How To Clean Cookies From Your PC For Good

What are cookies used for?

Cookies comprise the information that a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, stores on a user’s computer at the request of a software running on a currently open Web page. This information usually contains the data supplied by the users themselves by filling up online forms. Many Web programs write cookies in such a way that they expire as soon as you close the browser, however there are some that may stay on for years, unless cleaned and deleted manually.

It is these cookies that become a cause of worry as time passes. Not only do they clog your system unnecessarily, but they may also pose a security hazard by saving your personal information such as username and passwords, telephone numbers, and your bank account details. To prevent these cookies from becoming a hazard for you and your system, it is recommended that you regularly remove them from the system. In this article, we are going to discuss how to block and how to remove cookies from the system.

How to Block Cookies?

You can easily block cookies from being saved on your computer by modifying your Internet Explorer settings. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, select the Internet Options command.
  3. On the Privacy tab of the Internet Options dialog box, move the slider in the Settings section up or down to control how cookies are handled on the system.

When you move the slider, a message appears on the right of the slider, giving the details of what type of data the particular setting will allow and what it will block. Read this message, and choose the option that meets your security requirements. For instance, if you want to completely block all cookies on the system, you may take the slider right to the top. This setting will not only block new cookies from being stored on the system, but will also make already existing cookies inaccessible to Web sites. This setting is good on a mission critical computer such as a file or application server in an organization.

In case you want to enjoy your Web experience in a secure way then you can make a few advanced changes to your current settings to override the current cookies settings for certain Web sites. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Privacy tab of Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced button.
  2. In the displayed Advanced Privacy Settings dialog box, modify the settings to define how first-party and third-party cookies are handled by your PC.

First party cookies may have short or long expiry time and they usually come from Web sites you view. These cookies are used to save your Web site preferences.

Third-party cookies can be harmful in nature because they are commonly sent by advertising Web sites.

How to Remove Cookies?

To remove currently stored cookies from your computer, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, select the Internet Options command.
  3. On the General tab, in the Browsing History section click the Delete button.
  4. Note: The way information is displayed here depends on the version of your Internet Explorer. These steps are for Internet Explorer 7.

  5. In the displayed Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the Delete Cookies button.

When you do this, the tool will perform a system scan and remove all cookies that are stored on your computer. On this dialog box, you may also choose to delete Temporary Internet Files, History, Form Data, and Passwords, by selecting the delete button for each option.

After you clean up the cookies and other stored Internet Explorer data, your Web site preferences will be lost.

Cookies may also save some information in the system registry. This is the reason why, after you have removed the cookies from the system, it is recommended that you clean your registry using a reliable registry cleaner tool.

This is a guest post by James Ricketts. James is a full time writer who loves to write about the errors, solutions, and various tips, tweaks, and nuances of the Windows Vista and XP registry. With his background in computers and writing he’s blended both his talents into writing helpful articles relating to various Windows and computer issues.

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