Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Cookies can be used to save your password, or your logged in state, when you visit some web sites. I'll walk through clearing them.

My computer saves my email password. How can I make it to forget the password. i.e. How can I delete the cookies?

Most saved passwords are saved as cookies; it's by far the most common approach. Web sites do this to avoid forcing you to re-login for every page you visit, or longer as a convenience if you tell it to "save password".

How you delete cookies depends on your browser. I'll walk you through both Firefox and Internet Explorer 8.

Internet Explorer 8

Click on the Tools Menu, and then the Internet Options item:

Internet Explorer Internet Options dialog highlighting the Browsing History options

In "Browsing history", click on the Delete... button:

Internet Explorer Internet Options Delete Browsing History, highlighting Cookies

Click on Delete cookies...

Internet Explorer Delete Cookies confirmation

Click on Yes, and your cookies have been deleted.


Click on the Tools menu, and then the Options menu item:

Firefox Options dialog, highlighting the Privacy tab

Click on the Privacy tab:

Firefox Options dialog Privacy tab, highlighting the clear recent history link

Click on clear your recent history:

Firefox's Clear Recent History dialog

In the "Time range to clear" drop-down, select the period for which you wish to clear cookies (choose "Everything" if you're not sure). Then in the details area uncheck everything except Cookies (though of course you can leave checked any additional items you also want to clear).

Click Clear Now and your cookies have been cleared.

Article C3941 - December 3, 2009 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

December 4, 2009 5:23 AM

You forgot about Flash cookies.

Tony Barnes
December 4, 2009 8:01 AM

what are flash cookies?

December 4, 2009 10:11 AM

Flash files can leave cookies. These cookies can track you across websites and even rebuild regular cookies.

December 5, 2009 11:30 PM

Adobe Flash has a separate settings manager that can store flash cookies.

The settings manager has 6 subsections (left column.) If you click on any of those subsections a separate settings manager dialog box will open and from there you can delete or change the flash settings.

December 8, 2009 9:28 AM

Don't forget about the 'Index.dat' files that also store cookies. These are not deleted by the above methods. CCleaner will get them.

December 8, 2009 9:29 AM

article is fine but i do not understand what do do in the flash settings suggested by a user

December 8, 2009 8:25 PM

The easiest is to type SHELL:COOKIES into the Start/search field and hit Enter. That brings up the cookie folder (in vista and Win7). For tracking cookies run SuperAntiSpyware.

December 9, 2009 4:29 AM

I much prefer to allow cookies, but keep them only until I close the browser. Both Firefox and Opera (which I prefer) allow you to specify exceptions. I let the browser take care of (most) passwords and never, ever tick "Remember me on this site", not even sites, e.g. Amazon, that I visit quite frequently.

Terry Hollett
December 9, 2009 4:36 AM

For people like myself who prefer the Opera browser - Click on Tools - Delete Private Data - click on "Detailed Options" and make sure "Delete all cookies" option is checked and then then just click on the "Delete" button towards the bottom.

And for those comments concerned with "flash cookies" and "index.dat" files CCleaner is recommended -

Charles Tilley
December 27, 2009 7:28 PM

Just use CCleaner every night, as I do. All temp internet files, cookies, index dat, thumbnails, temporary files, etc, is wiped away with this method beyond recovery, if you set the program to erase using the Guttman method (35 sweeps). However, cookies are not completely erased by this method. What I'm saying is, they can be retreived by a program such as Recuva, from the same company as CCleaner. You can't fully get rid of cookies no matter how many times you try to erase them. You can delete them, but the only way to fully destroy them is with a reformat and reinstall of your OS. HP actually recommends that you do this once a year, anyway.

January 18, 2010 7:36 AM

There are also third-party tools with integrated schedules that remove cookies, cache and also much more from the different browsers, like IE, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and let the browser work faster. E.g. History Killer Pro removes temp files, favicons, forms history, typed URLs, keyword search terms, thumbnails, etc.

February 28, 2010 5:32 PM

In opera browser, there is also a option to choose which cookies to delete in tools>advanced>cookies. i also sets the option of asking me before accepting any cookies. i always only keep cookies of my frequent or joined sites and deletes the rest.

March 19, 2010 2:42 PM

What about in Google Chrome? (And I don't want to delete all the cookies, just some, one in particular.)

Fred Coyne
July 4, 2010 7:38 AM

I've followed the procedure to delete cookies but about eight of them stay put and refuse to be deleted. How do I exterminate them? I use IE8. Do I have to buy a program to do this job? If so, why does IE allow people to install cookies which cannot be removed?

It really depends on the specific cookies you're talking about. Perhaps they're just coming back quickly?

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.