How to Clean Cookies

What are cookies used for?

Websites usually use cookies to enhance your Internet experience. They also track your browsing activity. Many cookies are programmed to expire when you close your web browser. However, some of them do not expire for many years. Over time, these non-expiring cookies start clogging your system and may also become a security hazard because they store information about you and update your profile every time you visit the website that downloaded the cookie on your system. To prevent your PC from getting filled up by these cookies and to protect your privacy, it is recommended that you regularly remove these cookies from your system. In this article, we will discuss how to block cookies on your system. We will also discuss how to clean cookies from your system.

How to Block Cookies

Your Internet Explorer can be configured to block cookies and prevent them from cluttering your system. To block cookies on your system, in the Internet Explorer windows, open the Tools menu and select the Internet Options command. In the Internet Options dialog box, select the Privacy tab. Next, adjust the slider in the Settings section on this tab to control the way you want cookies to download on your system.

When the slider is at the lowest point, your system accepts all cookies. The permissions become more restrictive as you move the slider higher. When the slider is at its highest level, no cookie is accepted. What’s more, at this setting, even the existing cookies on your system cannot be read by websites.

Now, as the main purpose of cookies is to enhance your web browsing experience, you can override your settings manually for certain websites and allow them to copy cookies to your system.

If you want to override automatic cookie handling, then on the Privacy tab, select the Advanced button. Next, in the Advanced Privacy Settings dialog that is displayed, you can modify the setting on how first-party and third-party cookies are handled by your system. First-party cookies are copied from the websites you are currently viewing. They can have short or long expiry time. These cookies are generally useful as they help you in saving your website preferences. Third-party cookies usually come from advertising websites and are used for marketing purposes.

How to Clean Cookies

You can clean up cookies from your system by using the options available in Internet Explorer. To delete cookies, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Internet Explorer window, open the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
  2. Depending on the Internet Explorer version installed on your computer, on the General tab you may see a section with options to either delete temporary Internet Explorer files or the Browsing History.
  3. If you see the Browsing History section, select the Delete button.
  4. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box that is displayed, select the Delete Cookies button to remove cookies from your computer. You can use this dialog box to delete other types of Internet files, such as history, form data, passwords, and temporary Internet files.

Note: Remember that when you clean out the cookies, all of your preferred settings for various websites are lost.

Many third-party utilities are also available today that enable you to perform a thorough check of your system and remove all cookies from it. We also recommend that you use a registry cleaner software after you have removed the cookies using Internet Options. A reliable registry cleaner, such as PCHealthBoost, enables you to remove any malicious entries added to the registry from bad cookies. They also help you in deleting cookies and other Internet Explorer files from your system.

Cookies, although useful, can clutter your system and may also turn malicious in the hands of a hacker. To keep your PC safe from their harmful effects, you must regularly clean cookies from your system. You can do this by using the options available in your Internet Explorer. You may also use third-party utilities and registry cleaners to remove any left over cookies or files and registry entries made by them.