How to change the Session Lifetime in Joomla 3.1

When you visit a website managed by Joomla 3.0, a session is started. Sessions help Joomla track specific information about specific users.


What are sessions?

Let’s say that two people are sitting side by side in an office. Each user visits the same website at the same time, and that particular website is driven by Joomla 3.0. If one user logs in and another doesn’t, how does Joomla keep track of this? Sessions. Because of sessions, Joomla can easily keep track of certain values for each unique visitor to the website.


What is session lifetime?

In this tutorial, we are focusing specifically on session lifetime. Session lifetime refers to how long an idle session is left open. The default value is 15 minutes. If you log into a Joomla 3.0 site and do nothing, after the default 15 minutes Joomla will no longer see you as a logged in user if you navigate to another page.

Joomla allows you to change the length of time that idle sessions stay open. This setting is referred to as Session Lifetime, and Joomla 3.0 gives the following description:

Session Lifetime:
Auto log out a User after they have been inactive for the entered number of minutes. Do not set too high.


To adjust the Session Lifetime in Joomla 3.0:

  1. Log into your Joomla 3.0 Administrator Control Panel
  2. In the left menu, click the link Global Configuration
  3. Within the list of tabs at the top of the page, click System.
  4. Towards the bottom of the page, under the Session Settings header you’ll find the Session Lifetime setting. Make your desired changes, and then click the Save button in the top left of the page.

    The value you enter for Session Lifetime is in minutes. If you want to allow your users to stay logged in for up to one hour after being idle on your website, set the value to 60.

    Please note!
    This setting affects both session for the front end of your website and the backend.

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