Although the exact method used can vary from one web browser to the next, it is typically quite easy to delete cookies from your computer. You can go into the "tools" or "options" menu of your web browser and look at what controls and features it provides. Most of them allow you to simply choose to remove all or some of the cookies on your system and then delete them with the push of a button. Some browsers also let you choose to have them deleted every time you exit the program, or to only keep cookies from certain websites.
How Cookies Work
Cookies are files on a computer that help websites know if you have visited them, what you did while there, and other bits of information that can help them make your experience more enjoyable. You may not want a website to know you were there, however, and so you might not want a trace on your computer of what you did online. In these situations, you should typically delete your cookies; thankfully, most modern web browsers make doing so quite easy.
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Turning Them All Off
Blocking Specific Sites
Some modern browsers actually let you deny third-party cookies selectively, while allowing those from particular websites to remain. You can usually do this through a menu in your web browser, though you may need to go into some "advanced options" to set up specific sites or types of files that are blocked. This lets functions like shopping carts continue working, while also preventing advertisers from tracking your browsing sessions across multiple sites. In many cases, this eliminates the need to delete cookies entirely, but in other situations, you may still want to remove them.
Types of Deletion
Modern web browsers typically allow for both selective and complete deletion. If you remove them selectively, then you can choose cookies from particular sites or services to delete, while keeping others. Total or complete removal eliminates all of them from your computer. You can also typically delete cookies from your computer manually, by going into the folder they are kept in and erasing them.
Recent versions of the Windows® Operating System (OS) use Internet Explorer® as the default web browser. You can easily delete cookies from this browser, if you use a modern Windows® OS, by going into the "Start" menu, selecting the "Control Panel," and then clicking on the "Network and Internet" options. In this menu, you can usually see "Delete Browsing History and Cookies" or a similar option, which then lets you choose what you want to remove from your computer.
Other Web Browsers
In many versions of Firefox®, on the other hand, you can simply go to the "Tools" menu within the program, select "Clear Recent History," and make sure the "Cookies" box is checked. A similar procedure can be followed for Opera®, Chrome®, and other web browsers through their "Tools" or "Options" menus. You can also use special software specifically designed to delete cookies, which can find all of them on your computer and remove them with a single application. Although this may be more than you need, it can simplify removal if you use multiple browsers on a single computer.
In many web browsers, you can choose to have the program delete cookies off your computer every time you close it. This option is usually found in the same menu that lets you manually remove them. By using this, you can keep your computer clean without taking the time to delete the files yourself. You can also set up many browsers to keep files for a particular period of time, such as two weeks, and then delete them automatically.