How to Delete Cookies on Mac
Cookies. You’ve definitely 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 annoying IT problem.
But what are cookies and how do you delete them? Let’s find out more so you know how and why you should do it.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why it is important to clear cookies
- How to clear cookies on your Mac
- FAQs about cookies
Why it is important to clear cookies
To understand why we need to delete cookies, it’s important to understand what cookies actually are.
Cookies are tiny lines of text dropped on your internet browser by a server hosting any website you visit. They allow websites to remember who you are - so they recognize you on your next visit and show you more relevant web content.
Though cookies serve the common good for website marketing teams, they have the potential to be a real headache for you. Here’s why:
- Cookies track and store your user data. This is obviously not something you want if you mind your online privacy.
- Cookies help websites manipulate advertising and pricing strategies - and you never know whether the deal you’re shown is actually the best available.
- Cookies become outdated over time. This is why some websites show you invalid usernames and passwords.
If you feel like your browsing is not as smooth as it used to be, cookies could be to blame. So, here is how to delete cookies on your Mac.
How to clear cookies on your 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 cookies from Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox on your Mac.
How to clear cookies in Safari
- Open the Safari App on your Mac
- Click Safari
- Click Preferences
- Click Privacy
- Click Remove All Website Data
- Click Remove Now to confirm
How to clear cookies in Chrome
- 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
How to clear cookies in Firefox
- 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
What’s more to know about cookies?
Are cookies a security risk?
While third-party cookies might raise a few eyebrows over privacy, browser cookies don’t pose you any risks 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 hack into any other personal information.
Should I accept cookies in the first place?
In general, cookies exist not to ruin but enhance your web browsing experience. For example, cookies are why websites remember items you’ve left in your shopping cart to checkout at a later time. For this reason, accepting cookies is rather beneficial.
What will I lose if I delete cookies?
Deleting cookies will affect three aspects of your web experience - your online accounts, your settings and how you’re tracked.
Your online accounts
- 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
What happens if I don’t allow cookies?
Cookies can be important to a good internet experience. In fact, you may not be able to connect to a website without allowing them. So, blanket blocking all cookies is probably a bad idea, as you may miss out on a wide range of website functionalities.
How often should I clear cookies?
The answer will depend on the device you use. If it’s a public computer, then you should delete cookies and browsing history as soon as your session ends. If it’s your personal device, then you can clear cookies after visiting some shady websites or noticing any drops in browser performance. The recommended frequency for clearing cookies is either every month or every few months.
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