I use Firefox as my web browser. Somehow in the past two weeks I’ve managed to reset its settings in a way that displeases me but that I cannot seem to properly diagnose or correct. Particularly, it no longer automatically signs me in to websites like SDMB, even though on the Options -> Security -> Passwords tab all my usernames and passwords still appear to be intact. When I go to the webpage, my username and password won’t automatically log me in, however, they do appear once I start typing them in the appropriate space. I’ll type z (for my username zamboniracer) and then the rest of my name will appear and my password will appear too (covered by astericks, of course)

Have you set the ‘clear user private data’ options to clear your cache as you close Firefox?
I use Firefox on Vista and Ubuntu and haven’t experienced any similar problems.
Or is your operating system doing a disc cleanup and clearing cache/cookies?
Running CCleaner will give similar results too.

If all else fails, it could be a corrupt profile directory - which can happen for no apparent reason, and is the general fallback culprit whenever a problem has no obvious solution.

You can use the profile manager to create a new profile, then transfer your bookmarks and other data to the new profile.

Are you making sure to click the little box that says “Remember me” when you’re logging in?

Keeping you logged in is not a function of the browser. The browser will hold your usernames and passwords for you, as you noted. It does not send this information to the Web site’s log-in function and log you in every time you visit a site. It will, as you’ve noted, pre-fill the username and password on a site if you’ve saved that info. It’s up to the user to visit the log in page and click the site’s “log in” button in order to log in.

Once you are logged in, the site will save session data and/or a cookie to your browser that denotes your user account as being logged in. If you’ve chosen a setting from the site that allows you to stay logged in across sessions (“Remember me” for example), then that data will be added to your cookie, and your cookie will be read the next time you visit. Sometimes you don’t need to tell the site to keep you logged in, the cookie does this automatically. The browser doesn’t do anything with cookies except store them for you and let’s the Web site that made them access them when you visit again.

Cookies do not store usernames and passwords. Browsers do not send usernames and passwords (they just pre-fill them when appropriate).

So, basically what Mylargen said - you have most likely cleared your cookies and the sites no longer have info that “this is User X and he is logged in”. You will need to re-create these cookies by means of visiting the sites, logging in, and in some cases checking boxes on the sites that allow them to set a flag in your cookie that keeps you logged in.

It’s these two cookies,
Site: [noparse][/noparse]
Cookie Name: bbuserid
Site: [noparse][/noparse]
Cookie Name: bbpassword
and what you want is an extension that allows you to protect them from deletion.
I use CookieCuller, which is also the way I’m viewing them, there’s lots of others.

Be aware though that even with the cookie protected if you click Log Out the cookies might still be deleted. Happens to me even with CookieCuller, so I just never log out. On the other hand, despite hundreds of restarts and closings of FF (some because of power outages) I haven’t had to log in here for many, many, months.

CMC fnord!

I still have yet to figure out why some people have problems with this while others don’t. The only time I’ve ever been logged out of the Dope is when reset my cookies.

I wound up creating a new profile and transferring the bookmarks. Thanks for the help everyone!

Not sure if this is related to your problem, but I have noticed in the past that if I delete a cookie from a site, Firefox seems to automatically put that site on the “block all future cookies” list. Which is very frustrating until you figure that out.