How to Delete Cookies in Every Major Browser

Delete cookies in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE, Safari, and more

Illustration of a red and white web browser on a light brown background
filo/iStock

Internet cookies (the non-edible type) are tiny files stored on your hard drive by your browser that contain information about your visit to a particular website, like login status, personalization, and advertising preferences, etc.

Most of the time, cookies make browsing much more enjoyable by keeping you logged in to a site you visit frequently or remembering the several questions you've already answered at your favorite polling site.

Sometimes, however, a cookie may remember something you'd rather it didn't, or even become corrupted, resulting in a browsing experience that's less than enjoyable. This is when deleting cookies may be a good idea.

You might also want to delete cookies if you're experiencing issues like 500 Internal Server or 502 Bad Gateway errors (among others), which are sometimes indications that the one or more cookies for a particular site are corrupted and should be removed.

How Do I Delete Cookies?

Whether for a computer issue, privacy or another reason, clearing cookies is a pretty simple task in any popular browser.

You can usually delete cookies from the Privacy or History area, available from the Settings or Options menu in the browser. In most browsers, the same menu can be reached through the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut, or Command+Shift+Del if you're on a Mac.

The steps involved in deleting cookies differ considerably depending on what web browser we're talking about. Below are some browser-specific cookie clearing tutorials.

Chrome: Clear Browsing Data

Deleting the cookies in Google Chrome is done through the Clear browsing data section, which is accessible through Settings. After you choose what you want to delete, like Cookies and other site data, confirm it with a click or tap of the Clear data button.

Tip: If you're looking to delete all the saved password in Chrome, you can do that by picking the Passwords option.

Screenshot showing how to delete cookies in Chrome
Deleting Cookies and Other Site Data in Chrome.

If you're using a keyboard, you can quickly open this part of Chrome's settings in Windows with the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut, or with Command+Shift+Del on a Mac.

The same area can be opened without a keyboard by clicking or tapping on the menu at the top right of Chrome (it's the button that has three stacked dots). Choose More tools > Clear browsing data... to open the Clear browsing data section and pick what you want to delete.

See How to Delete Cookies in Chrome [support.google.com] for additional information like how to delete cookies from specific websites, how to allow or deny websites from leaving cookies, and more.

Tip: If you want to delete all of the cookies or passwords in Chrome, no matter how long ago they were saved, be sure to select All time from the option at the top of the Clear browsing data window—from the drop-down that says Time range.

To clear the cookies from Chrome's mobile browser, tap the menu button on the bottom right of the screen (the one with three stacked dots), and choose Settings. Under the Privacy submenu, tap Clear Browsing Data. On that new screen, tap each area you want to erase, like Cookies, Site Data or Saved Passwords, etc. At that point, you can clear the cookies with the Clear Browsing Data button (you have to tap it again for confirmation).

Firefox: Clear All History

Delete cookies in Mozilla's Firefox browser through the Clear Data window of its Options section. Choose the Cookies and Site Data option and then the Clear button to erase the cookies in Firefox.

Screenshot of the Clear Data screen in Firefox
Deleting Cookies and Site Data in Firefox.

The easiest way to get to a similar window in Firefox is with the Ctrl+Shift+Del (Windows) or Command+Shift+Del (Mac) keyboard shortcut. Another way is through the three-lined menu at the top right of the browser—choose Options > Privacy & Security > Clear Data... to open the Clear Data section.

See How to Delete Cookies in Firefox [support.mozilla.org] if you need more help or you want to know how to delete cookies from specific websites only.

Tip: If you go the keyboard shortcut route, and therefore see the Clear Recent History window instead of the one in the screen shot above, you can choose Everything from the Time range to clear: menu to delete all the cookies and not just ones that were created within the last day.

If you're using the mobile Firefox browser, you can delete the cookies through Settings > Clear Private Data via the menu button at the bottom of the app. Choose Cookies (and anything else you want to delete, like the browsing history and/or cache) and then tap the Clear Private Data button to delete them (and confirm it with an OK).

Microsoft Edge: Clear Browsing Data

To delete the cookies in the Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser, use the Clear browsing data window from Settings to select the option called Cookies and saved website data. Clear them out with the Clear button.

Tip: You can delete more than just the cookies in Microsoft Edge, like passwords, download history, browsing history, location permissions, and more. Just choose which what you want to be deleted from the Clear browsing data screen.

