Fixing the Missing __RequestVerificationToken: How to Ensure Your Anti-Forgery Cookie is Present

The __RequestVerificationToken is an anti-forgery token that helps protect your web application from cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. It is a security feature provided by ASP.NET MVC to prevent attackers from making unauthorized requests on behalf of an authenticated user. However, sometimes developers face issues in which the __RequestVerificationToken is missing, causing their web applications to fail validation checks and throw exceptions.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to ensure that your anti-forgery cookie is present and how to fix the missing __RequestVerificationToken issue.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Anti-Forgery Token

The __RequestVerificationToken is used to ensure that a form request is coming from the same website that generated the form in the first place. This mitigates the risk of CSRF attacks, where an attacker tricks an authenticated user into executing an unwanted action on the target website. The token is generated when a form is rendered on the client-side and is then validated on the server-side when the form is submitted.

For more information on how anti-forgery tokens work, you can refer to the official documentation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix Missing __RequestVerificationToken

Step 1: Ensure that the Anti-Forgery Token is Generated for the Form

First, make sure that your form contains the __RequestVerificationToken as a hidden field. In your Razor view, you can include the token using the @Html.AntiForgeryToken() helper method:

@using (Html.BeginForm("Submit", "Home", FormMethod.Post))
    // Your form fields here
    <input type="submit" value="Submit" />

This generates a hidden input field with the name __RequestVerificationToken and a unique value for every form rendered.

Step 2: Validate the Token on the Server Side

When the form is submitted, you need to validate the __RequestVerificationToken on the server-side. You can do this by adding the [ValidateAntiForgeryToken] attribute to your action method in the controller:

public ActionResult Submit(FormViewModel model)
    // Your form processing logic here
    return View();

This ensures that the token is checked for validity when the form is submitted, and an exception is thrown if the token is missing or invalid.

Step 3: Check Your Browser Settings and Extensions

If you have followed the steps above and are still experiencing the missing __RequestVerificationToken issue, it could be due to your browser settings or extensions. Some ad-blockers, privacy extensions, or security settings may block or delete cookies, including the __RequestVerificationToken cookie.

To rule out this possibility, try disabling any ad-blockers or privacy extensions and check if the issue persists. If the issue is resolved, consider adding your website to the extension's whitelist or adjusting its settings to allow the anti-forgery cookie.


1. Can I use the anti-forgery token in AJAX requests?

Yes, you can include the __RequestVerificationToken in your AJAX requests by adding it as a header. You can retrieve the token value from the form and add it to the headers object in your AJAX request:

    url: "/Home/Submit",
    type: "POST",
    headers: {
        "__RequestVerificationToken": $("input[name=__RequestVerificationToken]").val()
    // Your other AJAX settings here

2. Can I use the anti-forgery token with Web API?

Yes, you can use the anti-forgery token with ASP.NET Web API by including the [ValidateAntiForgeryToken] attribute in your controller action and sending the token as a header in your AJAX request, as shown in the previous FAQ answer.

3. How can I customize the anti-forgery token generation and validation?

You can customize the anti-forgery token generation and validation by configuring the AntiForgeryConfig class in your Global.asax file. For example, you can change the cookie name or set a custom data provider. Refer to the official documentation for more information on customization options.

4. Are there any alternatives to using the anti-forgery token in ASP.NET MVC?

Yes, some alternatives to using the __RequestVerificationToken include using the Origin and Referer headers to validate the request's origin or implementing custom authentication mechanisms, such as JWT tokens or OAuth. However, using the built-in anti-forgery token is the recommended approach for ASP.NET MVC applications.

5. Can I use the anti-forgery token with other server-side frameworks, like Node.js or PHP?

The __RequestVerificationToken is specific to ASP.NET MVC, but similar anti-CSRF mechanisms exist in other server-side frameworks. For example, Node.js has the csurf middleware, and PHP has the csrf-middleware library.

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