How to Clear Cookies
Step by Step Guide

How to Clear Cookies

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Here's something you probably don't think about often: clearing tracking cookies from your web browser cache.

If you're one of the 3,575,122,575 internet users in the world (thanks, Internet Live Stats) who browse through some type of social media platform, check their e-mail, purchase items, and more, you may want to consider getting rid of cookie files.

While you don't need to clear browser caches often, you may encounter instances where the cached data in the cookies will cause conflict with a website, just because the website you frequently use has been updated. The worst part? If you neglect to clear cache data, over time tracking cookies can even affect computer performance.

Never fear: I'm about to tell you how to clear internet cookies from your web browser cache.

You may also be wondering: are these browser cookies eating up space on my hard drive?

What Are Internet Cookies?

Before I delve into a step-by-step guide on how to clear the cache, I should first explain what internet cookies are. Unfortunately, they aren't edible, but they are tiny packets of data that contain your information regarding your activity on a website. Cookies, which are stored in a single text file, exist to help you access a site more quickly and efficiently.

Internet cookies do take up space, but it's minimal - just a few KB each. However, like a penny, the sizes can add up on your hard drive. On top of that, cookies contain your user data, so your privacy could be at stake (unless you rely on incognito windows, which prevents your device from storing anything in the browser history).

As for the content cookies store? The content varies from site to site, but cookies don't normally contain any personal information. If they do contain personal information, it's due to your input on a site's form. However, the information is coded in a certain way so that any third-party cannot obtain the information.

So what is an example of the information contained within a cookie? Well, your username and passwords (if you have a lot of passwords - and you should - you should consider a password manager), what your purchase history is on Amazon, and your site preferences all are stored within cookies. However, do note that there are multiple types of cookies available, each with a unique behavior. Some may be erased once you exit the internet browser, while some may remain.

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What Does Deleting Cookies Do?

When you delete internet cookies (or "clearing cookies"), you're deleting cookies that you have gathered from websites on the browser. Essentially, you're wiping away your browsing habits and potentially personal information.