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How to block cookies on your browser

How to block cookies on your browser

Last updated on December 27, 2021|Published on December 24, 2021

Cookies or web cookies are small pieces of data that a website stores on your device. Most websites utilize cookies in order to improve your experience, collect analytics about user behaviour. Cookies function in the background and are not likely to cause any trouble for users. But sometimes cookies can take up space on your device or you may have privacy concerns about them. This article will help you on how to block cookies, clear cookies or block third-party cookies on your browser.

Should I block cookies on my browser?

Cookies aren’t necessarily bad, at least not first-party cookies. They help a website to function, remember your login information, browser preferences and enhance your overall experience on a website. Some cookies like third-parties cookies (set by websites other than the one you visit) can collect a lot of data from users which is used for tracking or ad-targeting. In such cases, privacy-conscious users can enable cookie blocking or at least customizing how they are set on your device is a good practice. 

Before we go further, remember that some cookies such as strictly necessary cookies are essential for a website to function. So, if you block all cookies or delete all cookies websites may not work properly. Here are some examples of what happens if you block all cookies:

  • You may not be able to automatically sign in to a site because your saved username and password is deleted.
  • Some web pages or features won’t function.
  • You may see a message on websites asking you to enable cookies for it to load.

How to block cookies on Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome and click the menu icon (upper-right corner) and select Settings 
  • Or alternatively, type chrome://settings in your search bar
  • Now select Privacy and security
  • Click on Cookies and other site data
  • Under the ‘General settings’ you can select Block all cookies
How to block cookies on Chrome
  • Under the ‘Customised behaviours’ you can further customize your cookie preferences
  • You can Add websites under Always clear cookies when windows are closed
  • You can also Add websites under Sites that can never use cookies 

Clear cookies on Chrome

  • Under the Privacy and security tab, click on Clear browsing data
  • In the dialog window, select a time range and enable Cookies and other site data
  • Now click on Clear Data
How to block cookies on Chrome
  • Another method to clear cookies is to let the browser delete cookies every time you close your window. To do that,
  • Click on Cookies and other site data under Privacy and Security tab
  • Then enable Clear cookies and site data when you close all windows

Block third-party cookies on Chrome

  • Under the Privacy and security tab, click on Cookies and other site data
  • Under the ‘General settings’ you will find the option to enable Block third-party cookies or
  • You can also click on Block third-party cookies
How to block third-party cookies on Chrome

How to block cookies on Safari

  • Open Safari browser. On your Mac’s menu bar on top select Safari and click Preferences
  • You will see the Privacy tab open, now enable Block all cookies
  • In the pop window, select Block All
How to block cookies on Safari

Clear cookies on Safari

  • Under the Privacy tab, click on Manage Website Data
  • You can select a website and click on Remove to delete that site’s cookies
  • Or click Remove All to delete all cookies stored in your browser
How to block cookies on Safari

Block third-party cookies on Safari

  • By default, Safari blocks third-party cookies with Prevent cross-site tracking feature enabled
  • You can also enable Allow privacy-preserving measurement of ad effectiveness
How to block third-party cookies on Safari

How to block cookies on Firefox

  • Open Firefox browser and click on the menu icon (top-right corner) corner and select Settings
  • Or alternatively type about:preferences in the search bar.
  • Click Privacy & Security on the left sidebar
  • Under ‘Enhanced Tracking Protection’ select Custom
  • In the Cookies dropdown list, you can select from multiple options
How to block cookies on Firefox

Clear cookies on Firefox

  • Under the Privacy & Security tab, scroll down to Cookies and Site Data
  • You can click on Clear Data to clear all cookies on your browser
How to block cookies on Firefox
  • You can click on Manage Data to find the list of websites that have stored cookies on your browser. 
  • You can select a website and click on Remove Selected to delete that site’s cookies or
  • Or click Remove All to delete all cookies stored in your browser

Block third-party cookies on Firefox

  • By default, Firefox blocks third-party tracking cookies, social media trackers crypto miners
  • To enable additional settings, under ‘Enhanced Tracking Protection’ select Custom
  • In the Cookies dropdown list, you can select All third-party cookies
  • Note: If you select All cookies, websites may not function as intended on your browser
  • You can also select Cross-site tracking cookies or cross-site cookies from the options
How to block third-party cookies on Firefox

