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How to Set Cookies in Your Browser: A Comprehensive Guide

Cookies are a mainstay of the internet. You encounter them every day, whether you realize it or not. They’re those little files that websites deposit on your hard drive, ostensibly to make your browsing experience better. But as we all know, they can also be used to track our activities and interests — which is why managing cookies is such an important part of online privacy. In this article, we will show you how to set cookies in your browser of choice.

What Are Cookies? What Do They Do?

Cookies are tiny files with information about your computer and actions you undertake on a website that is stored on your device when you visit nearly any site. Cookies may be made and used by both websites you go to and third-party services, such as advertisers.

Cookies are frequently used on websites to make them work correctly or improve the user experience. For example, they may be utilized to keep track of your city or automatically change an international website to your preferred language. Perhaps most importantly, they can remember your login details, so you won't have to repeat them every time you visit a site.

Cookies from other services, often referred to as "third-party cookies," are generally utilized for ad targeting or analytics. They can be employed to discover which advertisements you click on or what items you look at while browsing online retailers, among other things. This type of attention is not appreciated by everyone, therefore most browsers provide a choice to block them.

Cookie Settings and Web Browsers

The most popular browsers provide two options for limiting the impact of cookies on your privacy: completely erasing them from the device or blocking specific kinds of cookies, such as third-party ones. The option to erase may appear to be more straightforward and dependable, but it is anything but simple.

The most common reason for cookies to be deleted is that their expiry date has been reached. Cookies can also be removed manually or automatically, depending on your needs. The first option allows you to selectively remove cookies for each website. When you consider how quickly we go online and visit hundreds of different sites, it doesn't seem so appealing.

The same issue with automatic deletion applies: the browser will have a clear-out with each restart, consuming all cookies for all visited websites. This implies you'll be required to re-enter login credentials and other information that are usually filled in automatically.

The simplest approach to do this is to only allow third-party cookies in the preferences. If a website begins acting up, you may always add it to the exclusions list. You can get rid of advertising, tracking, and other non-essential cookies like this. Here's how to block third-party cookies in Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

How to Block Third-Party Cookies in Google Chrome

To block all third-party cookies in Google Chrome in one fell swoop:

  • Click the three dots icon in the upper-right corner, select Settings and go to Security and privacy → Cookies and other site data.

  • To block all third-party cookies, select Block third-party cookies.

If you want specific sites to collect both first-party and third-party cookies (some services, with a notable example of Microsoft Teams, do not work if third-party cookies are turned off), or, on the contrary, if you don’t want certain websites to store anything:

  • Go to Settings → Security and Privacy → Cookies and other site data.

  • Scroll down to the Customized behaviors section.

  • Select Add next to Sites that can always use cookies or Sites that can never use cookies.

  • Enter the URLs in the relevant fields.

  • If you want the exclusion to apply to all cookies, check the Including third-party cookies on this site box. This checkbox must be set at the start; in editing mode, it will no longer be there.

How to Block Third-Party Cookies in Apple Safari

Safari blocks third-party cookies by default. To make doubly sure, in your Safari for macOS:

  • Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences → Privacy.

  • Check that Prevent cross-site tracking is enabled.

  • For more precise settings, under Privacy, select Manage Website Data. Here you can see which websites place cookies and other data on your computer, as well as delete them for specific sites.

How to Block Third-Party Cookies in Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox has three levels of privacy protection: Standard, Strict, and Custom. Third-party cookies are blocked only in private windows in the first scenario; however, there is a danger that certain websites will not function properly in the second situation. As developers themselves acknowledge, taking advantage of the Custom setting to selectively reject cookies.

  • Click on the three bars icon in the upper-right corner, and select Settings → Privacy & Security.

  • Select Custom.

  • Go to the drop-down menu to the right of the Cookies option, and select All third-party cookies.

You can also set specific web resources to delete all sorts of cookies and site data.

  • To do so, under Settings → Privacy & Security, scroll down to Cookies and Site Data.

  • Select Manage Exceptions….

  • In the window that opens enter the URL of the site you want to block or allow to use cookies.

  • Select Block or Allow, followed by Save Changes to finish.

How to Block Third-Party Cookies in Microsoft Edge

To block third-party cookies in Microsoft Edge:

  • Select the three dots icon in the upper-right corner and select Settings.

  • In the left-hand menu, select Cookies and site permissions.

  • Go to Manage and delete cookies and site data.

  • Enable Block third-party cookies.

To create an exclusions list:

  • Go to Settings → Cookies and site permissions → Manage and delete cookies and site data.

  • Select Add next to Block and/or Allow.

  • Enter the URLs in the relevant fields and check the Include third-party cookies on this site box. As in Google Chrome, this checkbox is only available when you create the exclusion; in editing mode, it will no longer be there.

Wrap Up: Managing Cookies Can Be Easy

By customizing your browser, you may improve your privacy and avoid inconvenient delays when visiting websites. If you need help figuring out how best to safeguard your data online without having to spend hours researching different strategies for yourself- we’ve got you covered! Reclusion offers free privacy guides for social media, data broker removal, and reducing spam and junk mail at https://www.reclusion.co.