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How to delete cookies on Mac OS X

Posted by Lou TarDisk on 2017-04-21

 

Ever wonder how Facebook somehow knows exactly which ads to put on your news feed? Ever booked a plane ticket, only to find out your friend booked the same ticket that same day at a much lower price? How'd that happen?

Well, all internet browsers collect things called “cookies,” which could probably explain these weird occurrences that you may have thought were just coincidences.

Cookies are basically little nuggets of information specific to your browsing habits. They're based on the sites you visit and the information you enter on those sites. Your browser stores these bits of data mainly because in doing so it can your browsing experience better—they can store your preferred settings for a particular site, like language or location. Every time you visit a site, your browser will send the cookies to the site, so your browsing experience becomes smoother and more personalized.

But cookies can have their downsides. Websites that sell products—especially travel sites—will leverage the information provided by your cookies to vary their pricing models. If you spend time online shopping for expensive items, a travel website may increase its prices for you, hoping that you can afford a pricier ticket.

Even if you don’t buy things online very often, you might just think the idea of cookies and people being able to track your every move on the internet downright creepy.

So if you want to get rid of this internet personalization – whether because you're still ticked off about that expensive plane ticket or because you want to maintain a semblance of privacy – here are some handy ways to delete your keeps.

Google Chrome
  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Press Command-Shift-Delete
  3. Uncheck all the boxes that appear on your screen, except for the one that says “Cookies and other site and plugin data”
  4. Select how far back you’d like to remove cookies from the dropdown menu
  5. Click “Clear Browsing Data”

To turn off cookies:

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. In the top right of the screen, click the icon with the three dots
  3. Click Settings and navigate to “Advanced Settings”
  4. Under the Privacy section, click “Content Settings”
  5. Under the Cookies section, you can block:
    • All cookies by selecting “Block sites from setting any data”
    • Third-party cookies by selecting “Block third-party cookies and site data”
    • No cookies by selecting “Allow local data to be set”
  6. Click “Done”
Firefox
  1. Open Firefox
  2. Click the menu button in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select “History” and then “Clear Recent History”
  4. Select your time range
  5. Uncheck all the boxes except “Cookies”
  6. Click “Clear Now”

To turn off cookies:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Click the menu button in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select “Preferences” and navigate to the “Privacy” panel
  4. Set “Firefox will:” to “Use custom settings for history”
  5. Uncheck “Accept cookies from sites”
Internet Explorer
  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click the “Safety” button, and then select “Delete Browsing History”
  3. Click the box next to “Cookies”
  4. Click “Delete”

To turn off cookies:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Select the “Tools” button, and then select “Internet Options”
  3. Click the “Privacy” tab
  4. Under “Settings,” choose “Advanced” and modify your cookies preferences

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