Manage Cookies

Once in a while we get a question asking about how to manage cookies. 

What are cookies?

Cookies are small, often encrypted text files, located in browser directories. They are used by web developers to help users navigate their websites efficiently and perform certain functions. Cookies are often indispensable for websites that have huge databases, need logins, have customisable themes, other advanced features. You need cookies to run many sites including Youtube and to remember passwords and preferences.

Cookie files are automatically lodged into the cookie file – the memory of your browser – and each one typically contains:

  • The name of the server the cookie was sent from
  • The lifetime of the cookie
  • A value – usually a randomly generated unique number

The website server which sent the cookie uses this number to recognise you when you return to a site or browse from page to page. Only the server that sent a cookie can read, and therefore use, that cookie.

So what is the problem with cookies?

They can slow your browser down. They are created when a user’s browser loads a particular website. The website sends information to the browser which then creates a text file. Every time the user goes back to the same website, the browser retrieves and sends this file to the website’s server. Computer Cookies are created not just by the website the user is browsing but also by other websites that run ads, widgets, or other elements on the page being loaded. All this information going back and forth uses both bandwidth and RAM. Additionally some cookies can inadvertently conflict with others and block a program from running.

What can I do to manage cookies stored on my computer?

You can easily remove any cookies that have been created in the cookie folder.of your browser. However, there is not one set of instructions as different browsers have their own ways to configure cookie settings.

Click on the link for your browser below to get simple instructions to prevent or clear cookies from being created on your particular browser.

Chrome
Internet Explorer
Firefox
Edge
Safari
Netscape 6.0+
Opera

Clearing cookies in Chrome

  • Click the 3 dots in the far right of your browser header bar
  • Click “more tools”
  • Click “clear browsing data”
  • Check “cookies and other site data”
  • Click “clear data”

Clearing cookies in Internet Explorer

  • Click the cog wheel icon in the far right of your browser header bar.
  • click “safety”
  • click “delete browsing data”
  • Check “cookies and website history”
  • Click “delete”

Clearing cookies in Firefox

  • Click the library books icon in the far right of your browser header bar.
  • click “history”
  • click “Clear Recent History.”
  • Set the “Time range to clear” option to “Everything.” 
  • Click on the down arrow next to “Details.” …
  • Check “Cookies”
  • Click  “Clear Now” button.
  • Click “delete”

    Clearing cookies in Microsoft Edge

    • Click the 3 dots in the far right of your browser header bar
    • Click “settings”
    • Click “clear browsing data”
    • Check “cookies and saved website data”
    • Click “clear”

    Clearing cookies in Safari

    • Click Safari in the upper left hand side of your screen.
    • Click “Preferences”
    • Click the Privacy tab
    • . Click “Remove All Website Data”
    • Click “Remove Now”

    Clearing cookies in Netscape

    • Go to ‘Edit’ in the menu bar
    • Click  “Preferences”
    • Click  “Advanced”
    • Select  “Cookies”
    • Tick either “Warn Me Before Accepting a Cookie” or “Disable Cookies”
    • Click “OK”
    • Go to the “Start” button
    • Click “Find”
    • Click “Files and Folders”
    • Type “cookies.txt” into the search box
    • Click “Find Now”
    • Drag all files listed into the “Recycle Bin”
    • Shut down and restart Netscape.

    Clearing cookies in Opera

    • Click Opera in the upper left hand side of your screen.
    • Click “More Tools”
    • Click “Clear browsing data”
    • . Check “Delete cookies and other browsing data”
    • Click “Clear browsing data”
    • Shut down and restart Opera.