Why choose Opera over Chrome?

Clear browser history and cookies in Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera

Birgit Götz, Matt Egan

Each time you visit a website, you leave information behind which will be used for your further activities on the Internet. How to remove these traces and which of them may be useful, read in this article.

EnlargeDelete specific cookies - explained for the browsers Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Opera

You may have heard of cookies and that they should be deleted. The same goes for the browsing history. We explain how to do this using the four major web browsers Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Edge.

What cookies are and why you should keep some

Cookies store information about you and your preferences, and websites use this information for a variety of purposes. Some cookies are useful because they save you having to log in to a website or because they set your preferences every time you visit a website. For example, you can change the currency on a shopping website from pounds sterling to euros and the cookie will remember this information. Without a cookie to save this information, you must make this setting every time you shop on this website.

Some cookies store much more information that users see as private and sensitive data. This information includes, for example, which websites you have visited after visiting another website. This could also make your life easier, but it has almost always been used to deliver targeted advertising. You can of course view such tracking on the Internet as an invasion of your privacy.

Cookies can send data back to the websites that you have visited. What the website or the owner of the website does with this data - that's where the invasion of privacy begins. Therefore, many see the deletion of cookies and - to a lesser extent - the browser history as useful.

Should I clear my browsing history?

As with third-party cookies, you may not always want to clear your browsing history because it is convenient if addresses are automatically completed as you type in the browser and if web pages you have recently visited are preferred to search engine results. You may also want to search history to find a webpage that you forgot to bookmark weeks or months ago.

With that in mind, clearing your cookies and browsing history is easy. You have to start a separate deletion process for all browsers that you use because there is no common directory for cookies and website history.

If you'd rather automate the process, there are applications that remove tracking data including cookies. One of them is CCleaner, which is also available for free.

Clear cookies and history in Google Chrome

At the top right of the Chrome window you can see three dots on top of each other. Click on it and choose Settings from the list. Enter in the search box above Cookies and scroll down to Clear browser data .

Check the box Cookies and other website data . Note that you can use the drop-down menu at the top to select the time period - from last hour to total time.

EnlargeYou can also delete specific cookies in Google Chrome

The data will be deleted from all of your devices on which you are signed in to Chrome. If you are not signed in with your Google Account, the data on this device will not be affected, so you may have to repeat this process on other laptops, PCs, and tablets that you own.

You can also use Chrome to delete certain cookies. For that you go in Settings , scroll down and click Extended . Now click on in the left column Data protection and security , then on the right Website settings . click on Cookies> All cookies and website data Show. You can then delete certain cookies here.

Chances are you're seeing a long list and it is a bit of a hassle going through it to figure out what to keep and what to delete. But there is no other way if you only want to save cookies for your favorite pages.

Clear cookies and history in Firefox

In the upper right corner of the main window, click on the three horizontal bars and then on Settings and then in the left column privacy . Scroll down to Cookies and website data and click there Remove data ...

To delete individual cookies, click on Manage data ...

EnlargeDelete individual cookies in Firefox under "Manage data ..."

If you just want to clear the current history, scroll down to the section timeline and click on Clear Chronicle ... Here you can set whether you Everything or only want to delete the history of a certain period and what exactly should be deleted.

Clear cookies and history in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of Edge and select Settings from the menu. click on Clear browser data .

Cookies and browser history are ticked by default, so you have no choice here if you want to keep something - there is only all or nothing here.

EnlargeIn Edge, you can only delete browser data completely, a selection is not possible

But you can also choose the option Delete this data after each session Activate if you should never save cookies or history.

In addition to cookies and browser data, you can also use other deletion options.

Clear cookies and history in Opera

You can open the Opera menu by clicking on the O in the top left. Click on it and then on course and Clear browser data .

Similar to Chrome and Firefox, you can also select the time period and the files to be deleted here.

You can also delete certain cookies in Opera. For that you go in Settings and click in the left column Extended, then on Data protection and security and right here Website settings . click on Cookies and All cookies and website data Show. You can then delete certain cookies here.