How to block cookies on Microsoft Edge

  • Open Edge browser and click on the menu icon (top-right corner) and select Settings
  • Or alternatively, type edge://settings/profiles in the search bar
  • Now select Cookies and Site permissions
  • Then click on Manage and delete cookies and site data
  • Under ‘Cookies and data stored’, Disable Allow sites to save and read cookie data
  • You can also navigate to Block and click on Add to add custom sites from saving and reading cookies on your device
  • You can also add websites under Clear on exit, to delete cookies whe you close the browser
How to block cookies on Microsoft Edge

Clear cookies on Microsoft Edge

  • Under ‘Cookies and data stored’, click on See all cookies and site data
  • You can select a website and delete the individual cookies listed
  • Or click Remove All to delete all cookies stored in your browser
  • Or click on Remove Third-Party Cookies to remove only third-party cookies stored in your browser
How to block cookies on Microsoft Edge

Block third-party cookies on Microsoft Edge

  • Under the Cookies and Site permissions tab, open Manage and delete cookies and site data
  • Under ‘Cookies and data stored’, enable Block third-party cookies
How to block third-party cookies on Microsoft Edge

How to block cookies on iOS

  • From the home screen, navigate to Settings
  • Scroll down and choose the Safari application
  • Then turn on Block All Cookies
  • In the pop-up dialog box, tap on the Block All button
How to block cookies on iOS

How to block cookies on Android

  • Open the Chrome browser, select menu (top-right corner), then select Settings
  • Scroll down and select Site settings
  • Now click on Cookies
  • Enable Block all cookies or select other options that suit your needs. 
How to block cookies on Android

If you are a website owner or publisher, you need to be aware of privacy laws such as the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive that affect cookie usage. As per the cookie laws in the EU, websites are required to obtain consent from users before deploying cookies on their device, for cookies other than strictly necessary cookies. This provision is usually referred to as GDPR cookie consent. To comply with GDPR, you can implement a cookie banner on your website using the CookieYes consent management platform (CMP), used by over 1.2 million websites worldwide.

How to block cookies on your website

With CookieYes, you can 

  • Add a fully customizable cookie consent banner 
  • Block third-party cookies automatically till you obtain user consent 
  • Check cookies used on your website with automatic scanning
  • Record user consent for demonstrating proof of consent
  • Generate custom privacy policy and cookie policy for your website

FAQ

Should I block cookies?

For regular users, cookies improve the browsing experience and help websites to work efficiently. However, some cookies such as third-party cookies or tracking cookies raise privacy concerns because of the amount of data they collect and how the data can be used by third parties without the user’s explicit consent. So, if you don’t prefer to have targeted ads or don’t want to be tracked across domains, you can block third-party cookies or enable enhanced protection on your browser.

What does it mean to block all cookies?

Block all cookies means you will block any cookies from being set on your browser when you visit websites. This will include all first-party cookies (set by the domain you visit) and third-party cookies (set by the domain that you did not visit). If you block all cookies, there are a few downsides. You may not be able to save products inside a shopping cart between sessions, you may have to log into a site every time you open and close your browser, you may not get tailored ads, but may see irrelevant ads more frequently.

What does blocking all cookies do?

Cookies are small text files created by websites you visit. Websites use cookies to deliver a good user experience, remember your preferences and login information etc. Blocking cookies can result in websites not functioning properly on your browser. Some websites will not load certain functionalities or features or may behave differently. As a general rule, we can block specific cookie such as third-party cookies instead of blocking all as certain essential cookies provides for a more convenient browsing experience.

Do cookies store personal information?

Cookies allow websites to store information on a user’s device and retrieve it later. Sites cannot retrieve any information from other cookie files or other data stored on the device. They can store personal information such as your name, email address, or phone number and in some cases can help identify you based on your browser and internet device.

Should I block third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are used to track website users across the web and across different websites, to create an advertising profile. Since these cookies are set by third parties and have the potential to become intrusive.

If you are okay with cross-site tracking and displayed ads while browsing, you don’t have to block third-party cookies. But, if you don’t want third parties like ad networks to collect data about you or don’t want to be shown ads, you can block third-party cookies on your browser settings. Note that most web browsers turn off third-party cookies by default when used in incognito mode.

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