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How to delete cookies in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE

Cookies, small data files used by websites to track your internet usage, pose no threat to your computer. Some cookies can, however, compromise your privacy. They can also take up space–albeit a small amount–depending on how your operating system stores and retrieves data. Advertising companies, meanwhile, often embed cookies with web ads to track your browsing history and tailor specific ads.

Related: Web page out of date? Here’s how to clear your browser cache

You may decide you want to toss out your cookies, delicious though they may sound, because of one or all the issues above.  We’ve put together a guide outlining the various ways you can customize your cookie settings and delete them with browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, along with data-cleaning applications such as CCleaner.

Do keep in mind that cookies have legitimate functions. Websites use them to track login activity and data, which can be essential to their function. You’ll find some ‘sites don’t work properly without them.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome users can easily delete cookies, browsing data, and specify what sort of files Chrome should accept or block.

Access content settings: Click on the “Menu” tab in the upper-right corner, and select “Settings.” From there, click on “Show Advanced Settings,” at the bottom of the menu, and then “Content Settings.”

You may also simply type “chrome://chrome/settings/content” into your address bar and Chrome will take you to your intended destination.

chrome_settings

Manage cookies: Chrome gives you four options when it comes to how to deal with cookies. You can store all cookies without discretion, store all cookies but delete them once you close your browser, block cookies entirely (we don’t recommend this), and block third-party tracking cookies.

Chrome also allows you to manage exceptions for the above settings. This could be useful in the event you want to keep your auto-fill information for a specific website while deleting them from others.

chromecookiessettings

Delete cookies: Click on “All cookies and site data…” to see a list of all the cookies Chrome has stored on your hard drive. From there you can delete specific files individually, or delete everything by selecting “Remove All.”

chromecookieslist

For Android, iOS: Access Chrome’s menu, go to “Settings” and then find the “Privacy” tab under advanced settings. From there select “Clear Browsing Data” at the bottom and check “Clear cookies/site data” as well as anything else you want to wipe from your hard drive.

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