Cannot remove cookies...ever.. even when blocked

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Riptide62, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Riptide62 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    Anyone knows how to permanently remove Cookies in Safari? Im running the latest MacOS Sierra with latest Safari on a 2011 Macbook Pro. In preferences, every time I <Remove All> (in Preferences/Privacy tab/Manage Website data, the cookie files reappear within seconds even though my Safari tabs are blank, and I have not opened a new site.

    Moreover, even with "Always block" cookies enabled, I will have cookies tracking me and they populate the Manage Website Data with sites I haven't visited in years. I delete them, only for them to reappear before my eyes the moment I enable cookies for "Current site only"

    Any thoughts? I have no Macromedia/flash files installed either.
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I have one suggestion - disable your Safari synching option in your iCloud account. Wait a few seconds, then remove your cookies/history. I leave iCloud synching off on Safari...

    Alternately, check the ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/fsCachedData folder, and clear it out. I also clear out the Blobs folder - ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/WebKitCache/Version 9/Blobs - I'm never sure, but I suspect some of the images in the Blobs folder could have imbedded URLs and I'm never sure what Safari is doing in the background...
     
  3. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I disabled iCloud syncing and deleted cookies/history. Cookies started populating within seconds. Sites I can't remember ever visiting.. one site I last visited in probably 2013, if even then.

    Removed ~Library/Cache/com.apple.Safari I deleted entire folder.. no difference.. Just to be sure is it under user/my name/Library/Cachescom.apple.Safari..? Have I the right path?

    I could not find the the Blobs folder you cited, which makes me think I am looking at the wrong path.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #4
    I do not see the behavior you describe, in that the cookies I see in Safari are from sites I recognize as visited in recent memory. That said, there can be a lot going on in the background, even if you do not have any tabs open. Top Sites gets updated, any RSS feeds that you might have, and so on. Caches also show up in that list, and it might be worth mentioning that those are different from cookies - they will still show up even if you have cookies blocked. I believe iTunes still stores some cookies in the Safari cookie jar as well.

    A slightly off-topic mention that you might find useful if you like to limit your cookie exposure: I have downloaded the Safari Technology Preview from Apple and that is where I do most of my casual browsing. It has independent settings, so I have cookies/location services/apple pay all turned off there. When I want to do something that requires that I login, I use the regular Safari app.

    A.
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    About the path, FYI the tilde (~) represents your user name, so yes, your user account's Library folder.

    Also, Sierra includes Safari 10, my install was an upgrade, and it's still referring to the V9 cache I alluded to earlier - I haven't flushed that cache in a while but will shortly. I'm in a user account that only sees use of Safari for general crap - I'm using other browsers in this user account to keep my web exposure segregated (I'm using Opera here, but solely only for MR's Forums...).

    One more step. Open Safari's Preferences, select Advanced, and select the "Show Develop Menu in menu bar" option. One of those commands is "Empty Caches" (Command-Option-E), and I use it often; the related "Disable Caches" is - sadly, for me - per browsing session only.

    About the whole iCloud bit, you may need to remove cookies a few times before it "sticks". And, if you have a lot of bookmarks and a Reading List, they'll go "fishing" for their own cookies and repopulate your Mac with their own linked data - I keep my bookmarks and Reading List to a minimum and use the Clear History Command after almost every browsing session. Yes, it's a PITA...
     
  6. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #6
    Yep, I had "Show Develop Menu" already selected. I have a hot key set up whereby I "Clear History et al" everything before I even load a new site, I do that with all tabs empty! :). I'll empty my reading list as well. That might help.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. orioncrystalice macrumors 6502

    orioncrystalice

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    #7
    I've dealt with a few like this. Flipped out. Convinced they were these:

    http://samy.pl/evercookie/

    I can't remember exactly what I had to do but it involved nuking them repeatedly while banning them from all my preferences.
     
  8. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #8
    For example, I have a cookie for HDguru.com, which is a site i only recall visiting around 2013 when I was purchasing a new TV. I can't get rid of that cookie. I must have clicked "Remove all" more than 30-40 times at this stage.

    Anyway, I have tried the recommendations offered by CG and others to no avail. Deleted cache and Blobs in ~Library, Caches....No tabs open, Privacy setting enabled for "Allow from this website only", Clear History several times and I go into Manage Data in Privacy settings and I see the cookies I have apparently deleted slowly repopulate the screen. As one poster has indicated, there maybe some cookies that resist deletion as they embed themselves in multiple folders but then I'd hope there would be a solution.

    I did log in a Guest user and do not appear to have the same problems.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2016 ---
    Very interesting. Thanks for posting it. I have tried nuking my as nauseam and nothing works, except that they appear to be loading more slowly now, as in 3 or 4 at a time.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    I think part of your problem is when you delete the cookies file it does not really delete like you think. The file you want is Cookies.binarycookies in the folder ~/Library/Cookies (~ is your user folder). Quit Safari, then delete the file, then run the command below in Terminal. That will restart the nsurlstoraged process that locks down the cookies file and prevents it from being deleted.

    Then start Safari and a new, empty cookies file will be created. Of course you lose any previously saved cookies with this, but it will start you fresh.

    Code:
    killall -KILL nsurlstoraged
     
  10. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #10
    Thanks so much for the reply. I followed your instructions. After exiting Safari, I deleted the entire Cookies folder) and ran the command in terminal.

