Browser cookies may get a bad rep for helping companies track us online and for enabling intrusive advertising, but they’re also a core component of how many modern websites function. Without them you would have to login to every website every time you visit, which can be a real pain.
Although third-party cookies, or tracking cookies, can be blocked to help prevent targeted advertising, first-party cookies are mostly for convenience, and despite what your antivirus software might report, they’re not viruses or malware.
Most browsers enable cookies by default and we certainly wouldn’t suggest you allow them to store any personal information if you’re using a public or shared computer. If you want to learn how to enable cookies though, it’s pretty straightforward, no matter which browser you use.
Step 1: Launch Chrome and click the three vertical-dot menu icon in the top right-hand corner.
Step 2: Click the settings menu and scroll down to the button. Click “Advanced.”
Step 3: Under “Privacy and security,” click “Content settings.”
Step 4: From the list that appears, click “Cookies.” Then if unticked, click “Allow sites to save and read cookie data,” to enable cookies.
If you want a more nuanced implementation than an internet wide acceptance of cookies, you can block and allow specific sites further down the page, as well as block third-party cookies on any website.
Step 1: Click the three horizontal lines menu icon in the top right-hand corner followed by “Options” next to the cog icon.
Step 2: Click “Privacy and Security” on the left-hand side.
Step 3: Under the heading “History,” click the dropdown next to “Firefox will” and choose “Use custom settings for history.”
Step 4: If not already, tick the “Accept cookies from websites” box.
If you want to vary it by website or reduce the use of third-party cookies, tick or adjust the relevant options found nearby.
Step 1: Open the Edge browser and click the three-dotted menu icon in the top right-hand corner.
Step 2: Click “Settings” at the bottom of the list.
Step 3: Click the “Advanced Settings” button.
Step 4: Scroll down to the heading “Cookies” and use the drop-down menu to select “Don’t block cookies.”
Step 1: Launch Safari and click the “Safari” menu icon in the top left-hand corner.
Step 2: Click Preferences and select the “Privacy” icon in the top menu-list. Its icon is a flat hand, palm facing the user.
Step 3: Next to the heading “Cookies and website data, make sure that “Always allow” is enabled.
If you want to enable all but third-party cookies, choose “Allow from websites I visit.” If you want to prevent any cookies being stored apart from when accessing websites, tick “Allow from current website only,” instead.
Step 1: Click the easy setup icon in the top right-hand corner of the browser pane.
Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom and click “Go to browser settings,” next to the cog icon.
Step 3: Click “Privacy and security,” in the left-hand menu.
Step 4: Scroll down and under the heading “Cookies,” make sure that “Allow local data to be set,” is selected from the list.