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What will happen if I remove cookies in Safari?

MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,053
1,996
I have lik 100+ tabs opened for a long time (1year+) and thought I would delete the cookies to give my Safari a fresh air. If I got to:

Safari->Preferences->Privacy->Manage Website Data

and choose "Remove All" what going to happen? Will I lose any setup, tabs, bookmarks?
I once did a "Clear History and Website Data" on iOS thinking it will delete the cookies and lost all my opened tabs in Safari, I do not wish to face similar fate here.

EDIT: I did it and nothing happened to my open tabs neither the history or bookmarks. I also cleared the history. Bad news is that there is no noticeable performance gains.
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
766
406
Having hundreds of tabs open at all times sounds like a huge waste of resources. Have you considered features like bookmarks and reading lists?

With that out of the way:
Deleting cookies will usually remove most of the information websites have on you: Automatic logins, ad tracking data, session information, etc.
Usually this is not a bad thing to do now and then, but it simplifies life a lot if you use a logon manager (whether Apple’s own Keychain or a third-party one like 1Password), so you can log back on to your various services easily after removing the cookies.

Local configuration and bookmarks should not be affected by removing cookies. Tabs may reload and find themselves without a valid session, though.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,860
7,464
I agree about "too many tabs".

I don't use tabs at all.
Not. A. Single. One.
If I accidentally open a tab, I CLOSE IT IMMEDIATELY.
I ALWAYS use the "open in new window" option (right-click).

But having said that...

The OP probably has hundreds of cookies, the vast majority of which ought to be "cleaned out".

You can do this in Safari:
preferences --> privacy --> manage website data

Fastest way, just click "remove all"
BUT...
You will have to re-enter passwords, etc., on the sites you have previously entered such info.

You can also manually "work your way down" the cookies list, removing those you no longer want.

Another way to manage cookies:
Use the application, "Cookie".
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,892
1,217
Will chime in as well re: too many tabs open. If not using them actively, just wasting system RAM. For example, here is my current Safari session with only four tabs open: eating up about 100MB per tab, so, do the math when you have lots of tabs open.
 

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chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,988
5,519
the top
Deleting cookies will effectively log you out from any websites you're logged into at the time. This would include MacRumors, and almost certainly any other site where you must actively login at any point.

You may also lose some "convenience" data, such as websites that offer to remember your user name for you, such as Amazon.com. That info is typically stored in a cookie.

You can see for yourself how this will work by creating a disposible user account on Mac OS. Then login to that account and use Safari. The first thing you should notice is that none of your logged-in web-pages in your other Mac account will be logged in. After you log into the website, you can then proceed to delete cookies in Safari to see what happens. Because the cookie deletion is happening in the disposible Mac user account, it should have no effect on your first Mac user. However, if you logout of a website using the disposible Mac account, it will probably log you out in the Safari running on your first Mac user account. If that's too confusing to follow just by reading it, I suggest trying it out on a disposible Mac user account. After you're done, you can delete that user account.
 
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Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,661
4,188
Since I started using Safari to store passwords, I blow my cookies away regularly. Actually, I typically stay in private browsing mode, so my cookies go away when I close the tab. Mostly you'll lose session data (if you chose "remember me" in a login window, you'll no longer be remembered). You might lose some setting and site configurations, but typically nothing major. If it's connected to a login, it will probably be kept by the site and restored when you login.

What I'm not sure of is what happens if you try to remove all cookies while all the tabs are open. I think I've noticed in the past that the cookies return for any open window-- but I wouldn't bank on that behavior.
 
Comment

MacBH928

Contributor
Original poster
May 17, 2008
5,053
1,996
Having hundreds of tabs open at all times sounds like a huge waste of resources. Have you considered features like bookmarks and reading lists?

With that out of the way:
Deleting cookies will usually remove most of the information websites have on you: Automatic logins, ad tracking data, session information, etc.
Usually this is not a bad thing to do now and then, but it simplifies life a lot if you use a logon manager (whether Apple’s own Keychain or a third-party one like 1Password), so you can log back on to your various services easily after removing the cookies.

Local configuration and bookmarks should not be affected by removing cookies. Tabs may reload and find themselves without a valid session, though.

I agree about "too many tabs".

I don't use tabs at all.
Not. A. Single. One.
If I accidentally open a tab, I CLOSE IT IMMEDIATELY.
I ALWAYS use the "open in new window" option (right-click).

But having said that...

The OP probably has hundreds of cookies, the vast majority of which ought to be "cleaned out".

You can do this in Safari:
preferences --> privacy --> manage website data

Fastest way, just click "remove all"
BUT...
You will have to re-enter passwords, etc., on the sites you have previously entered such info.

You can also manually "work your way down" the cookies list, removing those you no longer want.

Another way to manage cookies:
Use the application, "Cookie".

Will chime in as well re: too many tabs open. If not using them actively, just wasting system RAM. For example, here is my current Safari session with only four tabs open: eating up about 100MB per tab, so, do the math when you have lots of tabs open.

I know I am trying to get myself out of this pickle by taking them down one by one. But system performance is surprising. I hardly notice anything different, all other apps works fluid and butter smooth and the fans almost never move and temps are low. My memory shows 73% full ,but thats ok since I usually just run the browser most of the time no PRO apps here so I kind of still have 30% to spare.

Great work by Apple I guess. Running Brave or FireFox will start the fans quicker than you think, and heat will build up. This upsets me as an old internet user, as the browser was never something to worry about performance wise, now its the biggest hog.
 
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