How to Enable or Disable Cookies in Internet Explorer

by Aaron Parson

Internet Explorer's default settings accept some cookies, while blocking others that pose a greater potential risk to your privacy. Usually, you'll want to leave the browser's cookie settings untouched -- restricting more cookies can keep websites from working correctly, while allowing more cookies is rarely necessary. To check the current setting, or if you need to change it or create an exception for a specific site, open the Privacy tab in the Internet Options window.

Internet Explorer Cookie Settings

In Internet Explorer 11, open the **Tools** menu by clicking the gear icon, choose **Internet Options** and switch to the **Privacy** tab to see the settings dealing with cookies. The vertical slider on the Privacy tab sets which types of cookies to accept. Set to the top, Internet Explorer blocks all cookies. At the bottom, IE accepts all cookies. The settings in between block some cookies, depending on their type and use. The default setting, **Medium**, blocks [third-party cookies](http://www.ehow.com/info_10065062_first-party-vs-third-party-cookie.html) -- those set by sites you don't visit directly, such as advertisers -- without a privacy policy and those that collect personally identifying information without your "explicit consent." It also blocks first-party cookies (sites you directly visit) that collect this information without your "implicit consent."

Manual Cookie Settings

To override the slider, click **Advanced** on the Privacy tab and check **Override Automatic Cookie Handling**. You can then pick whether to allow, block or ask about each cookie, with separate settings for first-party and third-party cookies. The **Always Allow Session Cookies** option allows cookies that delete themselves when you close your browser, even if your other settings would block them.

Individual Site Exclusions

Click **Sites** on the Privacy tab to change cookie settings for specific websites. Type a site's domain, such as **google.com**, and choose either **Allow** or **Block** to add an exception to the list. Select an exception from the list and click **Remove** to erase it, or click **Remove All** to clear the list.

Delete Existing Cookies

To remove all cookies from Internet Explorer, switch to the **General** tab and click **Delete**. Check **Cookies and Website Data**, uncheck any items you don't want to erase and confirm by clicking **Delete**. Erasing specific cookies takes a bit more work. Visit the site that created the cookie you don't want, and press **F12** to open the developer tools. Switch to the **Network** tab by pressing **Ctrl-4**. On the menu bar, click the icon of a cookie with an "X" above it to **Clear Cookies for This Domain**. When you're done, press **F12** again to close the developer tools.

About the Author

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.