Have you ever wondered how the advertisements on your browser are so accurate to what you require? Or, you know about it and are worried about advertisers snooping in your personal information. Whatever may be the concern, you might find a cure to your cause of worry down here.

Now, here is a concept that has been going around for two decades on the internet, but until recently was rarely relevant to a user. It is browser cookies. You might have seen references to “cookies” on various websites and simply shrugged and moved on, not giving it a second thought.

Cookies – a brief overview

Many websites now actively inform visitors that they use cookies, and some sites even ask you to agree to the use of cookies. Browser cookies are bits and pieces of information that your web browser saves in the form of a text file.

The computer handling a website (called a server) sends your browser some information to store. The next time you open that web page, the server will ask the browser for that stored information and present new data accordingly.

This information can be regarding the log-in form, a customized look on a web page or your shopping preferences. For example, saved items in your shopping cart or the recently viewed products in an e-commerce website.

The chief source of worry among users is the third-party cookies, or when your preferences become public with the advertisers on the website you were browsing. It is incumbent upon the website to mention the details about those cookies in their privacy policy and a majority of them do. Therefore, it lies with you how and what information you choose to share online.

Thankfully, every browser offers you a chance to regulate the cookie usage and delete them if you wish to. Here are the steps to do so in various browsers.

Method 1: Manage and Delete Browser Cookies in Google Chrome (v23+)

Memory reservations aside, Google Chrome is unarguably the most popular browser among internet users. There is a high probability that you are reading this using a Chrome browser. Therefore, it is imperative that Chrome users become aware of the cookie regulation process, which is remarkably similar in other versions of the browser.

Step 1. Open the Chrome menu

open-chrome-menu

In the top right corner of your Chrome browser, you will find the menu icon.It is three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other, like a hamburger. It has replaced the wrench icon in the earlier versions of Google Chrome.

Click on the menu icon.

Step 2. Click on Settings

click on settings

From the drop-down menu, select “Settings”.

Step 3. Go to Advanced Settings

go to advanced settings

A Settings window will open in a new tab. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “Show advanced settings”.

Step 4. Click on Content Settings

click on content settings

Under the Privacy section, click on the “Content Settings…” button.

Step 5. Manage Cookies

manage cookies

You can deal with the cookies using four alternatives.

The options may be written in technical wording that may not be very easily understood. Here’s what the four options mean:

  • Save all the cookies.
  • Keep the cookies but delete them as soon as you close the browser.
  • Block all the cookies (not the best way to go).
  • Keep the cookies from websites, but block them from advertisements.

manage cookies chrome

Select the option most agreeable to you. Don’t feel compelled to choose the option Chrome lists as “recommended”.

Step 6. Delete Cookies

Remove individual cookies

remove individual cookie

To delete the cookies already in your device, click on the “All cookies and site data…” button.

remove individual cookie chrome

A “Cookies and site data” window will open, where you can individually delete the cookies.

Remove all cookies

remove all cookies chrome

remove all cookie chrome

A “Cookies and site data” window will open, where you can  click on the “Remove all” button to delete them entirely.

Shortcut method

shortcut method chrome

Go back to the Settings tab and click on the “Clear browsing data…” button under the Privacy section or press “Ctrl + Shift + Delete” to open the “Clear browsing data” window directly.

shortcut method

In the “Clear browsing data” window, select the checkbox beside “Cookies and other site and plugin data” set the time range to “the beginning of time” and click on the “Clear browsing data” button. This will delete all cookies stored on your device as of the moment you click the button.

Method 2: Manage and Delete Browser Cookies in Mozilla Firefox (v40+)

Firefox, the preferred web browser of critics who view Chrome objectively, is next in line after Chrome in its user base. Like any great web interface, its functioning is remarkably consistent even in the latest versions of the web browser.

Step 1. Open the Firefox menu

open firefox menu

Similar to Chrome, the menu icon is three stacked lines (looking a bit like a hamburger) and is found in the top right corner of the browser. Click on it to open the drop-down menu.

Step 2. Select Options

select options

From the drop-down menu, select the “gear” icon for Options.

Step 3. Select Privacy section

select privacy section

The Options window will open in a new tab. Click on the “Privacy” section in the left panel.

Step 4. Change history settings

change history settings

Under the History section, select the option “Use custom settings for history”.

Step 5. Manage cookies

manage cookies firefox

Firefox allows you to accept or reject cookies from websites entirely as well as creating a custom setting.

For third-party cookies, you’ll see three options in the drop-down menu. You can choose to:

  • Always accept third-party cookies.
  • Accept third-party cookies only from websites you visited.
  • Never allow third-party cookies.

cmanage cookie firefox

Make a choice as per your wish.

Step 6. Delete cookies

Remove individual cookies

remove individual cookie firefox

While in the Privacy section, you can delete all existing cookies from your device. Click on the “Show Cookies” button to open the Cookies window.

remove selected firefox

In the Cookies window, select the individual website to delete its cookies.

Remove all cookies

remove all cookies firefox

remove all cookie firefox

In the Cookies window, click on “Remove All” to delete all the cookies.

Shortcut method

The shortcut method to clear cookies is common in nearly all the web browsers.

shortcut method firefox

Press “Ctrl + Shift + Delete” to open the Clear All History window.

