How to clear cookies

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are small text files written by a web browser that contain information about your interaction with one specific site. They include information like your username for logins or what you bought on a retail website. They’re relatively benign, but they can impact your privacy and they take up some space on your system, so removing them is something that many people like to do on a semi-regular basis.

If you’re concerned about what websites are leaving behind and how advertisers are accessing that data, here’s how to clear cookies from the latest version of your favorite web browser.

Google Chrome

The Digital Trends staff voted Google Chrome as the best browser of 2018. It lets you easily delete cookies, control browsing data, and specify what sort of files it should accept or block.

Step 1: Click on the three-dot “Menu” icon in the upper-right corner, and select “Settings.” Once the new tab opens, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Advanced.” This will expand the “Settings” page to include additional options.

how to delete cookies chromesettingsbutton

Step 2: The first expanded window you should see is the “Privacy and security” panel. Look to the bottom and click on “Clear browsing data.”

Step 3: Decide whether it’s just cookies you want to clear or everything and select how far back you want to clear them using the drop-down menu.

how to delete cookies clearcookieschrome01

Step 4: When ready, click the blue “Clear data” button.

To manage how cookies are saved and stored in the future, go back to the “Privacy and security,” list and click on “Content settings,” followed by “Cookies.” There you’ll find options for which cookies are stored and whether you want to block third-party cookies or not.

How to clear cookies

Chrome on Android or iOS

Step 1: Access Chrome’s menu, go to “Settings,” and then find the “Privacy” tab under “Advanced” settings.

Step 2: Select “Clear Browsing Data” and check “Clear cookies and site data,” before tapping “Clear data” at the bottom.

There are also options for clearing your browser history and removing cached images and files.

Mozilla Firefox

The open-source browser has tons of addons and actually offers more options than Chrome when it comes to customizing these settings — and that was before Quantum turned things on its head. Here’s how to clear out any cookies it’s storing.

Step 1: Click on the three-line icon in the top-right corner. In the drop-down menu, select “Options.”

how to delete cookies firefoxsettinsmenu

Step 2: Select “Privacy and security” listed on the menu to the left. Look for the heading “Cookies and site data.”

how to delete cookies firefoxcookies02

Step 2: Click the “Clear Data…” button.

Step 3: Make sure “Cookies and Site Data” is ticked and then click the “Clear” button.

Alternatively, click the “Manage data” link. A window appears with a search field for locating a specific cookie, and a list of all cookies stored on your device. You can hit the “Remove Selected” button to delete a highlighted cookie, or hit the “Remove All” button to delete them all.

To manage how cookies are handled by Firefox, there are several options you can toggle, including whether to “Accept cookies…” or “Block cookies.” Under the “Cookies and Site Data” heading, look to the right where Mozilla provides an “Exceptions” button where you can control whether individual cookies are blocked or allowed, respectively.

how to delete cookies firefoxcookies03

Firefox on iOS

Step 1: Tap the New Tab button (top right, with the number in it).

Step 2: Tap the cog button in the top left of the screen.

Step 3: Scroll down to “Clear private data.” On the next screen, make sure “Cookies” is selected, then tap “Clear Private Data.”

Safari

Unlike Chrome and Firefox, Safari only stores cookies from websites you visit. Nevertheless, Safari lets you easily change these settings. Since the Windows version of Safari has been discontinued, our instructions will focus on the MacOS version.

Step 1: Click on the Safari menu in the upper-left corner and choose “Clear History,” to delete everything in one go, from a variety of time frames. If you would much prefer to have more control over what is deleted, choose the “Preferences” option.

how to delete cookies safaricookies01

Step 2: In the “Privacy” section, you can use “Block all cookies” to remove everything in one fell swoop. Alternatively, click on “Details” to see a list of each individual cookie stored in the browser which you can then remove individually.

how to delete cookies safaricookies02

Safari’s options for limited filtering of cookies are limited. You can, however, ask websites not to track you (the Do Not Track feature), or have Safari attempt to block cross-site tracking.

Safari on iOS

Step 1: Go into “Settings” and select Safari.

Step 2: To delete all cookies, tap “Clear History and Website Data.” To delete a specific cookie, tap “Advanced,” then “Website Data” to pull up a list of cookies stored on your phone. From there, hit “Edit,” tap the red circle next to the specific cookie you want to remove and delete it.

Microsoft Edge

Edge is Microsoft’s latest browser integrated into Windows 10. Here’s how to alter its cookie settings and wipe out any existing ones:

Step 1: Click on the three-dot Settings icon in the top right-hand corner.

