Cookies: frequently asked questions

Cookies are small text files that some websites put on your computer to store a variety of information about you and your preferences. Here are answers to some common questions about cookies with specific reference to Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer.

What are cookies used for?

Websites use cookies to offer a personalized experience to users and to gather information about website use. Many websites also use cookies to store information that provides a consistent experience between sections of the site, such as a shopping cart or customized pages. With a trusted website, cookies can enrich your experience by allowing the site to learn your preferences or allowing you to skip having to sign in every time you go to the website. However, some cookies, such as those saved by banner ads, might put your privacy at risk by tracking sites you visit.

Can I block cookies?

Yes, you can block or allow cookies on all websites or you can choose which websites' cookies are allowed.

Should I block all cookies?

Not necessarily. Blocking all cookies can help protect your privacy, but it might limit your experience on some websites. Be selective about which websites you allow cookies for. You can start by blocking all cookies, then allow cookies as needed for websites that you trust.

To enable (or disable) cookies

Internet Explorer

  1. Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options.
  2. On the Privacy tab, move the slider bar up to block more cookies and move it down to allow more cookies. You can use the Advanced option to override automatic cookie handling and if you wish to see what websites are doing choose the Prompt option.
  3. Click Apply then click Close.

Firefox

  1. Click the Tools menu, and then click Options.
  2. Click the Privacy button and check (or uncheck) the Accept cookies from sites. Use the Exceptions button to allow or disallow cookies from specific websites.
  3. Click Ok.

How do I delete cookies?

To delete all cookies

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
  2. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.
  3. Click Delete cookies, and then click Yes.
  4. Click Close, and then click OK.

 Notes

What are Temporary cookies?

Temporary, or session, cookies are removed from your computer after you close Internet Explorer. Websites use them to store temporary information, such as items in your shopping cart.

What are Persistent cookies?

Persistent, or saved, cookies remain on your computer after you close Internet Explorer. Websites use them to store information, such as your sign-in name and password, so that you don't have to sign in each time you go to a particular site. Persistent cookies can remain on your computer for days, months, or even years.

What are First-party cookies?

First-party cookies come from the website that you're viewing and can be either persistent or temporary. Websites might use these cookies to store information that they'll reuse the next time you go to that site.

What are Third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies come from other websites' advertisements (such as pop-up or banner ads) on the website that you're viewing. Websites might use these cookies to track your web use for marketing purposes.

Where are cookies stored?

Cookies are stored is in a folder named Cookies which is stored inside the Documents and Settings folder. By default, the path is C:\Documents and Settings\your user name\Cookies.