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How to Clean Cookies

Cookies are used by websites in many ways to both enhance the web-surfing experience and to track your activity. Some cookies are set to expire after your web session, while others have decades-long expiration dates. If you're worried about your privacy, you have good reason because these cookies store information and update your profile when you return to the website.

You can adjust Microsoft Internet Explorer to block cookies. To do this, open Internet Explorer and choose Tools. Next, choose Internet Options. Click on the Privacy tab. A sliding bar allows you to adjust the setting.

clean cookies

The lowest setting enables the acceptance of all cookies, as you go up the scale, the cookies settings become more restrictive. The highest setting blocks all cookies and even disables existing cookies on your PC from being read by websites.

Since cookies can enhance some websites or may even be required, you can manually override your settings and type in certain websites that you will allow accepting cookies from.

When you click on the button labeled "sites", you'll see the following screen:

eliminate cookies

You can enter websites and set them to be allowed or blocked.

To override automatic cookie handling, click the "advanced" button.

cleaning cookies

Because cookies can be invasive, removing them is a good idea. For example, cookies store information about you ranging from your order numbers, account numbers, browser window state, passwords, banking information and more. Someone with access to your PC can easily extract this data. In addition, some cookies are placed maliciously or with marketing purposes in mind to track your activity.

One way to delete cookies is to use the Internet Options dialogue box in Internet Explorer as long as you have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. Open Internet Explorer and choose Tools, Internet Options. Under the General tab you'll see a section addressing temporary files or browser history depending on the version you have installed.

If you see a section called Temporary Internet Files, click on the button labeled Delete Cookies.

If you see a section called Browser History, click the Delete Button.

clean up cookies

Once you click the Delete button, a new screen appears that will let you choose what type of temporary internet file to delete.

how to clean cookies

Choose Delete Cookies. If you wish, you can delete other temporary files at this time or click on the Delete All button to delete temporary internet files, cookies, history, form data and passwords at once.

how to clean up cookies

After deleting the cookies, you may find that some of your favorite websites no longer have your preferred settings such as automatic login. This is the price you pay for deleting all cookies; you delete the good ones with the bad ones.

Depending on the security settings your PC has, you may find your PC continues collecting cookies as you browse the internet. You'll need to manually delete cookies as a part of your regular PC maintenance.

In addition to the Internet Options method of deleting cookies, you can choose a third party software program to automate the cleaning of cookies for you. Programs such as ParetoLogic's Privacy Controls, WinClear, and Evidence Eliminator can thoroughly clear your entire PC of cookies and other computerized threats to your privacy. You can also schedule regular scans using programs such as these so that you no longer need to manually delete your cookies.
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