How to remove cookies


#1

Apple makes it easy for you to remove existing cookies that are tracking you across the web. Better will prevent many tracking cookies from being updated, but it will not remove any existing cookies.

If you are thinking of removing all cookies, you should bear in mind that many first-party cookies are there for legitimate reasons: keeping the contents of a shopping cart, keeping you logged into a site, etc.

Removing cookies from Safari on your Mac

  1. Go to preferences in Safari
  2. Go to Privacy settings
  3. Go to Manage Website Data
  4. Select every site whose cookies you want to remove and then use the “Remove” button
  5. Or use the “Remove all” button to remove the cookies from every site

Disallow third-party cookies on Safari on your Mac

While you’re there, you can tell Safari to only allow cookies from “current website only”, this will stop a site from updating cookies on third party tracking sites.

  1. Go to preferences in Safari
  2. Go to Privacy settings
  3. Select Cookies and website data: Allow from current website only

Removing cookies from Safari on your iPhone/iPad

  1. Go to Settings App
  2. Go to Safari settings
  3. Scroll down and go to Advanced
  4. Go to Website Data
  5. Select the Edit button
  6. Select each site whose cookies you want to remove and use the red “-” delete button
  7. Or use the “Remove All Website Data” button at the bottom of the screen remove the cookies from every site

Disallow third-party cookies on Safari on your iPhone/iPad

While you’re there, you can tell Safari to only allow cookies from “current website only”, this will stop a site from updating cookies on third party tracking sites.

  1. Go to Settings App
  2. Go to Safari settings
  3. Scroll down to Privacy & Security section
  4. Go to Block Cookies and select from the list: Allow from Current Website Only

I installed better, what about the cookies that were already there?
#2

Note that “Allow cookies from current website only” breaks bad citizens that do require 3rd party ones in order to function, like store.playstation.com, which requires you to first have signed in at sonyentertainmentnetwork.com in order to purchase new content or simply access your account (I reported this to Sony but got no reply).

Chrome for desktop does also allow you to “Block 3rd party cookies” but adds the option to maintain a whitelist of domains for which the former setting is overriden and their cookies are therefore accessible to sites from other domains. Not ideal, but at least that way one can disallow interdomain tracking for most of the Internet but still choose to sacrifice privacy for specific sites that would loose functionality, in part or all of it, by that global setting.

Chrome for iOS, Safari or any other iOS browser do not have that feature, though; it is all (“Allow from websites I visit”) or nothing (“Allow from current website only”).


#3

Thanks for the advice @elmimmo. It’s a real pain that sites do this, and it’s annoyingly common, especially with big-name sites!


#4

@aral posted this on Twitter so I thought I’d add it here too:

Sadly true for the moment. The new machine-learning-based third-party cookie blocking in High Sierra will help.