alter the behavior of the Cookie Lifetime configuration.

Implementing a Custom Solution

To override the Session Cookie Lifetime effectively, you may need to create a custom module specifically designed to manage session behavior.

Within this module, you can programmatically set the session cookie lifetime based on your desired logic, effectively bypassing any conflicts with the system configuration.

<?xml version="1.0"?>










By creating a custom model and using event observers or class rewrites, you can intercept the session initialization process and enforce a custom cookie lifetime value.

This approach ensures that your desired session behavior is prioritized, regardless of the system configuration.


The ability to effectively override the Session Cookie Lifetime in Magento's system configuration is crucial for maintaining control over session management and ensuring consistent user experience.

By delving into the underlying session handling mechanisms and implementing a custom solution, you can regain control over the cookie lifetime and address potential inconsistencies in the system's behavior.

Remember, a thorough understanding of Magento's session handling and the interplay between core code, system configuration, and custom modules is essential for successfully addressing this issue.