In the Clear All History window, select the checkbox beside “Cookies”, set the time range to “Everything” and click on “Clear Now”.

Method 3: Manage and Delete Browser Cookies in Internet Explorer (v9+)

If you are still using Internet Explorer, patience is probably your strong suit. Deleting cookies in Internet Explorer is not exactly the most organic process. Follow the steps closely if you wish to delete cookies in Internet Explorer.

Step 1. Click on the Tools icon

click on tools icon

In the top-right corner of the screen, click on the gear-shaped “Tools” icon.

Step 2. Select Internet Options

click internet options

From the drop-down menu, select “Internet Options”. The Internet Options window will popup.

Step 3. Manage cookies

manage cookies ie

Click on the “Privacy” tab in the Internet Options window. Under the Settings section, the options to manage cookies range from “Accept All Cookies” to “Block All Cookies”.

manage cookies

Move the bar to the desired cookie control.

Block all third-party cookies

block all third party coookies

In the Privacy tab under the Settings section, click on the “Advanced” button to block only third-party cookies.

block all third party cookies ie

In the Advanced Privacy Settings window, click on the checkbox that says “Override automatic cookie handling”.

select ok block third party cookies

Under Third-party Cookies, select the “Block” option and click “OK”.

block all third party ie

Now the cookie control bar in the Privacy tab will show custom settings. Click on “Apply” to activate it.

Step 4. Delete cookies

delete cookies ie

Go to the “General” tab in the Internet Options pop-up to delete cookies.

delete cookies ie

In the Browsing history section, click on the “Delete” button to open Delete Browsing History window. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl + Shift + Delete“, a shortcut to open the Delete Browsing History window.

delete cookies ie

In the Delete Browsing History window, check the “Cookies and website data” option and click on “Delete”.

Delete selective cookies

delete selective cookies

In the Browsing history section, click on the “Settings” button.

delete selective cookies ie

In the Website Data Settings window under Temporary Internet Files tab, click on the “View files” button.

delete selected cookies

A window of cookies will open. Delete text files only. A text file’s icon looks like a notepad page folded slightly from the top.

Method 4: Manage and Delete Browser Cookies in Opera

Opera users are mainly the loyalists, who have stuck with this browser for a long period of time, back when it was the hottest thing in the browser market. If you wish to delete cookies in Opera, it’s more or less similar to the process in Chrome.

Step 1. Open the Opera menu

open opera

In the top-left corner of Opera, you will find the menu button with the name of the browser and one-fourth of the logo. Click on that button.

Step 2. Click on Settings

click settings

In the drop-down menu, select the “Settings” option.

Step 3. Select privacy & security

privacy and security

Settings will open in a new tab. From the left panel, select the “Privacy & security” tab.

Step 4. Manage cookies

manage cookies opera

Scroll down the window to the Cookies section and select your respective choice.

  • Allow cookies
  • Keep the cookies until you close the browser.
  • Block all the cookies
  • Keep the cookies from first-party websites, but block third-party cookies.

Step 5. Delete cookies

Remove individual cookies

remove individual cookie opera

Click on the “All cookies and site data…” button.

remove individual cookies opera

In the Cookies and Site Data window, you can remove individual cookies.

Remove all cookies

remove all cookies opera

In the Cookies and Site Data window, you can remove all cookies by clicking on the “Delete all” button.

Shortcut method

shortcut method opera

Under the Privacy section, click on the “Clear browsing data…” button or press “remove-all-cookies-opera” to open the “Clear browsing data” window.

the-shortcut method opera

In the Clear browsing data window, select the checkbox beside “Cookies and other site and plugin data”, set the time range to “the beginning of time” and click on “Clear browsing data”.

Method 5: Manage and Delete Browser Cookies in Safari

Apple’s flagship web browser is now discontinued for Windows, but there is still a dedicated community of users who prefer Safari. Deleting cookies in Safari is probably the easiest of all browsers, with less twists and turns.

Step 1. Open the Settings menu

open settings menu

In the top-right corner of the browser, there is a “gear” icon that opens the general Safari settings. Click on the icon.

Step 2. Click on Preferences

click on preferences

From the drop-down menu, select “Preferences”.

Step 3. Click on Privacy tab

click on privacy tab

A new Preferences window will open. Click on the “Privacy” tab with its icon shaped like a silhouette of a man.

Step 4. Manage cookies

manage cookies safari

In the Privacy tab under the Block Cookies section, there are three choices available to you.

  • Block only the third-party cookies or advertisers.
  • Block all the cookies, always.
  • Never block any cookies.

manage cookie safari

Choose the best option for yourself, although the first is advisable.

Step 5. Delete cookies

Remove individual cookies

You can choose whether to delete all the cookies at once or individually.

remove individual cookie safari

Click on the “Details” button to go to the list of all the cookies from different websites.

remove individual cookies safari

Select the website whose cookies you wish to delete and click on the “Remove” button.

Remove all cookies

remove all cookies safari

Select the “Remove All” button to delete all of the cookies. A prompt will appear asking you whether you are sure or not.

remove all cookie safari

Click on “Remove Now”.

Alternate method

Another method to delete cookies is to delete all the content including cache, history, etc.

alternate method

In the Privacy tab, click on the “Remove All Website Data…” button.

alternate method safari

Another prompt will appear, asking if you are sure. Click on “Remove Now”.