XDA Basics: How to Clear Cookies on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and other browsers
If you spend a lot of time on the internet, we’re sure you’ll have heard of cookies. Cookies are essentially pieces of website data that are stored on your computer by the web browser you use. Cookies are important since they are responsible for remembering your activity history on websites, but just like the edible kind, too many of them can be bad for your health — or your computer’s health in this case.
The primary function of cookies is to make sure your browsing experience isn’t reset every time you open a website. For example, if you added something to your cart on Amazon and closed the browser, the item will still remain in your cart the next time you open it, thanks to cookies. They’re also responsible for keeping you signed in on all the websites you visit. But cookies can also be a threat to your privacy as they track your usage continuously. So it’s always good to know how to clear cookies from your web browser from time to time. It can even speed up your browsing experience, get rid of some bugs, or make some free space on your computer.
We’re going to tell you how you can clear cookies from your PCs, laptops, or even your smartphones from time to time so as to ensure a safe and snappy web browsing experience. Before we begin, note that clearing cookies will sign you out of all websites you’re logged into so it’s wise to use a good password manager to make the process of signing in easier later on.
How to clear cookies on popular web browsers
Clearing cookies is a straightforward process and only involves a few clicks through different menus. Depending on the web browser you use, the steps to clear cookies may differ, so make sure you’re following the right procedure.
Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers out there and is used widely across different platforms and devices including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and of course, ChromeOS found on Chromebooks. If you use Google Chrome, you can clear your cookies by doing the following:
- Open Chrome on your computer and select the three dots on the top-right corner of your screen. Then, select Settings.
- Scroll down to Privacy and Security and choose Clear browsing data.
- On this window, select Cookies and other site data. You can also select to clear your browsing history and cache if you want to.
- After selecting the required option, click on Clear data and you’re done.
Ever since Microsoft introduced Edge as the replacement for Internet Explorer, it’s one of the most improved browsers and has caught up with the competition. It’s based on the Chromium engine which means you can continue to use extensions from Google Chrome along with some other common features. If you use Microsoft Edge as your primary web browser, here’s how you can clear cookies –
- Open Edge on your computer and select the three dots at the top-right corner of the browser window. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
- On the left panel, select Privacy, search, and services.
- Scroll down to Clear browsing data and click on Choose what to clear.
- Here, select Cookies and other site data along with the other options if you want to.
- Click on Clear now and you’re good to go.
Firefox is another of those browsers that have been around for a long time and is one of the most popular web browsers on Windows. If you use Firefox, this is how to clear cookies –
- Fire up Firefox on your computer and click on the three horizontal lines on the top-right corner of your screen.
- Select Options from the drop-down menu.
- From the menu on the left, select Privacy & Security.
- Scroll down till you find Cookies and Site Data and click on Clear Data and then again on Clear. Your cookies are now cleared.
The Opera browser has been around for a while and is also quite popular among the others we’ve mentioned above. If you use Opera on a daily basis as your web browser of choice, here’s how you can clear your cookies:
- Open the Opera browser on your computer and select the Easy setup icon on the top-right corner.
- Scroll down till you find Privacy & Security and next to Browsing data, you’ll find a Clear option. Click on it.
- In the window that pops up, select Cookies and other site data and click on Clear data. That’s pretty much it.
If you use a MacBook or any macOS-based device for that matter, the chances are you use Safari as your default web browser since it is the most optimized browser for macOS. If that’s indeed the case, here’s how you can clear cookies on Safari:
- Open Safari on your macOS/Windows device and select Safari on the menu bar up-top.
- Select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Head over to the Privacy section and next to Cookies and website data, you will find an option to Manage Website Data. Click on it.
- You can choose to individually delete the entries in the list, or you can just select the Remove All option and then click on Done. You’re good to go.
How to Clear Cookies on Android
Google Chrome is the default web browser that comes pre-installed on almost every Android smartphone so that’s going to be the one we’ll be covering here. If you use a different browser, the steps should remain similar. Here’s how you can clear cookies on your Android smartphone –
- Open the Google Chrome app and select the three-dot menu from the top-right corner.
- Next, head over to Privacy and security.
- Here, you will find an option named Clear browsing data.
- Select it, and tick the checkbox next to Cookies and site data and select Clear data. Your cookies are now cleared.
How to Clear Cookies on iPhone
Just like how Chrome is the default browser on Android, Safari is the default browser that comes pre-installed on every iPhone. While you can change your default browser to third-party apps on the latest version of iOS, a lot of people prefer sticking to Safari. If you’re one of those people, here’s how to clear cookies on Safari on iOS:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down till you see Safari.
- Select it and scroll down once more to find Clear History and Website Data.
- Tap on the option and when prompted, select Clear History and Data, and your cookies will be cleared.
These are the ways you can clear cookies on your devices no matter what browser you use. As stated earlier, cookies aren’t necessarily bad and are even advantageous in a fair few scenarios like bringing you back to the same place on a webpage even after closing and reopening your browser, or keeping you signed in so you don’t have to enter your passwords repeatedly. So you don’t have to clear your cookies too frequently. But once in a while, if you feel your browser is slowing down or things aren’t just loading properly on your browser, it’s a good idea to clear cookies and refresh your browser to try to speed things up.