What Are Cookies? What is a Cookie?

Cookies are small files which are stored on a user's computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.

How can I see what Cookies are on my Computer?

Cookies are maintained by your web browser, so the method for viewing them will vary depending on which browser you are using. The method for how to view cookies is listed below.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 - 11.0
Select the 'Tools->Internet Options' menu item, and then click the 'Settings' button under the 'General' tab. Click the 'View Files' button to see a list of the temporary internet files that Explorer has stored. Cookies have names that begin 'cookie:' - the Internet Address column will tell you which website created the cookie.
Note - the 'Tools' option can also be accessed by clicking the 'gear' icon in Internet Explorer's toolbar.

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge does not appear to provide an option to view individual cookies You can delete all cookies, or enable/disable them.

Firefox 7.0 and newer
Select the 'Tools->Options' menu item (may be under the Firefox button) and click on the 'Privacy' tab. Click the 'remove individual cookies' link, and you will be shown a list of all cookies stored by Firefox. You can delete selected cookies if you wish, or you can click 'Remove All Cookies' to delete them all, or simply browse through the list to see which websites have stored cookies on your computer.

Google Chrome
Choose 'Settings' on the 'parallel bars' button (or the 'Customize and control' menu), and click the 'Advanced' link at the bottom of the screen. In the 'Privacy and Security' section, click on the 'Content settings...' button then click the 'Cookies' option, followed by 'See all cookies and site data'. You will be shown a list of all websites which have stored cookies on your computer. Selecting a website allows you to see the cookies, and selecting a cookie shows you the data stored in it.

Apple Safari
Choose 'Preferences...' on the 'Settings' or 'Edit' menu (Windows) or the Safari menu (MacOS), then open the 'Privacy' tab and click the 'Details...' button. You will be shown a list of all cookies stored on your computer. Individual cookies can be deleted by selecting them and clicking 'Remove' or they can all be deleted by clicking 'Remove All'.

Apple iOS 5 or later (iPhone, iPad)
From the home screen tap the 'Settings' icon, then choose 'Safari'. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap 'Advanced'. Tap 'Website Data' to see a list of cookies.

Android
Android does not appear to allow users to view individual cookies. You can delete all cookies, or enable/disable them.

Windows Phone 7-10
Windows Phone does not appear to allow users to view individual cookies. You can delete all cookies, or enable/disable them.

Blackberry
Blackberry does not appear to allow users to view individual cookies. You can delete all cookies, or enable/disable them.

Note: If you delete or edit cookies on your computer, some websites may require you to re-enter the information which was previously stored in their cookies.

How do I Enable Cookies and Disable Cookies?

This section will tell you how to enable cookies (turning cookies on) and also how to disable them. Since cookies are maintained by your web browser, the method for enabling or disabling them will vary depending on which browser you are using.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 - 11.0
Select the 'Tools->Internet Options' menu item, and then open the 'Privacy' tab - you can then adjust the slider to block or allow various categories of cookie. Alternatively by clicking 'Advanced...' you can exercise finer control over the browser's behavior, choosing whether to accept, block, or prompt for cookies originating either on the website you are visiting (first party cookies) or originating from websites other than the one you are visiting (third party cookies, typically used by banner advertisements hosted on an advertiser's website).

Microsoft Edge - Windows 10
In Edge, click the three dots/lines button in the top right corner, then select 'settings' and 'view advanced settings'. In the Cookies section you can choose whether to allow or block cookies from various sources.

Firefox 7.0 and newer
Use the 'Tools->Options' menu item (may be under the Firefox button or 'parallel lines' menu button), then choose the 'Privacy' tab. Set the 'Firefox will:' option to 'Use custom settings for history'. Now you can choose whether cookies are enabled for websites you visit and third party websites, and if so how long they will persist. You can also use the 'Exceptions' button to override the settings for particular websites.

Firefox 3.0
Use the 'Tools->Options' menu item, then choose the 'Privacy' tab. Here you can choose whether cookies are enabled, and if so how long they will persist. You can also use the 'Exceptions' button to override the settings for particular websites.

