By Macworld Staff, MacworldMAR 30, 2005 4:00 pm PST
Most browsers allow you to view basic information about cookies, and some even allow you to manage those cookies. Safari is no exception: By clicking the Security icon in Safari preferences and then clicking the Show Cookies button, you’re presented with a list of all your cookies. You’re also provided with a good amount of information on each: the domain name of the website, the name of the cookie, the path to the particular Web server sub-directory (if any) to which the cookie applies, whether or not the cookie is secure, the expiration date of the cookie, and the contents of the cookie. If you select a cookie, you can press the delete key, or click the Remove button, to delete it.
Safari’s cookie management dialog
For a better solution, check out Nicolas Valcasara’s free Cookies Eater 1.1 ( ). Like Safari’s own cookie dialog, Cookies Eater lets you view your cookies and sort them by domain (website), name, and expiration date. You can also Get Information (Command+I) on a cookie to view its path and contents (although not its security value). But several additional features make Cookies Eater a much better solution than Safari’s own dialog for managing your cookies. First and foremost is its search field: By typing a domain, or part of a domain, into the field, you can filter the list of cookies to just those associated with that domain. (Alternatively, if you know the name of the cookie you want to find, you can change the search criterion from Domain to Name.) In the screenshot below, I used the search function to locate all cookies associated with the MacFixIt website.
Cookies Eater’s Search function
Once you’ve located the desired cookies, you can select them all and delete them, just as you can in Safari—Cookies Eater even lets you undo accidentally deletions. But Cookies Eater has another handy feature that power users will appreciate: By getting information on a cookie, not only can you view more information about it, but you can also edit that information: domain, expiration date, name, path, and value. I don’t recommend editing cookies if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, but if you do, Cookies Eater makes the process simple. (It even lets you duplicate selected cookies or create new cookies from scratch.)
Cookies Eater’s cookie editing dialog
Finally, Cookies Eater includes a White List feature that allows you to protect particular cookies from accidental deletion. Cookies for any domains you add to this White List cannot be deleted or edited until you remove the respective domain(s) from the White List. This is a good way to make sure you don’t accidentally delete useful cookies while “cleaning house.”
Cookies management isn’t for everyone. But if you’re the type of user who spends time in Safari’s cookies dialog, that time will be much better spent using Cookies Eater.