Remove cookies from Chrome, Edge and Firefox

Too many cookies stored in your browser can negatively affect your browser performance. It is very good practise to now and then remove them from your browser. Tech-Wales explains how you can remove cookies from Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

What are cookies?

Cookies, you don’t see them but they are always present when you surf with your browser. A cookie is a piece of code that the web administrator can install in your browser when you visit his or her website. Based on the data collected by the cookie, the website can create a profile of you. That data can then be used to personalise your next visit. Sometimes the data is passed on to advertisers so that they can show you advertisements tailored to your web history.

The system of cookies has logically been under fire for several years. Since the GDPR legislation, websites are obliged to have visitors give permission to place cookies. In practice, this is only an apparent choice, because some websites will only work to a limited extent without cookies. So often people click on ‘Accept Cookies’ without thinking. Tech giants like Google and Amazon are diligently looking for a better system to replace cookies, but since that hasn’t got off the ground yet, we’re stuck with cookies for a while.

Apart from the fact that being followed always and everywhere is annoying, cookies can also affect your browser performance in the long term. After all, the cookies are stored in the cache memory, and in the long run that cache weighs so much that your browser slows down. So it can’t hurt to get rid of stale cookies after a long surfing session. We show you how to remove cookies from some commonly used browsers.

Remove cookies from Chrome, Edge and Firefox

Remove cookies from Chrome

We start with the most popular browser, Google Chrome, which is also the browser that most eagerly uses cookies. Click on the three dots at the top right and place your cursor over More Tools. This expands a menu where you select Clear browsing data. Copying and pasting chrome://settings/clearBrowserData into the address bar takes you to the same menu.

Now select the checkmarks you want to remove. See Advanced for more options. The Cookies and other site data option gets rid of active cookies. It certainly doesn’t hurt to empty the cached images from time to time to free up memory, for example. Confirm your choice by clicking Clear data.

Keep in mind that clearing cookies often means logging you out of your online accounts. On your next visit you will have to log in again and pass on cookie preferences. Finally, don’t forget to block third-party cookies under Cookies and site data (three dots, Privacy and Security). This already strongly limits the number of cookies that websites are allowed to use when your browsing.

Remove cookies from MS Edge

We continue with Microsoft Edge. Click on the three dots at the top right to go to the settings. Under Privacy, search and services you will find the option Choose what to clear where you delete cookies and other data just like with Chrome. Don’t feel like having to do this after every surfing session? Then click Choose what to clear every time you close the browser and select cookies. Placed cookies will then be immediately deleted every time you close MS Edge, unless you allow an exception for certain websites.

MS Edge also has some settings with which you can limit the freedom of movement of cookies. So we will stay in the privacy menu for a while. By selecting the Strict option in Tracking Prevention, you can already make many trackers harmless. Also activate the do not track requests and you will be virtually untraceable for cookies.

Remove cookies from Firefox

Firefox has been blocking third-party cookies since 2019, but that does not mean that the privacy-friendly browser is completely free of cookies and trackers. Even as a Firefox user, it is best to check your cookie settings from time to time. You can find it in the hamburger menu under Settings and then Privacy and security. At Cookies and Site Data you delete the active cookies. Just like in Edge, you can ask Firefox to do this after every browsing session.

Prevention is always better than cure, so we also take a look at what we can tick to have as few trackers installed as possible. As a privacy-conscious internet user, you want strict protection. Sending do not track signals should normally be automatically checked in Firefox. You can always allow exceptions to the rule here for certain websites.

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