    I reopened Safari, deleted all history etc. , waited a minute and then went into Manage Website Data in my Privacy settings under Safari Preferences and the window populated with the same 53 cookies (although not all at once) which have continued to resurface again and again irrespective of what I do.

    It's a remarkably persistent problem, but I'm very keen on getting rid of these b*stards now!
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    That would definitely kill all the cookies. Odd they are coming back somehow. In that screen are you sure these 53 entries are all labelled cookies and not "local storage" which also shows up there?
     
  12. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #12
    No, they are labeled "cookies". A few others are labeled "cookies, cache" or just "cache".
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    California
    #13
    I see earlier you said you have Safari turned off in iCloud, but is it possible you have some other app running that might be syncing cookies?

    Try holding the shift key at startup to boot to safe mode, then go through the deletion and Terminal process I mentioned earlier and see what happens. A safe mode boot will stop any hidden launch or startup items from running just as a test.
     
  14. idunn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #14
    The short answer is you cannot permanently remove cookies in Safari. If never say never.

    I spent some time at an Apple store discussing this very topic with them. It took several iterations of 'genius' before a final consensus was reached, that being that despite what Apple indicates one cannot keep cookies from repopulating.

    This on an older version of Safari (6.2 on OSX 8.5), and assuming it is only worse now. But on that version in the Privacy section of Safari Preferences one supposedly has the option to: "Block cookies and other website data" in one of three ways. Either: "From third parties and advertisers," "Always," or "Never." Choosing 'Always' should supposedly block everything. It will not.

    Apple suggested this shouldn't be as serious as one might think, and one could otherwise choose the option of 'Private Browsing.'

    Some cookie functions are obviously helpful (i.e. simply to post this). It would be nice if one could pick and choose only those they preferred, and no others.

    As far as I know, you'll get no help from Apple in this.
     
  15. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #15
    As I said earlier, I do not have the problem the OP describes. I also have the Safari Technology Preview installed, with cookies blocked. There are no cookies.

    A.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    California
    #16
    You can and I do it all the time. OP has something else odd going on here.
     
  17. campyguy, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016

    campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Portland / Seattle
    #17
    A bit that @Weaselboy just wrote: "I see earlier you said you have Safari turned off in iCloud, but is it possible you have some other app running that might be syncing cookies?"

    There are plenty of apps that do just that, for instance Leaf, NetNewsWire, and Reeder do just that (I just now use the Feedly web portal with Chrome, and keep those cookies in check). Dashboard used to, and still might. The free version of Fluid app does as well (I use the paid version, to "encapsulate" each web app's tracking data). If you log into Gmail, Yahoo.com or Outlook.com from Safari, well, you asked for it!

    A consideration, and I've done this bit in the recent past, create a new User Account and - in essence - start from scratch...
     
  18. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #18
    Yep, I think I may have to create a new User Account as you suggest. The only other app I suppose that is syncing at any level is iMessage, and LastPass is installed as a browser extension on both Safari and Firefox which I rarely use (Chrome is also installed but like Firefox rarely used and cookies also exited used primarily) and Firefox are installed there are no extensions deployed across all except LastPass on both Safari and Chrome.

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply on this. It's been helpful and instructive and I've learned quite a few things.
     
  19. Riptide62 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #19
    Just an update.. I installed Safari Technology Preview as suggested by a poster above. It was clean and running fine and no old cookies were coming up as before. I configured a quick keyboard shortcut to "Clear History..." and occasionally checked the Manage Website Data to see if I had the same problem. I didn't. All good so far. Preferences set to allow cookies "From current website only"

    Then I exported my bookmarks.html and imported them into Safari Technology Preview. I then copied these bookmarks into my Favourites Bar and within second all the old cookies began to appear even though I had no tabs open and had just "Clear History..." Bizarre
     
  20. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    Jan 1, 2008
    #20
    I imagine the "Top Sites" page is getting built/updated.

    A.
     
  21. Sessions500 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    #21
    I was having this problem too.
    The same 32 websites would immediately reappear after clearing cache/cookies/history etc. Even deleted plists from Library. Nothing worked. Blocked cookies too, still the same 32. Most of them were websites I never visit or maybe visited only once months ago!! None were sites I frequently use. This it what worked for me:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7764311?start=0&tstart=0

    " On the Finder menu use "Go" then "Go to Folder..." the default folder is "~/Library" hit "Go"

    Go to the "Safari" folder then in the "Databases" sub-folder.

    There you should find another sub-folder "__IndexedDB" inside of that you will find subfolders of :

    All the cookies that keep reappearing

    Just delete the folder of the cookie you no longer want to reappear and Boom! Pow! they're gone."




    All gone!! None have reappeared!
     
  22. truthertech macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2016
    #22
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2017 ---
    Genius! Thanks. This solved it for me, and should be made more broadly at Apple forums as there are so many ineffective suggestions when this immediately solved my long running problem. Thanks again!
     
  23. jonathanoldstyle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    #23
    FINALLY solved through a chat with apple help: power off computer, power on with the shift key held down....the cookies that wouldn't go away finally did!!!!!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 7, 2017 ---
    FINALLY solved through a chat with Apple help: power off computer, power on and hold shift button down...all the cookies FINALLY WENT AWAY!!!!!
     

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