How to delete cookies on Mac in Safari, Chrome & Firefox

Have you ever noticed that if you frequently visit the same websites, they grow more personalized over time? It is because of cookies. Convenient as they are, they may also pose severe privacy risks, so it is safer to remove them. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ve landed in the right place. Here’s our handy guide on clearing cookies on Mac. 

What are cookies on Mac?

Cookies are bits of information sent from websites you visit to your browser. These tiny pieces of specific data contain information about your online behavior, which allows websites to tailor your browsing experience based on individual preferences.

There are several main types of cookies:

  • Session cookies. Cookies that don’t collect any personal data and are stored as a temporary file. They help a website perform any necessary actions, such as logging in or adding items to a cart. Once you end your browsing session, they are deleted automatically. 
  • Stored cookies. Cookies responsible for storing your login credentials and any account settings. They allow you to stay logged in on the website even if you close the tab. These are functional cookies, and they exist on your hard drive until you remember to remove them.
  • Third-party cookies. Cookies that collect personal preferences and other data to share it with third parties, like advertising companies. If you see ads relevant for you when you use your browser, it is because of these cookies.

Here comes the obvious question: should you clear cookies on Mac? The answer is yes because cookies can slow down your browser and devour quite a lot of storage space on your Mac, not to mention the fact that they are known for storing your personal information.

So, here’s how to clear cookies on your Mac. There are two different ways to do it — manual and automatic with the help of a Mac cleaner app.

How to clear cookies in all browsers at once

We’ll start with the easy way to get rid of browser cookies first. So, if you’re not into wasting efforts on cookie-brushing each time you need it, we recommend CleanMyMac X. It’s an amazingly useful app, specifically when it comes to dealing with browser junk. It clears browser cookies, caches, and histories, plus removes system junk from the Mac itself.

To clear cookies with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Download the app (a free trial is available).
  2. Go to the Privacy module and choose your browser. 
  3. Select the cookie icon and click Remove. 

Voila! The Privacy module erases all traces of your online activity from multiple browsers. Moreover, it allows you to conveniently manage all your application permissions and control access to the camera and microphone.

Manual ways to delete cookies on MacBook

To remove cookies manually, choose your browser from the three sets below and follow the steps. The process is not hard but takes some time. 

How to clear cookies in Safari

To eliminate browser cookies in Safari manually, you’ll have to dig into its settings. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds, though. Find the instructions on how to clear cookies in Safari below.

Method 1:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Go to the Safari menu and select Settings (alternatively, press Command - ,).
  3. Go to the Privacy tab.
  4. Click Manage Website Data.
  5. Click Remove All.

Method 2:

  1. Open Safari and click History in the menu bar.
  2. Click Clear History.
  3. Choose the time period from the menu and click Clear History. Note, though, that it will also delete your search history.

Tip: If you want to know how to clear browser history on Mac in other web browsers, check out this handy guide

How to clear cookies in Chrome

To delete cookies in the Chrome browser manually, you have to get into the Privacy and Security section of Settings. Here, you can manage all the website data and control site settings. Find the instruction below on how to delete cookies on Mac Chrome.

So to clean cookies in Chrome browser:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://settings into the address bar.
  3. Go to the Privacy and security section.
  4. Click Clear browsing data.
  5. Select Cookies and other site data and choose Time range.
  6. Click Clear data.

To configure Chrome to clear cache and cookies when you’re done using the browser for the day, go back to Privacy and security. Here, click Site settings and then Third-party cookies. Turn Block third-party cookies on. If you want some sites to collect cookies, you can add them under Sites allowed to use third-party cookies.

How to clear cookies in Firefox

Finally, to delete cookies in the Firefox browser, you’ll have to spend only a few seconds. To clear cookies in Firefox browser:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Enter about:preferences in the address bar.
  3. Go to Privacy & Security from the menu on the left.
  4. Click Clear Data and select Cookies and Site Data.
  5. Click Clear and confirm.

You can set Firefox to clear cookies every time you close the browser. Just go back to the Cookies and Site Data section and select the box next to Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed.

Why do you need to clear cookies?

To be on the safe side, you should repeat the steps we outlined above in your browser once in a while. It’s also a rule of thumb to clean up your caches and other stored info. A browser stuffed with old information may malfunction or get clingy with the advertisement.

But there are other reasons why you would want to delete cookies: 

  • Removing cookies improves website performance because when you delete settings stored in cookies, everything starts to work as it should .
  • If you are interested in seeing ads, they will be more relevant because websites will collect newer information about you.
  • Clearing out cookies from time to time helps improve privacy not only because you delete personal data but also because you log out of websites.  

Doing it on your own each time is a mess, so CleanMyMac X is a good deal. It reduces the whole ordeal to a few clicks, is pretty fast, and does a ton more useful things for Mac cleaning. It’s free to download, so give it a go. And if you’re more into manual effore, here’s an article on how to clear cache on Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is deleting cookies the same as clearing cache?

No. Although both are designed to improve your browsing experience, clearing cache is about deleting temporary files helping websites to load faster, while deleting cookies removes files with temporary site preferences and personal data.

Is it safe to delete cookies? 

Yes, it is absolutely safe. In fact, it is even recommended to delete cookies in order to avoid any privacy-related issues and make your browser experience relevant.

Does deleting cookies log me out of websites?

Yes, it deletes all saved website data, like login credentials and any items added to a cart. But it will also improve the performance of your browser and websites you frequently visit, so it’s well worth a go.