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CURLOPT_COOKIELIST(3) curl_easy_setopt options CURLOPT_COOKIELIST(3)


CURLOPT_COOKIELIST - add to or manipulate cookies held in memory


#include <curl/curl.h>
CURLcode curl_easy_setopt(CURL *handle, CURLOPT_COOKIELIST,

char *cookie);


Pass a char * to a cookie string.

Such a cookie can be either a single line in Netscape / Mozilla format or just regular HTTP-style header (Set-Cookie: ...) format. This will also enable the cookie engine. This adds that single cookie to the internal cookie store.

Exercise caution if you are using this option and multiple transfers may occur. If you use the Set-Cookie format and do not specify a domain then the cookie is sent for any domain (even after redirects are followed) and cannot be modified by a server-set cookie. If a server sets a cookie of the same name (or maybe you have imported one) then both will be sent on a future transfer to that server, likely not what you intended. To address these issues set a domain in Set-Cookie (doing that will include sub-domains) or use the Netscape format as shown in EXAMPLE.

Additionally, there are commands available that perform actions if you pass in these exact strings:

erases all cookies held in memory

erases all session cookies held in memory

writes all known cookies to the file specified by CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR(3)

loads all cookies from the files specified by CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE(3)






/* This example shows an inline import of a cookie in Netscape format.
You can set the cookie as HttpOnly to prevent XSS attacks by prepending
#HttpOnly_ to the hostname. That may be useful if the cookie will later
be imported by a browser.
#define SEP  "\t"  /* Tab separates the fields */
char *my_cookie =

"" /* Hostname */
SEP "FALSE" /* Include subdomains */
SEP "/" /* Path */
SEP "FALSE" /* Secure */
SEP "0" /* Expiry in epoch time format. 0 == Session */
SEP "foo" /* Name */
SEP "bar"; /* Value */ /* my_cookie is imported immediately via CURLOPT_COOKIELIST. */ curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_COOKIELIST, my_cookie); /* The list of cookies in cookies.txt will not be imported until right before a transfer is performed. Cookies in the list that have the same hostname, path and name as in my_cookie are skipped. That is because libcurl has already imported my_cookie and it's considered a "live" cookie. A live cookie will not be replaced by one read from a file. */ curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE, "cookies.txt"); /* import */ /* Cookies are exported after curl_easy_cleanup is called. The server may have added, deleted or modified cookies by then. The cookies that were skipped on import are not exported. */ curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR, "cookies.txt"); /* export */ curl_easy_perform(curl); /* cookies imported from cookies.txt */ curl_easy_cleanup(curl); /* cookies exported to cookies.txt */

Cookie file format

The cookie file format and general cookie concepts in curl are described online here:


ALL was added in 7.14.1

SESS was added in 7.15.4

FLUSH was added in 7.17.1

RELOAD was added in 7.39.0


Returns CURLE_OK if the option is supported, CURLE_UNKNOWN_OPTION if not, or CURLE_OUT_OF_MEMORY if there was insufficient heap space.



October 4, 2022 libcurl 7.87.0