How to Manage Cookie Settings in Your Internet Browser


To improve your online experience, browser makers have invented a type of special message, known as a cookie, that allows a website to recognize you when you visit that website again. They thoughtfully store this information on your computer. You can control which sites can store cookies on your computer.

Burning cookies in Firefox

Choose Firefox→Options (Firefox→Preferences on a Mac), click the Privacy icon, and look in the History section. If Remember History is selected, Firefox saves cookies. If you want more control over which cookies it stores, changes the setting to Use custom settings for history. This setting displays the following checkboxes related to cookies:

  • Accept cookies from sites: It is recommended to leave this option selected.
  • Accept cookies from websites: We recommend leaving this option selected.

Click the Exclusions button to specify which pages can and cannot store cookies. You can specify web addresses that you definitely trust with your cookies (for example, visited shopping pages) or that you do not trust (for example, advertising pages).

You can also view the cookies on your computer. Click the View Cookies button and scroll down the list of sites. If you see one that you don't recognize or that sounds suspicious, click on it and click the Remove Cookie button.

Exploring cookies in Internet Explorer

Click the Tools icon, choose Internet Options, and in the Internet Options dialog box that appears, click the Privacy tab. Internet Explorer will display a slider that you can drag up and down to increase or decrease the privacy level.

By default, Internet Explorer sets the privacy level to Medium and allows cookies except for third-party cookies. To specify exactly how cookies are stored, click the Advanced button to display the Advanced Privacy Settings dialog box, then select the Override automatic cookie processing check box. There are options

  • First-party cookies: You can choose to accept or block or be prompted to choose, although this option quickly becomes tiresome if you encounter many cookies. Some sites may store three or more cookies per page. Select Accept.
  • Third-party cookies: Just say no (i.e. choose Block) to third-party cookies.
  • Always allow session cookies: This check box allows you to browse all session cookies, a type of cookie used to track one instance of your visit to a website. These cookies are commonly used by shopping sites such as and are harmless. Select this option to include a checkmark.

Cookies and Chrome

Click the Menu icon and select Settings from the menu. In the Privacy section, click the Content Settings button to display the Content Settings dialog box. Under Cookies, select the setting labeled Allow local data settings. Check the Block third-party cookies box if it is not already checked. Then click Done.

Safari with cookies

In Safari, click the Settings icon and select Preferences, or select Safari → Preferences. Then click the Privacy icon in the window that appears. Set Block cookies and other website data From third parties and advertisers or Allow only from the current website.

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