Step 2: Click “Settings” on the drop-down menu and scroll down to the section titled “Clear browsing data.”

how to delete cookies edgecookies01

Step 3: Click the “Choose what to clear” button.

Step 4: Make sure “Cookies and saved website data,” is ticked and then click the “Clear” button.

how to delete cookies edgecookies02

To manage how Edge handles cookies, scroll to the bottom of the main settings menu. You should see “Advanced Settings.” Click on the associated “View advanced settings.” At the bottom, you’ll find the “Cookies” section with a drop-down menu. Your options are to block all cookies, block only third-party cookies, or don’t block them at all (default).

Within the “Choose what to clear,” menu, you also have the option to clear cookies every time you leave the browser, using the toggle option under the “Clear” button.

Opera

Although the Opera browser is based on the same foundation used by Google Chrome, getting to the browser’s cookie options has a slightly different process.

Step 1: Click on the red Opera logo in the top-left corner

How to clear cookies

Step 2: Select “Settings,” from the drop-down menu and a new tab will open in the browser.

Step 3: Click on “Privacy & Security” in the menu to the left, and scroll down to the “Cookies” section listed in the resulting settings.

How to clear cookies

Step 4: Click on the “All cookies and site data” button.

Step 5: Click the “Delete all” button to remove all cookies, or select individual cookies and click the “X” icon to delete them one by one.

How to clear cookies

To manage how Opera handles cookies, on the “Privacy and security,” page, use the toggles under the “Cookies,” heading to decide whether you want cookies to be blocked, deleted at regular intervals, or allowed entirely.

Apps and plugins

While browsers make clearing cookies manually fairly easy, there are also a host of apps and browser plugins that can give you a little more control of your cookies.

CCleaner

how to delete cookies ccleanercookies01

CCleaner is a powerful tool you can download for free and use to clean your system of excess files generated by your web browser and other applications. CCleaner has an edge over traditional web browsers in cleaning cookies because it can do so across the board, rather than just within a particular browser.

Click&Clean

how to delete cookies clicktoclean01

This extension serves as a handy security app for Chrome. The simple piece of software touts the ability to scan for malware, and installs a toilet paper icon that allows you to delete cookies with a single click. You can also customize the feature to clear both your cache and browsing history, if you prefer.

Self-Destroying Cookies

how to delete cookies selfdestroyingcookies

Self-Destroying Cookies is a useful add-on for Firefox. The software creates cookie rules that deal with particular cookies. If a cookie tries to persist after you close your browser tabs, this add-on will delete it automatically. If the cookie tries to track what you’re doing, it will also be immediately deleted. There are even advanced options for dealing with zombie cookies, rendering Self-Destroying Cookies an attractive solution if you don’t want to keep deleting cookies manually.

Computing

Ripple cryptocurrency jumps 70 percent in 24 hours after news of bank deal

The Ripple cryptocurrency has seen its value reach the highest point since late 2017 after a tease from a Ripple Labs regulator suggested it could soon be adopted by banks for international money transfers.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Computing

Photoshop isn't required to resize images. Here are 6 ways to do it in seconds

Resizing an image isn't the toughest thing in the world, even if it may seem like a hassle. Here's how to resize an image using six tools that allow you to make quick work of any photo, regardless of your operating system.
Social Media

How to send money on Facebook

In case you weren't already aware, you can now use Facebook Messenger to send or request money, which will allow you to skirt the fees oft-associated with services like Venmo. Here's how to use it.
Mobile

Be an online phantom and web surf safely with Ghostery’s mobile browser

Keeping your private information to yourself has become progressively harder in the internet age. If you're worried about your personal information, check out the new version of the Ghostery browser for iOS and Android.
Gaming

Dive head first into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.
Computing

Google tells lawmakers it allows other apps access to your Gmail

Google admitted to lawmakers in a letter that its privacy policy allows third-party apps access to the email messages of its 1.4 billion Gmail users. Google says the apps need the consent of users before access is granted.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Tired of paying for shipping? Here's how to set up an Amazon Prime account

Want to know how to sign up for Amazon Prime? It's easier than you might think and even comes with a free trial so that you can enjoy all of its benefits for 30 days risk-free. Just follow these steps.
Social Media

Twitter squashes security bug leaking direct messages since 2017

The team at Twitter has discovered and corrected a security bug within one of their developer APIs that has been leaking sensitive information sent via direct messages to business accounts.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Product Review

It's the thinnest touchscreen laptop, but HP's Spectre doesn't sacrifice speed

Our HP Spectre 13 review evaluates the “world’s thinnest touchscreen notebook” to see if it’s possible to make something smaller while increasing its speed and longevity. Spoiler alert -- it is. But does that make it a laptop you…
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?