The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.



Browser Cookies Troubleshooting

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I am having problems with Browser Cookies and wondering how to fix it?”
    - Amanda D., Canada

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer:

Overview of Browser Cookies

Most Internet users become aware of browser cookies through their antivirus programs. Browser cookies are generally harmless and used by services to remember users when they return to a site (eg. keeping you logged into Facebook).

These browser cookies are set in the browser and are used to authenticate users, keep track of their preferences, keep track of their purchases and even their shopping cart contents. Companies have privacy policies in place that limit access to the information they gather from browser cookies. These policies are usually somewhere on their sites, particularly for reputable brands and major web sites.

Some browser cookies are time-limited and will remove themselves as soon as a user leaves a site or closes their browser. Other browser cookies are persistent and keep in place until the user physically removes them.

Many people find browser cookies convenient, particularly when they have favorite sites they visit often and they don't mind that the site knows that they are visiting, or what they looked at or bought in previous visits.

What Problems are Associated with Browser Cookies?

Browser cookies are upsetting to some web users because of the extent of personal and private information gathered by some web sites. These browser cookies not only obtain information regarding a users visit to a web site, they also follow the user to any other sites they visit and collect information from there as well.

This information can be used for a variety of purposes, including displaying targeted ads to users no matter where they are online. This information can be used by the company or person who places the browser cookies or, in some cases, sold to advertisers and others.

Users can adjust their web browser settings to indicate what sort of cookies they will allow. They can also put limits on browser cookies from sites they are unfamiliar with or don't patronize often. Browsers offer the easy option of removing all cookies, but sometimes that can cause problems with frequently visited sites.

If the user's browser security is not up to date, some browser cookies can be used as a type of spyware. Antivirus and anti-spyware programs will usually help identify the more persistent and unneeded browser cookies and remove them for users.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.


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