How To Clear Cookies On Your Google Chrome Browser

When you use Google Chrome, it saves information from the websites you visit. Clearing these files, called cookies, may fix some of your computer issues. Here's how to do it.
Patti Croft, Author
Catherine McNally, Editor
Last updated Jul 28, 2022

If you use Google Chrome and have a slow web browser or notice formatting issues, you may be experiencing device problems that could get solved by a simple fix. You may need to delete cookies and your browsing history.

Cookies are files that get created when you visit websites. Their purpose is to make your online experience better by saving your internet browser data. The problem is, having too many cookies can slow your system down instead of speeding it up. Cookies also store purchases you make and allow websites to track your internet searches to get a better profile of your habits in order to show you ads.

Erasing saved information from your web browser is important to keep your device operating at peak performance and to keep your data secure. Continue reading our article to learn all about cookies and how you can clear them on Google Chrome.

Need to clear history and cookies on other browsers?

Read our guides on how to clear your cookies and history on Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

In this article
What is a computer cookie?
How to clear cookies on Google Chrome
How to clear your browser cache in Chrome
How to clear your browser history on Chrome
How to clear your Google Chrome cache and cookies on iPhone
How to clear your Google Chrome cache and cookies on an Android device
FAQs
Bottom line

The word cookie may seem like an odd technical term at first glance, but once you understand the meaning behind it, the word makes perfect sense.

A computer cookie is a file that websites send to your internet browser when you visit them.

For example, these websites may be retail stores that you’ve shopped at previously. The retail stores use cookies to remember which items you clicked on and what products you placed in your shopping cart.

This is similar to the idea of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to track a path. Thus, the word cookie.

These small files aren’t dangerous, but there are times when hackers attempt to gain access to user accounts with cookies that are stored in the browser. There are also third-party tracking cookies that allow other entities to watch the sites you visit, so cookies can be harmful to your online privacy. For these reasons, you should know how to clear cookies on Google Chrome whenever you like.

How to clear cookies on Google Chrome

When you use the Chrome browser, it saves data from all the websites you visit. These cookies collect information to learn more about you and give you a better online experience.

If you use the internet often, those files could start to pile up, making your device run slow. You may notice pages take longer to load and the performance of your online experience seems to come to a crawl.

When this happens, you can follow some simple steps to clear the cookies from your Chrome browser. (These tips work whether you use a Windows computer, Mac, Android, or iOS device.)

Heads up: Some of your settings may get deleted along with your cookies, so you might need to sign back into your Google account. You should check your recovery settings for your account before clearing cookies in case you lose your password.

1. Open Chrome on your computer.

2. In the top-right corner, click the three vertical dots to bring up customization options.

A screenshot of a Google Chrome web browser tab with an arrow pointing to the three stacked dots settings menu icon in the upper-right corner.

3. In the drop-down menu, select More tools, then Clear browsing data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser settings menu showing the More Tools option highlighted and Clear Browsing Data selected.

4. You’ll have the option to choose a time range. To delete all your cookies, select All time. Then click Clear data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser's Clear Browsing Data window and advanced options, showing a time range of "All time" and with browsing history, download history, and cookies and other site data checked.

Clear your cache amd cookies in 5 seconds or less

Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete (Shift + Cmd + Delete on a Mac) to open the Google Chrome Privacy and security page and clear your cache, browsing history, and cookies.

How to clear your browser cache in Chrome

When you clear your cookies in Chrome, you’ll want to go ahead and clear the cache, too. The cache is the reserved location for storage that keeps temporary data. It helps browsers and websites run faster.

The point of the cache is to make it easy and fast to retrieve data. When you can get to data quickly, your device is faster. Your cache is like a memory bank that lets you get to data locally instead of having to download information repeatedly when accessing a website you’ve visited.

The downside to the cache is that it can take up a lot of space over time, and your device could become slow to respond. Fortunately, clearing the cache is a simple and fast process, and you can do it at the same time you clear your cookies.

1. Open Chrome on your computer.

A screenshot of a Google Chrome web browser tab with an arrow pointing to the three stacked dots settings menu icon in the upper-right corner.

2. At the top right, click the three vertical dots for more customization options.

3. Select More tools, then Clear browsing data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser settings menu showing the More Tools option highlighted and Clear Browsing Data selected.

4. At the top right, you can choose a time range. To completely clear the cache, select All time.

5. Here, you can delete your cookies and clear the cache at the same time. Make sure the box is checked for Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data. Click Clear data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser's Clear Browsing Data window and advanced options, showing a time range of "All time" and with browsing history and download history checked.

How to clear your browser history on Chrome

There are a few reasons you may want to clear your browser history on Chrome. Some people think of it as housekeeping for their devices. It wipes the slate clean and keeps the computer running at its peak.

Clearing your history also keeps hackers from targeting personal information for future use. It can keep your private information more secure because if anyone else uses the device, they can’t see your browsing history.

