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CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE(3) curl_easy_setopt options CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE(3)


CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE - file name to read cookies from


#include <curl/curl.h>
CURLcode curl_easy_setopt(CURL *handle, CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE, char *filename);


Pass a pointer to a null-terminated string as parameter. It should point to the file name of your file holding cookie data to read. The cookie data can be in either the old Netscape / Mozilla cookie data format or just regular HTTP headers (Set-Cookie style) dumped to a file.

It also enables the cookie engine, making libcurl parse and send cookies on subsequent requests with this handle.

Given an empty or non-existing file or by passing the empty string ("") to this option, you can enable the cookie engine without reading any initial cookies. If you tell libcurl the file name is "-" (just a single minus sign), libcurl will instead read from stdin.

This option only reads cookies. To make libcurl write cookies to file, see CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR(3).

If you use the Set-Cookie file format and do not specify a domain then the cookie is not sent since the domain will never match. To address this, set a domain in Set-Cookie line (doing that will include sub-domains) or preferably: use the Netscape format.

If you use this option multiple times, you just add more files to read. Subsequent files will add more cookies.

The application does not have to keep the string around after setting this option.

Setting this option to NULL will (since 7.77.0) explicitly disable the cookie engine and clear the list of files to read cookies from.






CURL *curl = curl_easy_init();
if(curl) {

curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_URL, "");
/* get cookies from an existing file */
curl_easy_setopt(curl, CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE, "/tmp/cookies.txt");
ret = curl_easy_perform(curl);
curl_easy_cleanup(curl); }

Cookie file format

The cookie file format and general cookie concepts in curl are described in the file, also hosted online here:


As long as HTTP is supported


Returns CURLE_OK if HTTP is supported, and CURLE_UNKNOWN_OPTION if not.



May 17, 2022 libcurl 7.85.0