How to Enable and Allow Cookies on Your Macbook Pro

If a website or web-based application isn’t working properly on your MacBook Pro, these sites might ask you to enable and allow cookies. But how in the world do you do that?

To enable and allow cookies on your MacBook in Safari, go to “Preference,” then “Privacy,” and uncheck “Block all cookies.” 

As a former Mac administrator and everyday Mac user, I’ll show you all the steps and caveats of enabling cookies in macOS.

Specifically we’ll look at the procedure for the two most popular browsers on macOS: Apple’s own Safari and Google’s Chrome browser.

Let’s dive in.

How to Enable Cookies in Safari on your Mac

  • Open the Safari application and click on the Safari menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Click on Preferences…
  • Click on the Privacy tab.
  • Clear the checkbox next to Block all cookies to enable first-party cookies.
  • Clear the checkbox next to Prevent cross-site tracking if you want to enable third-party cookies (I’ll explain the difference below).
  • Quit and restart Safari.

Note: first-party cookies are enabled by default, so the Block all cookies box will be unchecked unless you chose to block cookies in the past.

How to Enable Cookies in Chrome on Your Mac

  • Click on the kebab menu (the three vertical dots) in the top right corner of the Chrome window.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Click on Privacy and security.
  • Click on Cookies and other site data.
  • Choose any option except Block all cookies to enable regular (first-party) cookies.

How Can I Tell If Cookies Are Enabled?

Other than the methods listed above, WhatIsMyBrowser.com has a handy tool for checking cookie settings.

From the browser you want to check, visit the following URLs:

What are Cookies and What Do They Do?

Have you ever visited a retail website, added something to your digital shopping cart, and then returned to the site days later, only to find that item is still in your cart?

You weren’t logged in to the e-retailer, so how did the site remember what was in your cart?

Answer: cookies.

Cookies allow websites to provide customizable experiences for users including things like location information, usernames, and shopping cart status. The site creates a small file called a cookie on your computer that the site then reads the next time you visit.

First-party cookies are cookies that belong to the websites you visit. Without these enabled, many sites won’t function properly.

Third-party cookies come from sites other than the one you’re visiting. For example, say you browse prices for tickets to Disney World on Disney’s website. Later, while scrolling through your Facebook feed you see multiple ads for vacation packages to Disney World.

How did Facebook know you were interested?

In our theoretical example, Disney allowed a third-party Facebook cookie to track you so the company could serve you ads on Meta’s social media platform.

Should You Turn on Cookies?

I would recommend leaving regular, first-party cookies on, but turning off third-party cookies.

Leaving third party cookies enabled allows other sites to track your Internet activity without your knowledge or consent. To make matters worse, these sites then profit off of your private information by selling advertising to e-retailers based on your browsing history.

How to Delete Cookies from Your Mac

Safari:

  • Return to the Privacy tab of the Safari Preferences pane and click on Manage Website Data…
  • Click on Remove All to delete your cookies.

Chrome:

  • Return to the Privacy and security pane in the Chrome’s Settings page.
  • Click on Clear browsing data.
  • Change the Time range to All time.
  • Select Cookies and other site data and click Clear data.

Conclusion

Cookies serve a useful function for the modern web-browsing experience, and sometimes they are necessary for websites to operate as intended.

Use the steps in this guide, and you’ll be back to browsing the web in no time. Do you have questions about disabling cookies on your MacBook Pro? Let us know in the comments. 

About Andrew Gilmore
Based in Norman, Oklahoma, Andrew is an ex-certified Apple technician with over fifteen years of experience in the IT world specializing in macOS and iOS. When he's not writing, he enjoys video games, reading, and really bad movies.

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