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How to increase the Magento admin session timeout

By default Magento sets the admin session to expire after 3600 seconds (1 hour).  So if you're working on adding a product and get distracted and have to leave, when you come back you're session may very likely be expired and all changes lost.

Luckily this is simple to fix, simply go to:


Set the Session Lifetime to a larger number (see below).

Next we have to make sure the session cookie doesn't expire.  Go to

System>Configuration->Web->Session Cookie Management

Set the Cookie Lifetime to a larger number such as 14400.

This method worked for Magento v



  1. Will this work with 1.4? I increased both of these values and still get locked out after the default 1 hour

  2. Does this affect frontend sessions as well? You need to be careful becuase if it does your database will quickly become very large and possibly very slow.

  3. Magento in a way is a great platform but it proves to be dull when it comes to session implementation. This is a simple way which generally most of us apply but I think there is another way too to increase the session time out.


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