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How to Manage Cookies in the Safari Browser 2021

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There's a trade-off in allowing websites and third-party advertisers to store cookies in Safari or any other browser. Security and tracking implications come with accepting cookies. An additional concern is the effect of corrupt cookies on the overall performance of the web browser, including how it interacts with your favorite websites.

Information in this article applies to Macs with macOS High Sierra (10.11) and later.

Corrupt Cookies Affect the Safari Experience

When a web browser accumulates cookies over a long time, bad things can happen. Cookies eventually become out of date, consuming space while serving no benefit. Cookies can also become corrupt from Safari freezes, power outages, unplanned Mac shutdowns, and other events. Eventually, you may find that Safari and some websites no longer work well together, if at all.

Troubleshooting the reason Safari and a website fail to work well together is challenging. A corrupt cookie or cached data may be the culprit. Because of this, Safari gives you a way to delete website data.

Delete Cookies and Cache in Safari

In the Safari preferences menu, you can choose to delete all your stored cookies and caches or only specific data you want to remove, leaving the others behind.

Launch Safari, go to the Safari menu, then select Preferences.

In the window that opens, go to the Privacy tab.

In the Cookies and website data section, select Manage Website Data to open an alphabetical list of the websites for which your computer is storing data, including cookies and caches.

To delete a single website, scroll through the alphabetical list, or use the search field. Select it, then choose Remove to delete any data your computer stores for that website. This can be helpful when you have problems with a specific website.

Select multiple sequential websites using the Shift key. Select the first cookie, then hold the Shift key and select the second website. Any websites in between the two are selected.

Use the Command key to select noncontiguous websites. Select the first cookie and then hold the Command key as you select each additional cookie.

Select Remove to delete the selected cookies.

Select Remove All to delete all the websites on the list. No selection is necessary. You are prompted to confirm that you want to delete all the data stored by the websites. Confirm by selecting Remove Now in the pop-up window.

Delete Safari Caches

If you prefer to leave the cookies in place and delete only the caches, do so through the Developer menu on the Safari menu bar. The Developer menu isn't enabled by default. You turn it on in the Safari preferences menu and then clear the caches:

Launch Safari, go to the Safari menu, then select Preferences.

In the window that opens, go to the Advanced tab.

Select the Show Develop menu in menu bar check box and close the preference screen.

Select Develop in the Safari menu bar, then select Empty Caches.

Alternatively, press Option+Command+E on the keyboard.

This is an all-or-nothing option. You can't select individual caches to remove in the Develop menu.