Q. Is there a way to get rid of the accumulated cookies on my computer?
A. Yes, but don’t be too quick to get rid of them all. Many of these small files, which are put on your computer by Web sites you visit, are often very helpful. Because they are stored in your computer, they speed the reloading of revisited sites. In addition, if you wish, they will remember passwords to those sites if one is required. However, it’s true that other cookies are simply an invasion of privacy, used by the site to collect data on visitors.
So I’ll not only show you how to get rid of those you don’t want but also how to recognize those beneficial ones you wish to keep. Assuming you’re using Internet Explorer and a Windows operating system earlier than XP, begin by right-clicking on the Explorer icon and on Properties . Then click on View files , which opens a folder that contains all the cookies on your system. If you see file names from sites you know and trust, leave them alone. The others you can selectively delete the same way you delete other files.
If you use XP, right-click on Explorer and then click on Internet Properties, which opens the screen at right.
You have the option to delete all your cookies in one step, or, if you click on Settings , you can set cookie defaults or view all of them for selective deletions.