How to Enable Cookies on an iPad

Cookies can get you personalized ads and suggestions

What to Know

  • Safari: Settings > Safari > move Block All Cookies and Prevent Cross-Site Tracking sliders to off/white.
  • Chrome: Settings > Chrome > move Allow Cross-Website Tracking slider to on/green.
  • Cut down on intrusive advertising and tracking without disabling all cookies by using ad blockers.

Cookies are small files that websites add to your browser to improve your web browsing experience. This article explains how to enable cookies on the iPad in the Safari and Chrome web browsers.

How Do I Enable Cookies on an iPad?

Cookies are generally turned on by default, so in many cases, you won't need to enable them. So, if you haven't changed your cookie settings, you're all set! However, if you have ever changed your iPad privacy settings, you might have turned off cookies. If that's the case, follow these steps to enable cookies on an iPad:

  1. Tap Settings.

    The Settings app highlighted on an iPad.
  2. Tap Safari.

    Screenshot of Safari settings on iPad showing cookie-related options.

    Remember, cookies are added to your browser by websites, so you control this preference for each browser, not at the operating system level. Here's how to delete cookies if you need to.

  3. Go to the Privacy & Security section. There are two cookie-related options:

    • Block All Cookies: This is pretty obvious. If the slider is set to on/green, Safari will block every cookie from every website. Move the slider to off/white and cookies are enabled on your iPad.
    • Prevent Cross-Site Tracking: This one is a bit trickier. These cookies are specifically for advertising. They don't generally provide the useful features some cookies offer. Cross-site tracking cookies are really just to help advertisers profile and target you. To allow every single cookie you encounter on the internet, leave this set to off/white. But, if you don't want to be profiled by advertisers, you can set this to on/green and still benefit from other kinds of cookies.
    "Prevent Cross-Site Tracking" and "Block All Cookies" in Security settings on an iPad

The second-most-popular iPad browser is Google Chrome. In Chrome for iPad, cookies are enabled by default and you can't disable them. The one cookie-related option you have in Chrome is to decide whether to let advertiser track you across sites. This is disabled by default, but you can allow it by going to Settings > Chrome > move the Allow Cross-Website Tracking slider to on/green.

What Are Browser Cookies?

As mentioned earlier, cookies are small files websites place on your device's web browser when you visit the site. These files can contain all sorts of information, including your preferences and history for that site. Cookies help connect to site traffic analytics and advertising platforms, and also make it easier to log in, save articles or products, and for the site to make recommendations to you.

Most people leave at least some cookies enabled on their devices, since browsing the web without any cookies at all makes the experience more difficult than it needs to be. Many privacy-conscious people, though, do block advertising cookies, since they see the amount of data advertisers try to collect on them and their online behavior as intrusive (because of this sort of use, cookies are being phased out).

If you're concerned about your online privacy, we've got articles to help you block ads on your iPhone and iPad and to teach you about iPad and iPhone privacy settings.

  • How do I clear browser cookies on an iPad?

    To remove cookies from Safari on an iPad, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data. From this screen, you can remove cookies and other data from an individual site by swiping left on its URL and choosing Delete. Alternatively, tap Remove All Website Data to clear everything at once.

  • How do I clear cookies in Chrome for iPad?

    You can clear website data in Chrome for iPad from inside the app. Select the More (three dots) menu, and then tap History. Choose Clear Browsing Data, and then make sure Cookies, Site Data has a checkmark next to it. Tap Clear Browsing Data again, and then confirm.

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