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I'm on an old Mac Pro with Safari. Both are now out of date [macOS 10.14 & Safari 14], but this has been happening for years, since both were still current - I've just patiently put up with it.

I am not a frequent rebooter, so uptime can often be a month or more. The Mac never sleeps. If I do reboot, Safari auto-reopens in the same state as at quit. Logins & cookies are preserved. I just need to refresh to see each page's current state.
I keep about 7 SE tabs open permanently - plus many others on questions I'm actively but temporarily involved with. I refresh periodically to see new questions etc.
I can do this as many times as I like with no adverse effect… unless I've just quit Apple News. Then I get asked to log in again.

It doesn't happen if I refresh whilst News is still open, only after I quit it. It also doesn't seem to happen a second time if I launch News again soon after the last forced login. There seems to be a retention period before the time-out. I've been unable to hone this down to an actual time, it may be hours rather than minutes.
As I tend to browse News morning and evening, I generally get logged out twice a day.

Additional tests
If I quit News then refresh immediately, I get the forced login.
If I quit News and wait several minutes, it isn't triggered.
Browser plugins have been eliminated as a potential issue.
Cookies are established & hold at all other times.

News seems to add a lot of com.Apple.WebKit processes. Safari also uses WebKit. This is about the only connection I can see, I'm not a coder or web dev, so my knowledge is extremely limited in this area. This issue does not happen with non-WebKit browsers & I cannot reproduce it on any other Mac. Tested back to El Capitan on one Mac & up to Monterey on another. I don't have a sock-puppet or other means of testing another account on this same Mac.

I first asked this on Meta, wondering if it was some site-specific context server-side. This received little love, so having now found a solution, I'm moving it here just in case this ever affects anyone else.

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I finally managed to fix this by rather brutally deleting everything I could find in Prefs related to News. I made no alterations to Safari data.

I cleared cache, history, advertising ID & all saved data from within the app [News menu > Clear History, followed by all options one at a time], then everything in ~/Library starting with com.apple.news* from an EasyFind search.

I'm uncertain as to exactly which of those actually fixed it, but I haven't had to relog in the two days since I cleared it all.

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  • This returned shortly after. I'm just learning to live with it :\
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 4, 2023 at 16:54
  • I've noticed that logging into superuser.com logs me out of any *.stackexchange even though they share the same lists of rep changes and responses.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:03
  • I can't repro that. For me it's only the News app that does it - & not every time. I've just got used to re-logging. Superuser vs any stackexchange needs cross-site tracking to be enabled.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:08

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