Screenshot showing how to clear cookies in the Edge browser
Deleting Cookies and Saved Website Data in Edge.

The Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut is definitely the quickest way to get to the Clear browsing data screen in Microsoft Edge. However, you can also get there manually through the menu button on the top right of the screen (called Hub—the one that has three horizontal dots). From there, go to Settings and click or tap the Choose what to clear button.

See How to Delete Cookies in Microsoft Edge [privacy.microsoft.com] for detailed instructions.

Using the mobile Edge app? Open the menu button at the bottom of the app, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data, and enable everything you want to remove. You can pick from Cookies and site dataForm dataCache, and more. Tap Clear browsing data and then Clear to finish up.

Internet Explorer: Delete Browsing History

The Delete Browsing History section of Internet Explorer is where you delete the cookies. Click or tap the things you want to delete and then use the Delete button to clear them. The option for cookies is called Cookies and website data—if you want to delete all the saved passwords, place a check in the Passwords box.

Screenshot showing how to delete cookies in Internet Explorer
Deleting Cookies and Website Data in Internet Explorer.

The fastest way to get to this screen in Internet Explorer is to use the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut. The other way is manually, through the settings button (the gear icon at the top right of Internet Explorer), then the Internet options menu item. In the General tab, under the Browsing history section, click the Delete... button.

Another way to get to this setting in Internet Explorer, one that's especially helpful if you're having troubles opening the program, is to launch the inetcpl.cpl command from Command Prompt or the Run dialog box.

See How to Delete Cookies in Internet Explorer [support.microsoft.com] for more help, like how to delete cookies in older versions of Internet Explorer.

Safari: Cookies and Other Website Data

Deleting the cookies in Apple's Safari web browser is done through the Privacy section of Preferences, under the Cookies and website data section (called Cookies and other website data in Windows). Click or tap Manage Website Data... (Mac) or Remove All Website Data... (Windows), and then choose Remove All to delete all the cookies.

Screenshot showing how to clear cookies from the Safari web browser on macOS
Deleting Cookies and Other Website Data in Safari (macOS High Sierra).

If you're on macOS, you can get to this section of the browser's settings through the Safari > Preferences... menu item. In Windows, use the Action menu (the gear icon at the upper-right corner of Safari) to select the Preferences... option.

Then, choose the Privacy tab. The buttons I mentioned above are in this Privacy window.

If you want to delete cookies from specific websites, choose the site(s) from the list or click/tap the Details... button (in Windows), and select Remove to delete them.

See How to Delete Cookies in Safari [support.apple.com] for more specific instructions.

To delete the cookies on the mobile Safari browser, like on an iPhone, start by opening the Settings app. Scroll down and tap on the Safari link, then scroll down on that new page and tap Clear History and Website Data. Confirm that you want to remove the cookies, browsing history, and other data by tapping the Clear History and Data button.

Opera: Clear Browsing Data

The setting to delete cookies in Opera is found in the Clear browsing data part of the browser, which is a section of Settings. Place a check next to Cookies and other site data, and then click or tap Clear browsing data to delete the cookies.

Screenshot showing the clear browsing data window in Opera
Deleting Cookies and Other Site Data in Opera.

A super quick way to get to the Clear browsing data section in Opera is by using the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut. Another way is with the Menu button, through Settings > Privacy & security > Clear browsing data....

To remove all the cookies from every website, be sure to choose the beginning of time from the Obliterate the following items from: option at the top of the Clear browsing data pop-up.

See How to Delete Cookies in Opera [opera.com] for some additional information on viewing, deleting, and managing cookies.

You can delete the cookies from the mobile Opera browser, too. Tap on the red Opera button from the bottom menu and then choose Settings > Clear.... Tap Clear Cookies and Data and then Yes to delete all of the cookies Opera has stored.

More About Deleting Cookies in Web Browsers

Most browsers will also let you find and delete cookies from individual websites. Since few issues require that you delete all of the cookies stored by the browser, locating and removing specific cookies is often smarter. This allows you to retain customizations and stay logged in to your favorite, non-offending websites.

If you follow the support links above, you can see how to delete specific cookies in each respective browser. If you're still having troubles or have other questions about deleting browser cookies, feel free to send me an email.