How to Delete Cookies From My Computer

By Mary Smith

Cookies are deposited by websites and stored on the computer.
i Httpp image by YvesBonnet from

Cookies are small and specific files that websites deposit on your computer, hoping to match that file to the one on the website the next time you visit. According to digital marketing advisory, cookies monitor visitor count and allow companies to evaluate their consumer base and use "behavioral targeting" and "personalization" to improve their product. Cookies remember data like billing addresses, names and birthdays, saving the consumer a lot of time, since forms that were filled out before do not have to be completed over and over again. Cookies are not spyware or malware and do not compromise the security of the information they save. However, the downside is that cookies can also slow the speed of your computer and take up disk space. The process to delete cookies varies by browser type.

Google Chrome for Mac Select "Chrome" in the left corner on the main tab at the top of the page. Scroll down to and click on "Clear Browsing Data." Peruse the choices on the menu, which include "Clear browsing history" (stored URLs of websites), "Clear download history" (records of files you have downloaded, such as PDFs), "Empty the cache" (stored versions of the websites you visited), "Delete cookies and other site data" (delete all cookies), "Clear saved passwords" (saved log-in usernames and passwords), and "Clear saved form data" (addresses, names). Decide how far back, chronologically, you want to delete the cookies and click either "Last hour," "Last day," "Last week," "Last four weeks" or "Everything."

Google Chrome for PC Click on the "Tools" tab at the top and scroll down to "Options." Choose the "Under the Bonnet" tab. Select "Privacy" and find "Clear browsing data," and follow the above instructions.

Internet Explorer 8 and under for PC Leave any Internet Explorer pages you have open. Click the "Start" tab at the bottom left of the screen. If using Windows Vista, write "inetcpl.cpl" in the Start Search. For Windows XP, select "Run" and type the same thing in the text box. Click "Enter." Select "Settings" in the "Browsing History" under the "General" heading in the Internet Properties window that pops up. Press "View Files" in the "Temporary Internet Files and History Settings" window. Choose and delete the ".txt" files, if any appear, in the dialogue box that pops up.

Internet Explorer 5 for Mac Open an Internet Explorer window. Click on "Preferences" on the overarching tab at the top. Click on "Receiving Files" and choose "Cookies." Pick the ones you want deleted and click "Delete."

Mozilla for PC Open a webpage and select "Tools" from the main tab on top. Select "Manage Stored Cookies" and either choose all the cookies to be deleted or pick individual ones.

Mozilla Firebird/Firefox for PC Open a webpage and select "Tools" from the main tab on top. Scroll down to "Options." Click "Privacy" under "Options." In Firebird, select "Cookies" and then "Stored Cookies" and either delete all, or just individual cookies. In Mozilla, click on the "Cookies Panel" under "Privacy" and select "Show Cookies." Decide to either delete all or just individual cookies.

Mozilla for Mac Pull up a Mozilla page. Choose "Tools" on the tab at the top. Click "Manage Stored Cookies" and select the cookies you want deleted from the list, or just delete them all.

Safari Pull up any webpage in the Safari browser. Select "Safari" at the top left and scroll down to "Preferences." Click on the padlock, the "Security" button. Choose "Show Cookies" and choose the desired cookies to be deleted. Set your cookie-saving preferences under the "Security" tab for future maintenance.