How to Enable Cookies on iPhone

Turning on cookies in mobile Safari can actually make life a little easier

Cookies are pieces of data that are downloaded to your smartphone or computer when visiting webpages. They're stored on your device so that websites can remember whether you've visited them before.

They're useful, but sometimes they can be annoying (particularly if we like our privacy), which is why we might be tempted to disable them.

However, disabling cookies can sometimes stop websites from loading and working properly on our phones, which is why, even after switching them off, we might want to re-enable them again. This guide explains how to do that if you have an iPhone, outlining how to enable cookies for the Safari browser, and covering iPhone operating systems down to iOS 9.

How to Enable Cookies on iPhone iOS 11 Through iOS 13

Assuming that you've already disabled cookies, enabling them again is extremely simple. This is how you do it on iOS 11 through iOS 13, which together cover every iPhone from the iPhone 5S to iPhone 11.

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.

  3. Tap the switch next to Block All Cookies, so that its moves to the On/green position.

    iPhone path to enable all cookies in Safari

That's it, you can now resume viewing websites as normal. You are asked by each new website you visit whether you accept its cookies, and you can choose to tap Yes or No according to whether you trust each website.

How to Enable Cookies on iPhone iOS 7 Through iOS 10

Enabling cookies on iPhones loaded with either iOS 7, 8, 9 or 10 (iPhones 4 to 7 Plus) is almost identical to enabling them on the more recent operating systems. However, there is one extra step involved, as shown below:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.

  3. Scroll down and tap Block Cookies.

  4. Tap Allow from Websites I Visit.

    Path to enable cookies on iPhone

You could tap Allow from Current Website Only, which would mean that only first-party cookies are allowed, rather than third-party cookies from websites you've visited previously. You could also tap Always Allow, which would enable every kind of cookie, even those that don't come from a party whose website you've visited.

Why Do I Need to Enable Cookies on My iPhone?

In our increasingly privacy-focused age, cookies are getting a bad rap. Some of this is justified, but this doesn't change the fact that cookies can be useful. For example, cookies remember your login data for particular websites, so whenever you return to them you remain logged in and don't have to go through the hassle of remembering your password every time you visit.

Similarly, cookies remember your settings for specific websites and domains, saving you from having to answer the same irritating pop-up that asks whether you'd like to receive notifications. For online retail sites, they save what's in your shopping basket, which means that they're all-but-essential if you're a regular online shopper.

They are, in other words, a big timesaver, which is why enabling them is advisable.

How to Delete Cookies

You can choose to periodically delete the cookies you currently have stored without opting to permanently disable cookies. This might be desirable in situations where you've stored settings or visited sites you'd rather erase.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.

  3. Tap Advanced.

  4. Tap Website Data.

    Advanced Safari Settings with Website Data selected
  5. Slide individual website cookies to the left and tap Delete or remove all the cookies from the phone by tapping Remove All Website Data.

  6. Tap Remove Now to confirm the deletion.

    Website Data showing cookies on iPhone

By doing this, you clear cookies you currently have stored on your iPhone without preventing new cookies from being saved during subsequent use.