How to Clear Cookies and Cache in Chrome

Remove all cookies from all sites or just cookies from a single site

Pile of smiley sandwich cookies.

Steve Buissinne / Pixabay

Chrome stores small files called cookies on your computer for a variety of reasons, one of which is to keep you logged in to your favorite websites. The browser also stores images and other files, called the cache, to make pages load faster when you revisit them. This article explains how to clear a single site of cookies or multiple sites at once.

Why Websites Use Cookies

Websites commonly use cookies to track your browsing habits and target ads to you. Often, this is a fairly harmless process. In some situations, however, cookies can even be stolen or faked and provide a way for a hacker to get into your online accounts. Clearing the cookies in Chrome deletes them permanently from your computer and prevents them from being used in those ways. 

The cached files used by Chrome are often beneficial, too, much like cookies. However, the Chrome cache can become corrupted and cause page loading issues. They can also take up plenty of space on your hard drive, which can affect Chrome's performance and prevent you from using your hard drive for other things like music and video downloads.

Fortunately, Chrome makes it very easy to remove cached files and delete cookies. Through just a few clicks in the settings, you can start removing these files on your own schedule in just a minute or two, or even faster once you get the hang of it.

When you erase cookies, cached files, history, and other components saved in Chrome, remember that Chrome will not work exactly the same afterward. For example, any logged-in websites that rely on that data will be logged out. The history suggestions that come up when you type in Chrome's navigation bar will also be cleared. Before you delete any cookies, be certain you do not use them regularly. Often, clearing them from a specific site is a useful method and saves other sites that you use often from getting information dumped.

Open Chrome's Settings

The area in Chrome where you can clear the cache and delete cookies is located in Settings. Chrome has lots of settings, and the cookies and cache settings are not in the primary area shown when you launch Chrome's settings. To find and clear them, do the following:

  1. Select Customize and control Google Chrome denoted by the 3 vertical dots on the upper right-hand side of Chrome.

    Chrome browser on the Lifewire website.
  2. Select Settings from the menu.

    Selecting Settings in Google Chrome browser.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and select Advanced to expand Settings.

    Viewing Settings in Google Chrome browser.
  4. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.

    Viewing privacy and security settings in Google Chrome browser.

Decide How Much to Delete

There are a couple ways to clear the cache and cookies in Chrome. One method will delete all of the cookies and cache, while the other lets you pick which cookies to keep and which to remove.

  1. In Chrome, go to Customize and control Google Chrome > Settings > Advanced > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.

  2. Decide whether to remove all cookies or just some of them.

  3. To delete all cookies, see the section Clear Everything below.

  4. To delete some cookies but keep others, see the section Delete Certain Cookies Only below.

Clear Everything (Clear All Cookies From All Sites)

If you're deleting every cookie and cached image/file in Chrome, you can pick how far back to remove them or you can delete everything Chrome has stored.

  1. Select the Basic tab.

  2. Choose an option from the Time range drop-down menu.

    • To remove everything, pick All time, or pick anywhere from Last hour to Last 4 weeks to keep some of the more recent cookies and other data.
    Choosing the time range for cookie deletion in Google Chrome browser.
  3. Ensure that there are checks in all 3 boxes labeled Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, and Cached images and files.

    Viewing the Basic clear data tab in Google Chrome browser.
  4. Select Clear data.

Alternatively, you can select exactly what you want to delete by selecting the Advanced tab instead. Here's how:

  1. Select the Advanced tab.

  2. Choose an option from the Time range drop-down menu.

    • To remove everything that you choose, pick All time.
    Choosing the time range for cookie deletion in Google Chrome browser.
  3. Place checkmarks in any or all of the list: Browsing history, Download history, Cookies and other site data, Passwords and other sign-in data, Autofill form data, Site Settings, or Hosted app data.

    Watch what you select. Deleting autofill form data, for example, will erase everything saved in forms, such as your name, email address, phone number, and payment information.

    Advanced data clearing options in Google Chrome browser.
  4. Select Clear data when ready.

    Additional options to clear in Google Chrome browser.

Similar to clearing the cache and cookies in other browsers, Chrome lets you jump right to these settings through a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + Del in Windows and Command + Shift + Del in macOS.

Delete Certain Cookies Only (Clear Cookies From A Single Site)

Chrome stores cookies for each site individually, and you have full control over which ones get deleted. 

  1. From the Privacy and security section, select Site Settings.

    Viewing privacy and security settings in Google Chrome browser.
  2. Select Cookies.

    Site settings in Google Chrome browser.
  3. Select See all cookies and site data.

    Notice the Keep local data only until you quit your browser option. If you enable it, Chrome will automatically delete this information each time you close out of the browser, saving you from having to repeat these steps often.

    Cookies settings in Google Chrome browser.
  4. A full list of every website storing cookies through Chrome is listed.

  5. Search or scroll through the list to find the website that's storing cookies you want to remove. 

  6. Click the trash icon next to any website to remove that site's cookies and site data.

  7. To remove all the cookies and data from all the sites listed, click REMOVE ALL at the top of the page.

    Viewing all the cookies in Google Chrome browser.
  8. You can also look at the details of individual cookies by selecting one, then on the next screen select the down arrow to see details.

    Viewing an individual cookie details in Google Chrome browser.
  9. Or if you want to delete from a certain website, you can use Search cookies, then select Remove All Shown.

    Searching for a particular cookie in Google Chrome browser.