How to Delete Cookies on Mac
What do you know about cookies?
You’ve heard of them. You’ve probably lost count of how many times a website has asked you to accept them, and that’s only today! You’ve probably also been advised, “try clearing your cookies” on multiple occasions as you wrestle with some IT problem.
But what are cookies and how do you delete them?
In this article we’ll answer:
- What cookies are
- When and if you should delete them
- The best ways to remove them from browsers on your Mac
What are cookies?
A browser cookie, or internet cookie, is a tiny line of text dropped on your web browser by a server hosting a website you visit.
This browser cookie allows the server and website to remember who you are. They can then use this information to serve you with more relevant and personalized web content on your next visit.
What are the different types of cookies?
There are a few different types of cookies.
Session cookies and persistent cookies differ in terms of how long they remain on your browser.
First-party and third-party cookies differ in terms of what entity created and uses them. Here’s more detail on these various types.
As the name suggests, these cookies only last for the duration of your online session and disappear when you close your browser or when your session times out. A good example would be when you are doing online banking. A cookie will allow the site to remember who you are and complete your task. They will then disappear once your session is closed.
Even after you close your browser, these cookies will remain until they expire or you decide to delete them. They are usually helpful as their purpose is to provide you with a more convenient and personalized experience on a website when you return.
These are the cookies any website you visit creates and places on your browser.
It’s when we come to third-party cookies that concerns about privacy are often raised. They are created by websites other than the named website you visit. Advertising networks are the most common creators of third-party cookies, using the information they store about you to serve you personalized ads across their network.
Are cookies a security risk?
While third-party cookies might raise a few eyebrows over privacy, internet cookies don’t pose any risk in terms of viruses or malware. They only contain information you yourself share with a website. They can’t be used to access your hard drive or to hack into any other personal information.
Why do websites ask about cookies?
Learn more about what GDPR means for you and your online protection here.
Should I accept cookies in the first place?
In general, cookies exist to enhance your web browsing experience. For example, cookies are the reason websites can remember any items you’ve left in your shopping cart to checkout at a later time.
In fact, cookies can be so important to a good internet experience, sometimes you won’t even be able to connect to a website without allowing certain cookies.
So, blanket blocking all cookies is probably a bad idea. But the good news is that if you’re worried about any websites you’ve accepted cookies from, you can delete them yourself at any time. This brings us on to the central part of this discussion.
Why should I delete cookies?
Here are some reasons why you may want to delete cookies;
- You logged into a public computer
If you’re using a public computer, chances are you probably don’t want the next user seeing your browsing history or finding form fields completed with your username.
- You want to stop websites and third-parties following you
Do you ever get tired of feeling that your every internet move is watched by advertisers? Clearing your cookies will help prevent advertisers from following you around the web.
- Your browser has become really slow
Saved cookies are tiny. However, like anything, they can add up over time and could potentially cause your browser to slow down. If you’ve noticed your browser running sluggishly, then erasing your cookies may help.
- You want websites to see you as a new user
While cookies allow websites to give you the personal treatment as you browse, you might want to return to the fresh, unbiased experience of a new user. To do that, simply clear your cookies.
What happens if cookies are deleted?
Deleting cookies will affect your three aspects of your web experience - your accounts, your settings and how you’re tracked.
- You will be logged out of any websites you were logged in to
Your website settings
- Previously visited websites will no longer recognise you
- Any website preferences you had will reset
- Any items you had in your shopping cart will need to be added again
How you’re tracked
- The ads you see online might not reflect your past browsing history
- When you do a search in your web browser the results will be un-customized.
Does deleting cookies remove passwords
While deleting cookies will log you out of any websites you’re logged into, it will not remove the passwords you’ve saved in your browser. Any logins you previously saved will still be there so you can easily log in again.
Each of the main browsers have additional settings options where you can delete saved passwords if you wish.
How to remove browser cookies on Mac
There’s always a simple way to delete cookies no matter which browser you prefer to use on your Mac.
Here’s how to clear your cookies from Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer on your Mac.
- Open the Safari App on your Mac
- Click Safari
- Click Preferences
- Click Privacy
- Click Remove All Website Data
- Click Remove Now to confirm
- Open Chrome on your Mac
- Click the menu icon in the top right of your Chrome browser
- Click History
- Click Clear browsing data
- Select the items you’d like to clear, including Cookies and other site data
- Click Clear data
- Open Firefox on your Mac
- Click History in the main menu
- Click Clear Recent History in the submenu
- Select the time range you want to clear
- Under Details, select Cookies
- Click Clear Now
- Open Opera on your Mac
- In the menu bar, click Opera
- Click Preferences
- Click Privacy and security
- Click Clear browsing data
- Check Cookies and other site data
- Click Clear data
- Open Internet Explorer on your Mac
- Click Tools
- Click Safety
- Click Delete browsing history
- Check Cookies and website data
- Click Delete
Clario makes managing your privacy and security easy
Whether you’re concerned about maintaining your personal privacy on your computer or protecting yourself against serious cybercrime, figuring out the best way to stay safe can feel overwhelming.
That’s why Clario is releasing its all-in-one cybersecurity software this summer, making managing your digital security plain, simple and accessible.
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