How to clear the cookies on your iPad to help it run more efficiently

Kārlis Dambrāns/FlickrIt only takes a few taps to clear your iPad’s cookies.


There are times when you may need to clear your iPad’s cookies and browsing history.

As a general rule, cookies are helpful – they’re files that a website stores on your iPad to help it retain information about you and your visit.

For example, a retail website like Amazon uses cookies to remember what items you’ve placed in a shopping cart. Your bank might use cookies to remember what products and services you want to see on the homepage. And sites may also remember what language to display and that you’re logged in.

But if you find that Safari is experiencing problems trying to display web pages, or if your iPad is running very low on storage space, you can clear your cookies to see if that resolves the problem.

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How to clear the cookies in Safari on your iPad

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap “Safari” in the pane on the left of the screen.

Cookies 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can clear your browsing history – including your cookies – in the Settings app by going to the Safari tab.

3. Tap “Advanced.”

4. On the Advanced page, tap “Website Data.” Here, you can see the size of the cookie files for every website stored on your iPad. You have two choices:

  • To delete cookies for a specific web site, tap “Edit” and then tap the red icon to the left of the site’s name. Then tap “Delete” to confirm your choice. You might want to do this if you are having trouble displaying a specific web site.
  • To delete all your cookies, tap “Remove All Website Data.” Then confirm your choice by tapping “Remove Now” in the popup window.
Cookies 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can selectively delete cookies for just certain sites, or remove them all at once.

Safari tracks other data as well, such as the complete list of recent web sites you have visited. If you want to remove all of your history information from Safari, do this:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap “Safari.”

3. Tap “Clear History and Website Data.” Then confirm this by tapping “Clear History and Data” in the popup window.

How to block cookies in Safari on your iPad

As a general rule, we recommend leaving cookies enabled on your iPad – it makes for a much more convenient browsing experience, and the security and privacy advantages of blocking cookies are quite limited. But if you do want to disable cookies completely, it is easy to do:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap “Safari.”

3. Turn on Block All Cookies by sliding the button to the right, and then tap “Block All” to confirm.

Cookies 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can prevent websites from storing cookies on your iPad by choosing to block all cookies.

How to clear your cookies in other browsers on the iPad

If you are using third party browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome on your iPad, you can clear the cookies there as well. Third party browsers don’t store their cookie controls in the Settings app, though – they are located in the app’s own settings menu. Here is how to clear cookies in the Chrome app, for example:

1. Open the Chrome app.

2. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the app.

3. Tap “Settings,” and then tap “Privacy.”

4. Tap “Clear Browsing Data.”

Cookies 4Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIf you use Chrome or another third-party browser, you can find the cookie control in the app’s own in-app menu, rather than in the Settings app.

5. Choose which kids of data you want to clear – you can clear just your cookies, or also include all browsing data. Then tap “Clear Browsing Data” and confirm your choice by tapping “Clear Browsing Data” a second time.

Most other third-party browsers let you clear cookies in much the same way.

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