Internet Explorer 11 is the newest software version of Internet Explorer released by Microsoft back in late 2013. Unfortunately, it’s not super obvious how to enable and disable cookies on IE11. I won’t go into the details of that web browser, but if you would like to learn all of the technical aspects of it, I would highly recommend checking out our article that we wrote on it here. For the purpose of this article, Internet Explorer 11 is like all other browsers by the fact that cookies from websites you visit will be placed on your web browser.
There is no escaping cookies entirely, as many websites you visit won’t allow you to continue on their servers if you have disabled cookies. This is how many make money through various strategies of marketing that I will get into later. However, there are also cookies that can be beneficial to your web experience. Many people just want to completely disable all cookies, thinking they are all harmful and provide no benefit. But some can actually save your preferences on their site so when you return the next time it’s a more personalized experience.
Therefore, you will want to be able to enable and disable cookies with ease and for specific websites, as it will make your browsing experience much better. The process to do this on Internet Explorer 11 is very easy and just takes some basic understanding of the operating system. In this article, I will not only give the step-by-step instructions on how to manage your cookies but also make sure you know everything you need to about them. The hard part is deciding which ones to keep on and which ones to disable. The actual process is simple, but after reading this article, you will be knowledgeable in all the different varieties so you can easily manipulate them to your liking.
What Are Cookies?
While real life cookies may be a delicious treat that you love, you may not like many Internet cookies. Cookies are small text files that websites put on your operating system or web browser to store info about your preferences. There are a variety of different types of cookies; some can improve your browsing experience by allowing sites remember your preferences. This includes saving your password and login details, any settings you may have adjusted, and any other data you may have saved. However, some cookies may put your privacy at risk by tracking sites that you visit, which is also used to help advertisers market to you based on your specific interests.
Different Types of Cookies
There are several different types of cookies out there and it is important for you to know the differences between them. This will be crucial in helping you determine the difference between which ones are harmful and which ones you should remove and which ones you should keep as they help with your overall browsing experience.
- Session Cookies – Session cookies help websites remember the information you provide as you move from one page to another within the same website. A very common example is that if you are online shopping and you place an item in your shopping cart, the site will use session cookies to remember the items you placed in it, as you move about the site. Without this cookie, your shopping cart would be emptied each time you went to a different page, as the site would have no way of remembering your data. You obviously want to keep cookies enabled when shopping online. Once you close the browser, the session cookies are lost and the site will not recognize you the next time you return to the site.
- Persistent Cookies – These are the exact opposite, as they exist until they expire or are deleted. A site will continue to recognize you each time you return, which can be beneficial if you want a password saved, or if you close the window and want to come back and having anything you may have saved on the site.
Those above are the two main types of cookies you will encounter. Every cookie can be classified into one of those categories. However, where they come from is a completely different story. Here are the two places where either type can come from, and the differences between each.
- Cookies from a First Party
First party cookies are sent directly by the site that you are visiting. These are the ones that will be much more helpful, as these are the ones that will save your preferences for their site. However, many times they will also advertise to you, so they can be both good and bad.
- Cookies from a Third Party
Then there are the third-party cookies, which almost always come from advertisers and ad servers. They are difficult for most people to identify because they can be connected to any banner ad on a site.
These third-party cookies allow marketers to specifically target advertisements to you based on things you search or you interests. Below is a common real-world example of these cookies in action.
Both of these are examples of a persistent cookie, the most common type. Let’s say you go on Amazon and you search for a backpack for your Macbook. Amazon saves that as a cookie, so when you return, they will show suggested products that you may like, and some may be a backpack or Macbook accessories. That is the first party and persistent cookie, as Amazon, the site you are visiting, is the one responsible for it. However, a third party may create a cookie as well. If you visit other sites with heavy advertising, you may start to see many advertisements for backpacks. This is just one example and this can be applied to nearly everything you search for on the Internet. Many of these third party cookies not only specifically target you by marketing, but they can also be an invasion of privacy.
How to Enable/Disable Cookies
Now that you have a good basic understanding of cookies, I’ll explain how you actually manage them. As a basic rule, you’ll want to keep cookies from first-party sites that are aimed at remembering your personal information for your convenience. You want to disable and delete the ones that share your information with other sites and use it to market products to you. Identifying which type of cookie it is will take practice, but usually, it is pretty obvious. That is the first step in this, which is also the more difficult task. Once you identify which cookies you want to keep and which ones to delete, you can then follow these steps. (As Internet Explorer is almost always used only with Window’s computers, the steps will be for a Windows operating system.
- Start by clicking on the gear in the upper-right corner of the screen, then select Internet Options.
- Click on the Privacy tab, and from there select Advanced. From there, you will see this screen below.
3. Under First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies, choose one of the following:
- Accept – To automatically accept cookies.
- Block – To automatically block cookies.
- Prompt – If you want each site to individually ask you if you would like to accept cookies or not.
Note that you can also check Always allow session cookies if desired. Once you have everything selected that you want, click OK and your preferences will be saved.
4. If you want to block or enable cookies for specific sites, select the Sites button. Under this section, type in the URL in the Address of website field, then select to “Block” or “Allow” cookies on that website. Click “OK” when you are done.
So there it is, that is how to manage cookies to your liking, based on what type of party they come from or a specific URL. As you can see, it is a very easy process, now it’s just up to you to decide which ones to enable and which to disable.
Internet cookies can either be a helpful tool that can make your browsing experience more accessible and more personalized, or they can make it much more annoying. Originally, they were invented only for the positive experience, but over time marketers and advertisers have found ways to manipulate the system and use it to their advantage. That is a common theme with new technology. That is why it is very important for you to be able to understand how to enable and disable cookies whenever you want. This will ensure that you have that optimal web experience, as you can benefit from cookies while not feeling the negative consequences if you do it right.
If you take away one thing from this article, it should be the most important thing about dealing with cookies is understanding exactly what type you are dealing with. If you can learn to do that with skill, you should have no problems from cookies again.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned a lot about cookies and how to manage them if you use Internet Explorer 11. If you have any other questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!