I would like to clear the session cookie when a user logs out or when their session expires. I understand that wp_clear_auth_cookie(); clears the cookie but I am struggling to understand how to implement it. I am using the following code to log a user out automatically if they are inactive for 10 minutes. (I think I found that in here too)

function myplugin_cookie_expiration( $expiration, $user_id, $remember ) {
    return $remember ? $expiration : 600;
add_filter( 'auth_cookie_expiration', 'myplugin_cookie_expiration', 99, 3 );

Could someone kindly direct me to the right direction to achieve this result?

  • Maybe I got you wrong, but isn't that exactly what WP does when the current user is about to log out? Clearing the cookie, that is.
    – tfrommen
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:23
  • It only works if the user closes the browser and reopens it. If not it uses the same authentication cookie. That's what I'm trying to avoid.
    – Pradeep
    Mar 23, 2013 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Try setting $experation to a negative integer:

function myplugin_cookie_expiration( $expiration, $user_id, $remember ) {
    return $remember ? $expiration : -600;
add_filter( 'auth_cookie_expiration', 'myplugin_cookie_expiration', 99, 3 );

From the w3schools PHP page on cookies:

// set the expiration date to one hour ago
setcookie("user", "", time()-3600);

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