I noticed something interesting today. I cleared out my Chrome browser’s history, cookies and everything else.

I closed the browser and reopened it, but noticed the browser was still logged in to my Google account.

I was surprised because as a web developer I know that when a browser is cleared it should end all sessions. Chrome seems to have a separate session for the Google account.

I double checked the settings I used when clearing the browser history and cache, they were correct. The Chrome browser should have ended all sessions.

I did the same test with a Firefox browser. I logged into my Google account and then cleared the browser history and cache. As soon as I reloaded the page it showed me as signed out. I didn’t even need to close the browser.

Of course, Chrome has stored the Google account session separately on purpose as a convenience feature.

We should all be aware that both Chrome browser and Chromium have this feature. I consider it a privacy hazard. That is if you are used to clearing your browser as a privacy safeguard you will need to remember to use incognito mode in Chrome and Chromium. Otherwise you will actually have to sign out of your Google account in order to completely clear your browser of all session data.