Cookie: Tom's Mac Software Pick

Keep the Cookies You Need and Ditch the Rest

Cookie setup
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Cookie from SweetP Productions may seem like just another cookie manager for your browser, but it's so much more. Unlike many other cookie systems that run as plug-ins to a browser, Cookie is an independent application that doesn't interfere with how your browser works. Instead, at intervals you define, Cookie will scrub your browser clean of unwanted cookies, history, caches, databases, and Flash cookies.

You can also tell Cookie which items you want to keep, such as login cookies for your favorite websites. This ability to keep some data while removing unwanted items is very useful in helping to keep your browsing private while retaining the ease of using your favorite services.

Pro

  • Easy setup process for selecting which data to keep and which to remove.
  • Removal schedule supports time-based or events-based options.
  • Handles all types of cookies, including perpetual tracking cookies, which are normally difficult to remove.
  • Works with Flash and Silverlight cookies.
  • Can delete databases (local storage) that websites secretly store on your Mac.
  • Supports whitelists and blacklists.

Con

  • Doesn't prevent cookies from being used; it only removes them.
  • Only a cookie management system, not an ad blocker.

If, like me, you're tired of manually removing cookies from your web browser, Cookie may be the perfect solution.

Sure, there are quite a few cookie-cleaning systems out there, but none are as easy to use or let you effectively set up your favorite cookies to retain.

There are a great many websites that I need to interact with daily, and while I would like to scrub my browser of all the various types of cookies each session, the reality is it would be very inconvenient to have to always log into the websites I use.

Cookie lets me set up a list of favorite sites whose cookies I want to keep. By combining this with the cookie blocking already included with Safari (and most other web browsers), I end up with an effective means of cleaning out all the unwanted web data I gather during a session with my browser.

Setting Up Cookie

The first time you launch Cookie, a setup wizard will walk you through the process of selecting which types of cookies and browser data you want to get rid of, and which you want to mark as a favorite to keep. The process is very straightforward. Cookie displays the cookies currently being stored and allows you to mark them as favorites or stuff to trash.

The wizard-based setup takes care of the basics, letting you configure how cookies, Flash cookies, Silverlight cookies, and databases (files stored on your Mac by various web services) are handled.

The wizard then sets up when the unwanted debris you accumulate from the web should be deleted. You can have the stuff removed whenever you quit your browser, when you quit the Cookie app, by using a timer, which allows you to clear out your browser every xx minutes, or whenever you log into your Mac. You can choose any one or more of the removal options to fit your needs.

Advanced Setup

The wizard-based setup takes care of all the basic settings, but there are additional features, including the ability to edit the tracking cookie definitions that are included within Cookie. This lets you add new tracking cookie names as you come across them. SweetP adds updates to the tracking list with each release, but you can quickly add your own without waiting for an update.

The feature I really liked was the ability to create a whitelist or blacklist of cookies that I wish to manage, either ensuring they're not deleted, or they're tossed on the scrap heap right away.

Using Cookie

In actual use, Cookie is pretty much a set-and-forget app.

It will monitor your browser and delete the unwanted data at the time or events you configured Cookie to use.

I found that Cookie worked very well. I set up Cookie to clean my browser cookies, cache, and history whenever I quit Safari, and I checked my cookie list after I quit Safari. Cookie always seemed to be doing its job.

Besides the automatic times you set up for cookie deletion, Cookie has numerous ways to manually invoke a cleaning cycle. You can bring up the Cookie app and select various cleaning options, but the easiest method is to click on the menu bar item for Cookie, and from the drop-down menu, select the type of data you want removed. You can even set a countdown timer to have the cleanup process performed in xx minutes.

Final Thoughts

I like Cookie. It's an easy-to-use app that does just what it says it will do: clean out the rat's nest of cookies your browser collects. I especially like its ability to mark certain cookies as favorites, that is, ones I wish to keep; yes, there really are cookies that make it easier to use the web.

Cookie is $14.99. A demo is available.

See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.