How to Clean Out Cookies on a Mac

By Aaron Crocco

Websites often write small, benign, files to a computer in order to remember information about the person visiting it. This file is called a cookie, and websites utilize this to remember anything from shopping carts on shopping websites to login data for email. Cookies pose no threat to a computer's safety, but the files take up space and can be accessed by people using the computer. Cookies should be cleared out on public or shared computers or to retrieve used hard drive space.

Clearing Cookies in Safari

Step 1

Open Safari and click the browser window so it is the active window. When the window is active, the word "Safari" will appear next to the apple logo at the top left of the screen.

Step 2

Click the Safari menu and then click "Preferences." The Preferences window will appear.

Step 3

Select the "Security" tab in the Preferences window.

Step 4

Click the "Show Cookies" button.

Step 5

Click the "Remove All" button on the window that appears. This will remove all cookies from Safari.

Clearing Cookies in Firefox

Step 1

Open Firefox.

Step 2

Click on the Tools menu at the top. On the menu that appears, select "Clear Recent History."

Step 3

Select the "Everything" option from the drop-down next to "Time Range to Clear."

Step 4

Click the arrow underneath that drop-down and check the box for Cookies.

Step 5

Click the "Clear Now" button. You can then close the "Clear Recent History" window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cookies are stored in different areas in each Web browser, so clearing them out in one will not remove them from another. If you run multiple browsers, cookies will need to be removed in each one.
  • Cookies often contain saved user names and passwords for websites. Verify that you know your user names and passwords for all these sites before clearing the cookies.