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PHP Losing session variables upon going back to previous page

Hey everyone,

I'm facing a bit of a problem with my PHP sessions and I'm hoping someone can help me out. So here's what's happening:

I have a website with a multi-step form where users can fill in their information. I'm using sessions to store the data entered by the users, so that they can navigate between the form steps without losing their progress. Everything is working fine except for one issue: whenever a user goes back to a previous step/page, all their session variables are lost.

For example, let's say I have Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3. If a user completes Step 1, moves on to Step 2, and then decides to go back to Step 1, all the data they entered in Step 1 gets wiped out.

I've checked my code, and I'm using the session_start() function at the beginning of each PHP file that handles the form steps. I'm also using session variables to store the data like $_SESSION['variable_name'] = $value.

I've also confirmed that cookies are enabled in my browser, so that's not the issue. I've also tried different browsers, but the problem persists.

I'm not sure what could be causing this problem. Could it be something in my PHP configuration? Or am I missing something in my code? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


All Replies



I had a similar issue with session variables disappearing when going back to a previous page in PHP. After spending some time troubleshooting, I discovered that the problem was actually related to the way I was handling session expiration.

In my case, the session was expiring too quickly, causing all the session data to be lost when navigating back. The default session expiration time in PHP is typically set to 30 minutes, but it can be overridden in the `php.ini` file or using the `session_set_cookie_params()` function.

To address this, I increased the session expiration time by adding the following line before starting the session:

session_set_cookie_params(3600); // Sets expiration time to 1 hour

This ensured that the session remained active for a longer duration, thus preventing the loss of session variables when going back to previous pages.

Remember to adjust the expiration time according to your requirements.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask if you need any further guidance or have any other concerns.


Hey there,

I've actually encountered a similar issue with session variables being lost when going back to a previous page in PHP. After some troubleshooting, I found that the problem was with the cache settings of the browser.

When you navigate back to a previous page, some browsers (like Chrome) may display a cached version of that page instead of making a new request to the server. This can cause the session variables to appear as if they have been lost because the cached page doesn't fetch the updated session data.

To overcome this, I added the following header to the PHP files that handle the form steps:

header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");

This tells the browser not to cache the page and always make a fresh request to the server. Since implementing this, I haven't faced any issues with session variables being lost when navigating back.

Give it a try and see if it helps in your case too. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need further assistance!

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