How to remove tracking cookies for free

Written by jason taetsch
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How to remove tracking cookies for free
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Tracking cookies are third-party Internet files that can track a computer user's actions on the Internet, such as the search terms used and the websites visited, and relay that information back to a vendor. Although tracking cookies are not necessarily harmful to a computer, they do raise privacy concerns, according to Symantec. Fortunately, for computer users looking to rid their computer of tracking cookies, a number of Web browsers have simple tools to remove any cookies on the computer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Delete tracking cookies by using the Internet Options included in the Internet Explorer web browser. To access the Internet Options, launch Internet Explorer and click on the "Tools" menu and click "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu. Click on the "General" tab if it is not already selected. Click on the button labelled "Delete Cookies" and click on "OK" in the verification window to remove all the cookies stored on your computer, including any tracking cookies.

  2. 2

    Delete cookies in the Mozilla Firefox browser by using the utilities in the "Privacy" panel. Launch a Firefox browser window and click on the "Firefox" menu. Choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu and click on the "Privacy" icon in the Preferences window that opens. Click on the drop-down menu next to "Firefox Will:" and select the "Use Custom Settings For History" option. Click on the "Show Cookies" button that appears in the interface to open the Cookies dialogue window. If you know the name of the tracking cookies, click on their file names in the list and click on the "Remove Cookie" button. Alternatively, click on the "Remove All Cookies" button to remove all the cookies on the computer.

  3. 3

    Delete the tracking cookies directly from their location on the hard drive. Click on the "Start" menu and click "Search." Choose "All Files and Folders" and type "cookies" into the text box. Click "Local Hard Drives" and click "Search" to identify the cookies on your computer. Right-click on the tracking cookies and choose "Delete" from the context menu. Return to the desktop and right-click on the "Recycling Bin." Click "Empty" to permanently remove the tracking cookies from your computer.

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