Web browsers feed your iPhone with cookies every time you visit different web pages. Cookies streamline your online experience by saving browsing preferences and personal information on your device, so you don’t have to repeat certain tasks. It’s one of the technologies through which websites obtain your information.

Websites save different types of cookies on your device. Jump to the sections below to learn the different types of cookies and how to enable cookies on your iPhone. This post highlights the steps for managing cookies in Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. 

Table of Contents
    Drawing of cookies on an iPhone screen

    First-Party vs. Third-Party Cookies

    The cookie management options on many web browsers will depend on the type of cookie you’re dealing with. Cookies are grouped into two major categories based on their source and purpose.

    First-Party Cookies: These are cookies created directly by websites you visit on a browser. Say you visit SwitchingToMac.com, and the website saves cookies labeled “switchingtomac.com” in your browser. Those are “First-party cookies” because the host domain created the cookie.

    Many websites often display a dialog box prompting you to grant them access to create cookies on your device. First-party cookies are responsible for preferences and customizations like language, passwords, usernames, billing address, etc., on your browser.

    If you revisit a website and you didn’t have to re-enter your login credentials or redo some customizations you made on your first visit, that’s because the site saved its (first-party) cookie on your device.

    Cookies on a Mac laptop screen

    Third-Party Cookies: These are cookies generated by web servers that don’t belong to the website you visit. Third-party cookies are often created by ads embedded on a webpage by another website different from the one in your browser’s URL.

    Advertisers often use third-party cookies (also known as Tracking Cookies) to track your online activity across multiple websites. Therefore, do configure your browser to block third-party cookies automatically.

    Enable Cookies in Safari on iPhone

    Some sites require you to enable cookies on your browser to enjoy the best user experience. You might encounter difficulties accessing content on certain websites if your browser isn’t saving cookies to your iPhone. To enable cookies in Safari, close the browser and follow these steps:

    1. Open the Settings app and select Safari on the list of applications.
    Settings > Safari
    1. Scroll to the “Privacy & Security” and toggle off Block All Cookies.
    Block All Cookies toggled to off

    With this option turned off, you’ve successfully configured Safari to allow websites to save cookies on your iPhone.

    Enable Cookies on iPhone for Google Chrome

    Unlike Android, Chrome’s cookie management in iOS is quite restrictive. For context, the Android version of Google Chrome boasts of several cookie management options that let you block or allow cookies in regular and incognito mode.

    On iPhones and iPads, Chrome automatically allows websites to create and store cookies. The feature is enabled by default and stays enabled forever.

    Enable Cookies in Microsoft Edge

    By default, Microsoft Edge blocks third-party websites from saving cookies to your device. If you want to enable cookies for all websites in Microsoft Edge on your iPhone, here’s how to go about it:

    1. Open Microsoft Edge and tap the three-dot menu icon on the toolbar.
    Three-dot menu icon
    1. Select Settings.
    Settings icon
    1. Select Privacy and security.
    Privacy and Security selected
    1. Scroll to the “Security” section and tap Cookies.
    Cookies in Security section
    1. Select Block only third-party cookies if you want Edge to save only first-party cookies generated by the website(s) you visit. Otherwise, select Don’t block cookies to instruct Edge to save both first-party and third-party cookies on your iPhone.
    Cookies options
    1. Close and reopen Microsoft Edge for the change to take effect.

    Enable Cookies in Mozilla Firefox

    Firefox also saves websites’ cookies automatically by default. However, for instructional purposes, here’s how to check and enable cookies in Firefox on iPhones and iPads.

    1. Launch Firefox, tap the hamburger menu icon at the bottom-right corner, and select Settings.
    Settings in hamburger menu
    1. In the “Privacy” section, select Data Management.
    Data Management selected
    1. Make sure Cookies is toggled on. If disabled, toggle on the option and restart Firefox.
    Cache toggle switch

    How to Clear Cookies On iPhone

    Everything in life has advantages and disadvantages. Despite the benefits attached to the cookie technology, obsolete cookies can affect your browser’s performance. Hackers can also exploit cookies to gain access to your information and online activity.

    If your browser saved third-party cookies on your iPhone, or you’re experiencing issues visiting webpages and downloading files, consider clearing all saved cookies. Note that clearing your browser’s cookies will sign you out of most websites. Likewise, you might have to re-customize your preferences and other settings when you revisit some websites.

    Clear Cookies in Safari

    Head to Settings > Safari and tap Clear History and Website Data. Tap Clear History and Data on the prompt to confirm the operation.

    Clear History and Data button

    Note that this deletes cookies saved by Safari and removes browsing history and other site data.

    Clear Cookies in Chrome

    Although Chrome’s cookie management isn’t flexible on iOS devices, users have the liberty to delete cookies at any time.

    1. Tap the More icon at the bottom-right corner and select Settings.
    Settings in More menu
    1. Select Privacy.
    Privacy selected
    1. Select Clear Browsing Data.
    Clear Browsing Data
    1. Check Cookies, Site Data, and tap Clear Browsing Data at the bottom of the page. Tap Clear Browsing Data again to proceed.
    Cookies, Site Data selected and Clear Browsing Data button

    Clear Cookies in Microsoft Edge

    1. Open the browser’s Settings menu and select Privacy and security.
    Privacy and Security selected
    1. Select Clear browsing data.
    Clear browsing data selected
    1. Check Cookies and site data and tap Clear browsing data. Tap Clear on the confirmation prompt to proceed.
    Cookies and site data, Clear browsing data, and Clear button

    Clear Cookies in Firefox

    Open the Firefox settings menu, select Data Management, toggle on Cookies only, tap Clear Private Data, and tap OK on the prompt.

    Cookies toggled on > Clear Private Data > OK button

    That’s pretty much all there is to know about enabling and clearing cookies on an iPhone. The steps and techniques in this guide apply to iPadOS devices. 

    Want to view or clear all website cookies stored locally on your computer? Refer to this guide on managing browser cookies for better privacy.