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How to Remove Cookies in Internet Explorer

Cookies are not the digital evil that some believe them to be. Nonetheless, a lot of people prefer to delete their cookies as they travel the Internet. Here’s how to purge those digital biscuits in Internet Explorer:

  1. Choose Safety→Delete Browsing History.

    The Delete Browsing History dialog box shows up.

  2. Place a check mark by the Cookies item.

  3. Click the Delete button.

Sadly, there’s no way to delete specific cookies in Internet Explorer; you’re given only an all-or-nothing choice. You can, however, remove individual cookies — if you can find the secret location where they’re stored.

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, here’s where the cookies are hidden:

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies

In Windows XP, the Cookies folder is found here:

%USERPROFILE%\Cookies

To see the Cookies folder, summon a Windows Explorer window (press Win+E) and type one of these pathnames. Press Enter and you see the contents of the Cookies folder.

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Cookies are given names based on your Windows username, followed by the at-sign (@) and then the name of the website that planted the cookie on your computer.

You can view the cookie’s content by double-clicking any Cookie icon; cookie files are text files. The content isn’t really useful, as it consists mostly of numbers that have meaning only to the website that created the cookie.

Delete a single cookie the way you delete any file: Select the icon and press the Delete key on the keyboard.

  • Cookies are re-created when you visit the same website again.

  • Cookies saved by web browsers other than Internet Explorer are stored elsewhere in your user profile folder.

  • You can disable cookies altogether in most web browsers, but by doing so, you render some web pages useless.

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