When you’re ready to clear your browser history on Chrome, you can go to the same settings you used to clear cookies and the cache.

1. Open Chrome on your computer. Click the three vertical dots on the top right.

A screenshot of a Google Chrome web browser tab with an arrow pointing to the three stacked dots settings menu icon in the upper-right corner.

2. Click on More Tools, then Clear Browsing Data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser settings menu showing the More Tools option highlighted and Clear Browsing Data selected.

3. You’ll come to the option to select a date range. To clear the entire history, select All Time, and make sure the checkbox for Browsing history is selected.

4. If you would like, you can clear the download history, cookies, and cache at the same time. When you have selected all the boxes you want to clear, click on Clear data.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser's Clear Browsing Data window and advanced options, showing a time range of "All time" and with browsing history, download history, and cookies and other site data checked.

How to clear your Google Chrome cache and cookies on iPhone

You may want to clear your Chrome cache and cookies on your iPhone for the same reasons you would clear them on your computer. Most of us use our phones for numerous hours each day. After so much browsing and use, your iPhone’s cache could get pretty full. Clearing cache and cookies may help the device run better.

Before you clear out the cookies and cache, you should know that you could get signed out of your Google Account. Make sure you update your recovery phone number and email address. After you do that, you can get started.

1. Open your Chrome app on your iPhone.

2. At the bottom right, click the three horizontal dots for more options.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser open on an iPhone. To get to the Clear Browsing Data menu, you'll need to tap the three horizontal dots in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

3. Click History, then Clear Browsing Data.

4. Place a checkmark in the boxes for: Browsing History, Cookies, Site Data, and Cached Images and Files.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser open on an iPhone with the Clear Browsing Data menu shown. Browsing History, Cookies, Site Data, and Cached Images and Files are all selected to be cleared.

5. Click on Clear Browsing Data.

How to clear your Google Chrome cache and cookies on an Android device

Clearing the cache and cookies on Google Chrome for your Android device is as easy as it is for an iPhone. You can also use the Chrome app to update your privacy settings.

As with other devices, clearing cookies and cache will free up storage space and remove unwanted files that could affect your device’s performance.

When you remove cookies, you may get signed out of websites and your saved preferences deleted, so keep this in mind and make sure your password information is saved and updated in a different location for quick access. You can use the steps below to clear the Google Chrome cache and cookies from your Android device.

1. Open Chrome on your device. At the top right, click the three vertical dots.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser with the Amazon main page open. The Chrome settings menu is open with directions to tap on the History option.

2. Select History, then Clear browsing data.

3. Here you can choose a time range. To delete all the history, select All time.

4. Check the boxes next to Cookie and site data and Cached images and files.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome web browser and Clear Browsing Data menu open. Browsing history, Cookies and site data, and Cached images and files are all checked and ready to be cleared.

5. Click Clear data.

FAQs


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Should I clear cookies on Chrome?

Yes, it is a good idea to clear cookies on Chrome to help your device run better and keep your personal information private.


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How often should you clear cookies?

How often you clear cookies depends on the device you use. If you’re using a shared device, it’s recommended to clear cookies after each use to clear your data history.

If you’re using a personal device, you should clear cookies at least once per month to keep the device running at its peak or if you see browser performance issues.


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What happens when you remove all cookies?

When you remove all cookies, you get signed out of websites you’ve visited and your saved preferences may get deleted. You will also get control back over your data and browsing history because you essentially remove your internet trail.


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Should I accept cookies from websites?

Yes, It can be helpful to accept cookies from websites because some sites may not grant you access otherwise. Accepting cookies can also improve your online experience as they help sites remember you and your preferences. Cookies save your browser login credentials as well.

If your antivirus flags cookies, or if you’re sharing private data like your Social Security number, you should decline the use of cookies to keep your data safe. These are cookie privacy concerns and you must use caution when visiting these sites.

Bottom line

Deleting your Google Chrome cookies, cache, and browsing history is beneficial because it cleans the slate for your device to perform better without being bogged down. When you have a full cache and lots of cookies, your device can lag because there’s not enough storage space and your browser has too many files to scan.

Clearing the cookies, cache, and browsing history also removes your personal information. That gives you back some control because sites can’t track you or your browsing history. Although rare, there are also malicious cookies that get used to sell your data to third-party sites that could send you intrusive pop-up ads and emails.

You can also protect yourself online by not giving your personal information out, unless you are sure the source is secure. That means you are using an official site, like a banking or government site. Using antivirus software will also scan for malware and help keep your data secure. Using a VPN could give you peace of mind knowing your personal information is encrypted.

Author Details
Patti Croft
Patti Croft has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and an MBA. She's also a Certified Health Data Analyst through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Patti worked in Information Technology for 16 years and loves everything tech and gadgets!