Google Chrome
Click the 'parallel bars' menu button, choose the 'Settings' option, then scroll down and click the 'Advanced' link. Alternatively for older versions of Chrome choose 'Options' on the 'Customize and control' menu, then open the 'Under the Bonnet' tab. In the 'Privacy and security' section, click on the 'Content settings...' button and then the 'Cookies' option. Set the required cookie behaviour - add URLs to the 'Block', Clear on Exit' and 'Allow' sections to configure cookie behavior for specific websites.

Apple Safari
Choose 'Preferences...' on the 'Settings' or 'Edit' menu (Windows) or the Safari menu (MacOS), then open the 'Privacy' tab. Now set the required cookie behaviour.

Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad)
From the home screen tap the 'Settings' icon, then choose 'Safari'. Find the 'Accept Cookies' option and set the required cookie behaviour.

Android browser
Tap the 'Internet' icon to start the browser, then press the phone's menu button. From the list of options, choose 'More', and then select 'Settings', then 'Privacy and Security'. Scroll down the resulting list and check or uncheck the 'Accept Cookies' item.

Android Chrome
Start Chrome, then open the options menu and scroll down to 'Settings', followed by 'Site setttings'. You can now choose whether to allow sites to save and read cookie data.

Windows Phone 10
In the Edge Browser, tap '...' then 'Settings'. Click on 'View advanced settings' then scroll down to the Cookies section, where you can select the required cookie behaviour.

Windows Phone 7/8
In Internet Explorer, tap 'More...' then 'Settings'. Check or clear the 'Allow cookies on my phone' item to set the required cookie behaviour.

Blackberry
Open the browser from the home screen, then press the Menu key, followed by 'Options'. Under 'Privacy & Security' you can choose whether or not to 'Accept Cookies'. Press the Menu key and select 'Save' to save your selection.

Note: Disabling cookies will prevent some websites from working correctly, and may mean that you are prompted to re-enter information that would normally have been stored in a cookie.

How Can I Delete and Remove Cookies?

Cookies are maintained by your web browser, so the method for deleting them will vary depending on which browser you are using. The method for how to clear cookies is listed below.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 - 11.0
Select the 'Tools->Internet Options' menu item, and then click the 'Delete...' button under the 'General' tab. Check the 'Cookies' option, check/uncheck other options as required and click 'Delete'.
Note - the 'Tools' option can also be accessed by clicking the 'gear' icon in Internet Explorer's toolbar.

Microsoft Edge - Windows 10
In Edge, click the three dots/lines button in the top right corner, then the history/clock button. Select 'view your browing history' then click 'Clear history' and 'show more'. Now you can delete cookies, browser history, and more.

Firefox 7.0 and newer
Select the 'Tools->Options' menu item (may be under the Firefox button) and click on the 'Privacy' tab. Click the 'remove individual cookies' link, and you will be shown a list of all cookies stored by Firefox. You can select which cookies to delete and then press 'Remove Cookies', or you can simply click 'Remove All Cookies' to delete them all.

Firefox 3.0
Select the 'Tools->Clear Recent History' menu item. Choose the time range you wish to clear, then check the 'Cookies' option, check/uncheck other options as required and click 'Clear Now'.

Google Chrome 5.0
Click the 'parallel bars' menu button, choose the 'Settings' option, then scroll down and click the 'Advanced' link. Alternatively for older versions of Chrome choose 'Options' on the 'Customize and control' menu, then open the 'Under the Bonnet' tab. In the 'Privacy and security' section, click on the 'Clear browsing data...' button then check the 'Delete cookies and other site data' option and check/uncheck other options as required. Choose the time period you wish to clear and click 'Clear browsing data'. Alternatively, to delete specific cookies, click on 'Content settings' instead of 'Clear browsing data', and then choose the 'Cookies' option. You can now tell Chrome to delete all cookies on exiting your browser session, or click on 'See all cookies and site data' to choose a particular website whose cookies you wish to delete immediately.

Apple Safari
Choose 'Preferences...' on the 'Settings' or 'Edit' menu (Windows) or the Safari menu (MacOS), then open the 'Privacy' tab and click the 'Details...' button. Individual cookies can be deleted by selecting them and clicking 'Remove' or they can all be deleted by clicking 'Remove All'.

Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad)
From the home screen tap the 'Settings' icon, then choose 'Safari'. Tap the 'Clear Cookies' option to delete all cookies, and confirm by tapping 'Clear'.