I've been trying to track down some odd behaviour on a test site of mine and it appears to be due to guest sessions. I could be wrong, but it seems like Joomla sessions for guests are expiring at a faster rate than that set in the adminstrative section (Administrator->Global Configuration ->System->Session Settings.

Is this expected/ known behaviour? If it is, is there anyway I can change the session expiration time for guests to match logged in users?

I'm using

  • Joomla Version: 3.9.11
  • Session Handler: Database
  • Shared Sessions: No

1 Answer 1


No, it is not expected behavior that sessions for guests expire faster than sessions for admins.

Front-end and back-end users all use the same Session Lifetime which you configure in Administrator > System > Global Configuration > [System] tab > Session Settings.

However, Joomla's default edit forms (e.g. Article Edit) have some code


to keep a session alive after the Session Lifetime expires. Otherwise you might lose the changes in your article if you haven't saved it before the Session Lifetime expires.

  • Just to be clear, by guests I'm talking about sessions for users who aren't signed in. In my case, the keepalive behaviour isn't causing the discrepancies in times between guests and signed in users, but it definitely could've been a factor if I wasn't aware of it. Thanks.
    – TryHarder
    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:40

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