Many websites use session mechanisms to store data about user activity. Unlike Cookies, session files are stored not on users' PCs, but directly on the remote server where the website is hosted. This solution is ideal for storing sensitive information: event logs, authorization parameters etc.
Facebook is not an exception – it also has its own session mechanism.
However, any technical solution has its pros and cons. The disadvantages of sessions include the following points:
- An unclosed session, especially if the authorization was completed on a public computer, may result in confidentiality breaches and allow an attacker to access personal data inside the remote server (a hacker can simply keep using a user's account + there are special types of attacks on session identifiers stored in cookies).
- The load on hosting infrastructure significantly increases as session files require space for storage and can literally overflow the disk.
The higher the risk of disclosing personal information is, the shorter active sessions should be.
We’ve briefly refreshed the theoretical part for those who didn’t know or forgot it. Now let’s proceed to the analysis of the Facebook error "Session timed out. Please log in to Facebook again."
What Is the Facebook Session Expired Error?
Just like many other large websites, Facebook monitors the security of its users' logins. Therefore, it periodically closes sessions unilaterally, forcing clients to re-authenticate in their accounts.
Most often, the request to re-login is perceived very negatively. Thus, session activity is usually counted not from the moment of the last login, but from the moment of a user's last action in the system. For example, if a FB client uses the site or app around the clock, then a session error is unlikely to occur.
However, if you log in and leave the site open in a browser tab, you will inquire why facebook keeps saying session expired over time.
Let's take a closer look at the reasons for such an error.
Reasons of Session Expired Error When Using Facebook
So, why does my Facebook session keep expiring? The simplest and the most obvious reason for the Facebook session closure error is a user's prolonged inactivity.
At the same time, there are some other additional security mechanisms associated with the ending of Facebook sessions. For example, app identifiers and other data stored within the browser directory or on a client's device can be analyzed.
Any mismatch will result in the closure of the active session and the "Session expired" error.
Let's summarize the list of potential reasons:
- Prolonged inactivity on the Facebook site, usually over 30 minutes;
- Browser issues and its digital fingerprint (this is initially relevant for those engaged in parsing);
- Errors in Cookie files;
- Errors in the browser caching system;
- Mismatched application identifier ( the app cache was either manually cleared or various cleaner programs were used);
- Conflict with a browser extension (including ad blockers);
- Suspected violation of user privacy (Facebook unilaterally ends all sessions of a user who is suspected of these actions);
- Forced logout from the account on one of the user's most recent devices (Facebook may equate this situation to a privacy violation, hence it asks a user to re-login on all devices).
Accordingly, if you are a regular user who wonders why FB keeps saying session expired, we recommend the following actions:
- Try to re-login to your account. If the error persists, proceed with the further steps;
- Refresh (reload) the page;
- Check Facebook functionality (this can be done from another device, for example, a PC or mobile phone, as well as using special websites that track problems on the side of Facebook). If there are problems with accessibility, you have to wait a bit - everything is likely to be restored within a few minutes, at most an hour or two;
- Disable suspicious browser extensions. If you don’t manage to find the culprit, temporarily disable all extensions;
- Clear cache and Cookie files for the Facebook site. Restart the browser in the 'Incognito' mode;
- If you have a mobile app – clear the app cache or reinstall it entirely. Check the app version (it should be up to date)ж
- Switch to a different browser. If this step doesn't help, delete the browser and reinstall it from scratch.
- Disable proxy or VPN (if the connection is made through special solutions to enhance security and privacy);
- Check your device for viruses or spyware;
- Temporarily disable antivirus software;
- Contact Facebook support if none of the above helps.
How to Fix the Session Expired in Facebook
Regular users are just a single concern. Another issue is data parsing.
Facebook is a large and very popular platform. Many users are not just having fun here but also working. An error with an expiring session may arise because your parser does not know how to work with cookies (cookie files).
Therefore, if you developed your own parser from scratch or based on ready-made libraries (detailed articles about libraries for parsing with Golang, Python, and solutions based on cURL), then you need to ensure cookie support as well as integration with headless browsers.
Find out more about best parsing practices.
Subjective steps and actions to minimize "Session expires on Facebook" errors are as follows:
- Regularly update the session and maintain account activity. FB requests should not be made too frequently, but they should not be too rare as well. Long inactivity is a reason to turn the session into an inactive status;
- If the parsing script has been idle for a long time, then there should be a point about mandatory re-authorization in its launch algorithm. If you start accessing Facebook based on outdated cookies and sessions, FB will return the corresponding error;
- When accessing Facebook via the API interface, it is necessary to fulfill the requirements for exchanging tokens, identifiers and application secrets (see documentation);
- Use a multi-session approach – parallelize Facebook connections when parsing, but remember that each account should work with its cookies and through a separate IP address.
We’ll tell more about the last point now.
Solve the Facebook Expired Session Error with Proxies
Any parser, whether it's custom-built, based on a ready-made framework or even on a specialized online service, cannot function without proxies.
If intermediary nodes are not used, then Facebook or any other site you start parsing can detect automated requests and block the connection.
In this case, it's not just a matter of a simple session error; FB can completely block the account or even all related accounts suspected of violating usage rules.
Proxy rotation allows not only to parallelize requests and simultaneously collect a large volume of data but also protects your privacy.
We covered all the options in detail in the article "Using Proxies on Facebook."
Bypassing blocks and session errors is implemented very simply:
- Each FB account should be run through a separate proxy (or a port with rotation from the chosen location, preferably additionally tied to an internet provider or ASN number);
- Optimizing the time between requests when parsing pages will let you simultaneously maintain the required activity (so the session does not end) and avoid close attention from security systems. It is advisable to set not a fixed time, but random values within a specified range.
Naturally, the proxy provider must be of the highest quality. Only anonymous proxies are needed.
The Facebook "Session Expired" error indicates that the target site has unilaterally ended or reset the current active session. There can be several reasons for the session ending, all of which we have specified and discussed above.
If the session error occurs during parsing, a number of standard protective measures should be taken: optimize the time between requests to maintain activity and safeguard yourself using proxies.
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