How to Change Your Cookie Settings

This page provides you with help and advice on how to change your cookie settings in various different browsers.

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small files stored by websites on your computer to make browsing the website a better experience and most are very helpful. But some can be used to track which websites you visit and these can be turned off.

There are actually two types of cookies, the first being a ‘First-Party Cookie’ which are set by the site domain listed in the address bar. The second type is a ‘Third-Party Cookie’ which come from other domain sources that has items, such as ads or images, embedded on the page.

How you turn off cookies is based on the browser you are using, and not the type of computer. So the method is slightly different for Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari and other browsers. If you use more than one type of browser then you need to check cookies on all of them.

In some browsers you can view and manage your existing cookies. You can also configure which individual websites are allowed to set cookies and how long to keep them for.

Changing Cookies in FireFox

At the top of the Firefox window, select the ‘Firefox’ button and select ‘Options’ from the drop down menu. Once this appears, select ‘Privacy’ from the panel along the top of the Options box. From the options, set to ‘Firefox will: ‘Use Custom Settings for History’. Below this, ensure that you have marked ‘Accept Cookies from Site to enable cookies and uncheck it if you wish to disable this option. You then need to choose how long cookies are allowed to be stored, the bullet points below show what each option means.

  • ‘Keep Until: They Expire’ – This means that each cookie will be removed when it reaches its expiration date – this expiration date is set by the site that sent the cookie.
  • ‘Keep Until: I Close Firefox’ – This means that the cookies that are stored on your computer will be removed when you close your Firefox browser.
  • ‘Keep Until: Ask Me Every Time’ – This means that an alert will show every time a website tries to send a cookie and asks you whether you would like to store it.

Once you have chosen your option, simply click ‘OK’ to close the Options box and to confirm your choice.

Changing Cookies in Chrome

To change cookies in Chrome you need to click the Chrome menu button, found on the far right of your browser toolbar (looks like three lines below each other). Once you have selected this, select the ‘Settings’ option from the drop down menu which will open a new tab showing all the Setting options. On this new tab, find and click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’ which can be found at the very bottom. In the ‘Privacy’ section of this option, select ‘Content Settings’ button.

Then in the ‘Cookies’ section of this option it will allow you to delete cookies, block cookies by default, allow cookies by default, keep cookies and site data by default until you quit your browser and the option to make exceptions for cookies from specific websites or domains. Below are instructions on how to do each of these options.

  • Delete Cookies – Select ‘All Cookies and Site Data’ to open the dialogue box. If you wish to delete all cookies then select the ‘Remove All’ at the bottom of the box. If you wish to delete a specific cookie then hover over the site that issued the cookie and then click on the ‘X’ that appears on the right corner of your selection. To delete cookies within a certain time period then choose to ‘Remove all Cookies Created during a Specific Time Period.
  • Block Cookies by Default – To block all cookies then select ‘Block Sites from Setting Any Data’, remember this will prevent most sites that require you to log in from working.  To block any cookies from third-parties then select the ‘Block Third-Party Cookies and Site Data’ box.
  • Allow Cookies by Default – If you wish to allow cookies then ensure that ‘Allow Local Data to be Set’ is selected. If you wish to allow only first-party cookies and not third-party cookies then select the ‘Block all Third-Party Cookies without Exception’ box.
  • Keep Cookies and Site Data by Default Until You Quit Your Browser – Chrome will allow you to automatically erase cookies when you quit your browser. To do this simply select ‘Keep Local Data Only until I Quit My Browser’ box in the ‘Content Settings’ dialogue box.
  • Make Exceptions for Cookies from Specific Websites or Domains – If you wish to vary control over cookies from specific sites or domains then select the ‘Manage Exceptions’ option. You will need to add a rule in the ‘Cookie and Site Data Exceptions’ dialogue box which can be done by selecting ‘Add a New Exception Pattern’, entering the domain name which you want to be excluded from your cookie set up and then using the menu provided to select whether that site can set Cookies.

Changing Cookies in Internet Explorer

To change cookies in Internet Explorer simply search in the search box ‘Internet Explorer’, in the list of search results select ‘Internet Explorer’. When in this page, click the ‘Tools’ button and hover over ‘Safety’, this will bring up the ‘Delete Browsing History’ option. Select this option and select the ‘Cookies’ check box before clicking on ‘Delete’.

You can block cookies by using the ‘Privacy’ tab and then under ‘Settings’ move the slider to the top to block all cookies or to the bottom to allow all cookies before clicking on ‘OK’ to confirm this decision.

Changing Cookies in Safari

In Safaris 5.1 and later to change the Cookie settings you do the following:

From Safari menu select ‘Preferences’, then select ‘Privacy’. Once you have the ‘Privacy’ box open select the preferred cookie option from the list and select ‘Done’ to save and exit.

In Safaris 5.0 and earlier to change the Cookie settings the menu options are slightly different:

From Safari menu select ‘Preferences’, then select ‘Security’. Once you have the ‘Security’ box open select the preferred cookie option from the list and select ‘Done’ to save and exit.

For all versions of Safari you can select Show Cookies and remove individual cookies already set.

Changing Cookies in Safari for iPads and iPhones

Firstly open the ‘Settings’ app on your iPad/iPhone, find the ‘Safari’ option and click on it. This will bring up the settings for the Safari on your iPad/iPhone. To enable and disable cookies simply locate the ‘Privacy’ block and change the ‘Accept Cookies’ option.

You will have three choices to choose from, these are ‘Never’, ‘Always’ and ‘From Visited’. The ‘From Visited’ option is the best option for yourself as it keeps a moderate security level, if you want the most secure option the choose the ‘Never’ option but remember that if you choose this option then you risk not being able to use a wide number of sites as they are designed to only work with cookies.

Changing Cookies in Android

To change the use of cookies on Android devices you need to firstly open the Browser using the Internet icon. Once this is open, press the Menu button on the Android device, this will bring up a list of options and from these options you need to select ‘More’ and then ‘Settings’. Scroll down the options and check or uncheck the ‘Accept Cookies’ item to match whether you want cookies to be allowed or not.

Please note that you may need to go through a slightly different process depending on what browser version you are using. 

Wednesday 16th October 2013

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