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Clearing Cookies in Firefox on a Mac Manually or With Plugins

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/30/2010

Clearing cookies that are obtained from Firefox on a Mac is an extremely simple process. If you have several cookies that have built up on your Mac, this can also be an easy way to recover a bit of hard drive space. Learn how to clear cookies in Firefox on a Mac computer using a couple of methods.

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    Before Getting Started

    firefox logo Before we get started on how to clear cookies in Firefox on a Mac, you should first make sure that you are running the latest version of Firefox. Although software updates can be inconvenient, it's always a good idea to stay updated with the latest version of Firefox to assure that you have the latest bug fixes and security patches.

    To get started, make sure that Firefox is open, and is the current active Window within OS X. From there, select Firefox from the top OS X toolbar, and click Preferences from the drop down menu. Once the Preferences window pops up, click the Advanced tab.

    You should now see a link labeled Update. Click it. Upon doing so, there will be several update options for Firefox, such as Automatically check for updates to: Firefox, Add-ons, and Search Engines. It is a good idea to check all of these boxes, so that Firefox will automatically give you updates, whenever a new version is released. Under the When updates to Firefox are found: section, select Automatically download and install the update. After you have done this, you can close the System Preferences window.

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    Clearing Cookies

    Now, it's time to get started on how to clear cookies in Firefox on a Mac. Navigate to a webpage, any webpage, just to make sure that Firefox is active and up to date. After you have done so, select Tools from the top OS X toolbar, and click Clear Recent History from the drop down menu. This should open up Firefox's Recent History pane. From here, you can select different time periods to delete history, cookies, and more.

    For example, you can select last hour to delete history from sites that you visited in the last hour. Alternatively, you can select Everything to delete all of the history in Firefox. After you have selected a time period, go ahead and check the boxes next to any according items that you want to delete. For this example, you would want to check Cookies. Finally, click the Clear Now button.

    That's all there is to it. You now have cleared cookies from the Firefox web browser.

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    An Easier Way

    better privacy There is a great plugin that you can use to automatically delete cookies, as well as other unneeded data, each time you close out of Firefox. To get the plugin, select Tools from the top OS X toolbar and click Add-ons from the drop down menu. This should bring up the Firefox Add-ons window.

    Click the first tab, labeled Get Add-ons. There should be a search box under this tab that has the text: Search All Add-ons. Type BetterPrivacy into the search box and hit enter. Firefox should automatically find the BetterPrivacy plugin, which looks like a piece of pie with a Ghostbusters sign over it. Click once to select, and then the Add to Firefox button.

    The plugin should immediately install, and Firefox will display a prompt asking you to restart Firefox. Click the button to restart. When Firefox opens back up you will have the BetterPrivacy add-on ready to go. Now, anytime you close Firefox, BetterPrivacy will prompt you to delete cookies.

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