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Understanding SameSite cookie interaction with Cloudflare

​​ Overview

Google Chrome’s SameSite cookie changes how Google Chrome handles the SameSite control. Google enforces SameSite to protect against marketing cookies that track users and Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) that allows attackers to steal or manipulate your cookies.  

The SameSite cookie has 3 different modes:

  • Strict: Cookies are created by the first-party (the visited domain). For example, a first-party cookie is set by Cloudflare when visiting
  • Lax: Cookies are only sent to the domain apex (e.g. *  For example, if someone ( hotlinked an image (, the client doesn’t send a cookie to since it is neither the first-party nor apex context.
  • None: Cookies are sent with all requests.

SameSite settings for Cloudflare cookies include:

Cloudflare CookieSameSite SettingHTTPS Only
__cf_bmSameSite=None; SecureYes
cf_clearanceSameSite=None; SecureYes

When configuring SameSite attributes on session affinity cookies, it is recommended that you set the values. The value Auto is translated to Lax if Always Use HTTPS is enabled, or None if Always Use HTTPS is disabled. When using the value None, the secure attribute cannot be set to Never.

  • Default value: Auto
  • Valid values: Auto, Lax, None, Script.

​​ Known issues with SameSite and cf_clearance cookies

When a visitor solves a challenge presented due to a WAF custom rule or an IP Access rule, a cf_clearance cookie is set in the client browser. The cf_clearance cookie has a default lifetime of 30 minutes, which you can configure via Challenge Passage.

Cloudflare uses SameSite=None in the cf_clearance cookie so that visitor requests from different hostnames are not met with subsequent challenges or errors. When SameSite=None is used, it must be set in conjunction with the Secure flag.

Using the Secure flag requires sending the cookie via an HTTPS connection. If you use HTTP on any part of your website, the cf_clearance cookie defaults to SameSite=Lax, which may cause your website not to function properly. To resolve the issue, move your website traffic to HTTPS. Cloudflare offers two features to assist: