Blackboard Perspectives and thoughts from Zhenhua Yao

How to Retrive Internet Cookies Programmatically

Using the cookies stored by the website in the script is a nice trick to use the existing authentication to access the web service, etc. There are several ways to retrieve the cookies from IE / Edge, the most convenient way is to directly read the files on the local disk. Basically we can use the Shell.Application COM object to locate the cookies folder, then parse all text files for the needed information. In each file, there are several records delimited by a line of single character *, in each record the first line is the name, second line the value, third line the host name of website that sets the cookie. Here is a simple PowerShell program to retrieve and print all cookies:

Set-StrictMode -version latest

$shellApp = New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application
$cookieFolder = $shellApp.NameSpace(0x21)
if ($cookieFolder.Title -ne "INetCookies") {
    throw "Failed to find INetCookies folder"

$allCookies = $cookieFolder.Items() | ? { $_.Type -eq "Text Document" } | % { $_.Path }
foreach ($cookie in $allCookies) {
    Write-Output "Cookie $cookie"
    $items = (Get-Content -Raw $cookie) -Split "\*`n"
    foreach ($item in $items) {
        if ([string]::IsNullOrEmpty($item.Trim())) {
        $c = $item -Split "\s+"
        Write-Output "  Host $($c[2])"
        Write-Output "  $($c[0]) = $($c[1])"

Note that files in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\INetCookies\Low do not show up in $cookieFolder.Items() list. An alternative approach is to browse the file system directly, e.g. gci -File -Force -r ((New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application).Namespace(0x21).Self.Path)