What Are Cookies?

Computer Cookies Explained

How do I Enable Cookies and Disable Cookies?

This section will tell you how to enable cookies (turning cookies on) and also how to disable them. Since cookies are maintained by your web browser, the method for enabling or disabling them will vary depending on which browser you are using.

Google Chrome
Click the 'three dots/parallel bars' menu button and choose the 'Settings' option. Scroll down to the 'Privacy and security' section, then click on 'Cookies and other site data'.

In the 'General Settings' section you can also set some overall behavior:

  • Allow all cookies - Cookies, including third-party cookies, are enabled for all sites both in normal browsing and Incognito modes.
  • Block third-party cookies in Incognito - In normal browsing, all cookies are enabled. In Incognito mode, cookies relating to the site you are visiting will be stored, but cookies from third-parties such as advertisers will be blocked.
  • Block third-party cookies - All third-party cookies from advertisers etc. will be blocked in both normal and incognito browsing, preventing personalised ads but still permitting most operations.
  • Block all cookies - no cookies are stored, preventing sites from retaining information such as your logged-in status as well as blocking third-party cookies. Some sites will not function correctly if this option is selected.
  • Clear cookies when you close all windows - when you shut down your browser, all cookies will be deleted. This will prevent advertisers tracking the sites you have visited when you next open the browser, as well as preventing some sites from remembering information such as your logged-in status.
Under 'Customised behaviors' you can override the general settings for some specific websites - for example you could always clear your amazon.com cookies when the browser is closed, or you could prevent wordpress.com from ever storing cookies.

Microsoft Edge - Windows 10+
In Edge, click the three dots/lines button in the top right corner, select 'settings' and then 'Cookies and site permissions'. Now select 'Manage and delete cookies and site data' in the main panel.

You can use the options to control general cookie behavior:

  • Allow sites to save and read cookie data - enables cookies for all sites. Disabling this will probably lead to some sites not working correctly.
  • Block third-party cookies - prevents third parties (such as advertisers) setting cookies. This will prevent some tracking, and stop personalised advertising.
  • Block/Allow/Clear on exit - overrides the above settings for specific websites, allowing you to tailor their behavior to your requirements.
On the lower half of this page you can also choose whether to allow or block cookies from specific websites.

Mozilla Firefox
Use the 'Settings' menu item (this may be under the Firefox button or 'parallel lines' menu button), then choose the 'Privacy & security' option.

In the section 'Enhanced Tracking Protection' you can select 'Custom' and then check or uncheck the 'Cookies' option to block or enable cookies on all websites. Alternatively in the section 'Cookies and Site Data' you can use the checkbox 'Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed' to clear cookies when you exit the browser - this will often mean you need to login again to any websites the next time you open your browser.

In addition, the 'Manage exceptions' option allows you to override the above settings for specific websites - for example blocking all cookies for wordpress.com, or allowing all cookies for amazon.com

Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0
Select the 'Tools->Internet Options' menu item - this may be found under the 'gearwheel' settings icon.

To control which sites are permitted to store cookies, visit the Privacy tab. Here, the 'Sites' button allows you to set whether individual websites are allowed or forbidden to set cookies. The 'Advanced' button lets you exercise finer control over the browser's behavior, choosing whether to accept, block, or prompt for cookies originating either on the website you are visiting (first party cookies) or originating from websites other than the one you are visiting (third party cookies, typically used by banner advertisements hosted on an advertiser's website).

Apple Safari
Choose 'Preferences...' on the 'Settings' or 'Edit' menu (Windows) or the Safari menu (MacOS), then open the 'Privacy' tab. Here you can set the required cookie behaviour.

Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad)
From the home screen tap the 'Settings' icon, then choose 'Safari'. Find the 'Accept Cookies' option and set the required cookie behaviour.

Android Chrome
Start Chrome, then open the options menu and scroll down to 'Settings', followed by 'Site setttings'. You can now choose whether to allow sites to save and read cookie data.

Android browser
Tap the 'Internet' icon to start the browser, then press the phone's menu button. From the list of options, choose 'More', and then select 'Settings', then 'Privacy and Security'. Scroll down the resulting list and check or uncheck the 'Accept Cookies' item to control whether cookies are permitted.

Windows Phone 10
In the Edge Browser, tap '...' then 'Settings'. Click on 'View advanced settings' then scroll down to the Cookies section, where you can select the required cookie behaviour.

Open the browser from the home screen, then press the Menu key, followed by 'Options'. Under 'Privacy & Security' you can choose whether or not to 'Accept Cookies'. Press the Menu key and select 'Save' to save your selection.

Note: Disabling cookies will prevent some websites from working correctly, and may mean that you are prompted to re-enter information that would normally have been stored in a cookie.

(Also see how to delete cookies and view cookies.)

Other useful tools at MyIPNumber.com are answers to the questions 'What is my IP Address?' and 'Where is the Geolocation of any IP Address?