My Cookies Won't Delete (4 Steps)

By Michael Davidson

A cookie is a small file implanted on your computer system by a website after you visit it. The file is used to help save your personal settings on that site, keep track of your site usage and, at times, collect other data for advertising purposes. Cookies can take up sizable memory over time if they are not deleted. Getting rid of cookies that won't delete properly requires troubleshooting.

Step 1

Shut down your Internet browser. Cookies remain active while you are surfing the Web so attempting to delete cookies while the web browser is active may result in cookies being missed.

Step 2

Run an antivirus scan on your computer by opening your antivirus software and selecting "Scan." A virus or software program may be interfering with your system's ability to delete various files. The program may also delete some cookies itself if it detects that the cookie is used to track your Internet activity.

Step 3

Open your web browser again and click on the "Tools" menu and select "Options." Internet Explorer users can click on the "General" Tab and choose "Delete Files" and then "Delete Cookies." Firefox users click on the "Privacy" tab and choose "Show Cookies." Click on "Remove All Cookies" to delete them all.

Step 4

Install and run a system cleaner on your computer. There are multiple free programs online such as CCleaner and Zappit System Cleaner (see Resources) that automatically delete cookies that may be otherwise difficult to remove, along with other temporary files, to improve system performance.