Unlike an actual cookie’s delicious and soft enjoyableness, online cookies are a bit bland. Trying to eat them would be an act of insanity. Regardless, they are helpful for a small handful of reasons.
If internet privacy is your thing, it’s best to get them off your computer. Below, we will provide you with the ultimate guide to clearing cookies on any browser and operating system.
Before we get too far into the clearing party, it’s best to know what you are clearing. Cookies contain small bits of data about your visitation of a website:
Cookies don’t have too much data on you. But the existence of cookies can change your web experience. Those who emphasize privacy will want to remove them after every session.
There are also two types of cookies:
Cookies (usually) make your web experience better. This is because having cached images and browser data prevents you from loading the entire page. You’ve already got the page pre-loaded on your system, saving you time.
Regardless, tracking cookies store information on you, which isn’t something smiled upon by privacy-conscious individuals.
Chrome, Google’s browser, is known for gathering a lot of personal data. They work across all major operating systems and have a relatively straightforward process for clearing data.
The advanced options on the right allow for a deeper clean. The deeper clean is excellent if you plan on moving your information away from Google. You can remove the following with advanced options:
Your basic settings will clear browsing history, cookies, and cached files.
There is no search function available on mobile chrome browsers. Follow these steps to get around these limitations:
If Chrome is your regular, you can also take the opportunity to block all third-party and first-party cookies under general settings. You can also request always clear cookies when windows are closed for extra security.
There are a wide variety of Chromium-based browsers in the best browsers blog. You’ll find that many Chromium browsers have the same general steps. After all, they come from Google’s code.
Brave, a well-known privacy browser, follows the same process. The difference is that their selection to clear data is under the “clear browsing data” section under Security and Privacy.
You will notice that clearing browsing data is pretty similar among these platforms. Firefox requires a few fewer clicks to get this done.
The desktop version of Firefox follows these steps:
To clear your history, you will need to scroll down a bit further until you see “Clear history.” Annoyingly, Firefox decided it was good to put these under two separate sections.
This screen also allows you to control your cookies and whether you want to keep any history. The “strict” advanced protection blocks most security, while a drop-down menu under the history section enables you to prevent all history tracking. Regardless, you will still need to clear your cookies.
The mobile edition of Firefox tweaks your steps a little bit:
The mobile version deletes all browsing data, not just cookies, unlike the desktop version.
Opera is an odd duck in the browsing world because it has several iterations. Whether you use Opera GX (the gaming one) or Opera Mini, clearing cookies doesn’t change.
The desktop version of Opera takes a lot of cues from Chrome but is comparatively easier to spot:
Much like Chrome, the “Cookies and other site data” header allows you to choose what cookies to block and whether you want automatic deletion after every use. However, Opera is not a privacy browser, as it does track your information.
Opera’s mobile steps require a few more taps:
Microsoft is one of the larger companies known for data collection. Regardless, Edge is a drastic improvement over Internet Explorer.
Edge is one of the more unintuitive experiences when it comes to clearing your desktop browser:
The first set of steps will only clear your cookies, not your browsing data. You can also set up strict tracking settings and automatically remove browsing data using the same screen.
The only thing that changes with Edge’s mobile browser is the position of your options menu:
Because Apple doesn’t like to share, these steps only apply to iOS and macOS. Safari discontinued support for Windows a few years ago. However, you can still get Safri on Windows if you have the tech skills.
If you are looking for a comparable Safari alternative, Opera is a good bet. However, neither of these are privacy browsers.
Because Apple has to be unique, you’ll find Safari’s browser clearing steps to be a bit different:
Unlike other Mobile devices, the typical way to clear internet data from Safari starts from outside of the browser:
The general browsing data clearing request from outside the advanced tab will only remove some information. For a completely clean iPhone or iPad, you need to scroll to the very bottom.
To clear cookies on Internet Explorer, you can follow these steps:
If you’ve still kept around Internet Explorer (for some reason), you’ve got a relic on your hands. While it might be entirely sensible for you to rush it to the museum, there are still honestly a few computers that exist with Internet Explorer on them. Nearly 5% of internet users still use the platform.
If you can, try and make the change to Linux in these cases. Linux is excellent for older computers, given its bare-bones focus. It also provides more security. You can also download a minimalist browser for further performance improvements.
Your internet cache and your cookies cover a wide range of things. But the key comes back to privacy-conscious individuals keeping large corporations from tracking them.
Cookies contain a minimal amount of data. On sites like Facebook or Google, that data is more comprehensive.
This data can include location information. This information comes from the “site preferences” settings you set up from the beginning to allow location-based tracking.
Industrious hackers combine this information with connection and traffic logs to gather information about you. Eventually, they can use this information to hijack your accounts.
Clearing your cache also has the added benefit of removing unnecessary website data. Systems are constantly bogged down with cached data to make websites load faster. This situation doesn’t help if you don’t plan on returning to that site.
The removal of cookies is packaged alongside the deletion of search history and cached web content. While keeping these can improve your browsing experience, they expose you to certain risks.
Privacy-conscious individuals should always clear after each browser use. For further protection, activate your browser’s automatic cookie deletion feature.
For further protection, always use The Fast VPN’s data encryption features. They prevent traffic logs and connection logs from being combined with these cookies, providing you with the best protection online.
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