Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: Unwanted Google Cookies being set on Safari web browser.

When I set Safari 4.0.2 to reject all cookies, it rejects them EXCEPT for a Google cookie that keeps popping up! When I get rid of that cookie, it remains free of cookies for a while but then, a little later on, another Google cookie shows up. even though Safari's preferences still are set on "never accept cookies"! Why does this happen? Why do I have to continually get rid of this Google cookie? I realize that a member of Google's board of directors also is on Apple's board of directors. Does this mean Apple allows Google to put cookies on our computers even though we do not want them to? This does not happen when I use the Firefox 3.5.1 web browser. Must I forgo the use of Safari and use another web browser to keep my computer free of cookies? Google (or is it Apple?) seems to be acting like some sort of third-party malware producer under these circumstances! Is there any legal way I can actually prevent Google from putting cookies on my computer and still use Safari? Is it some kind of bug? Or is Apple in cahoots with Google on this particular point?

Would really appreciate an answer. Does anybody else have this problem?

Thank you!

iMac 24" Early 2009, Mac OS X (10.5.7), 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4 GB Memory

Posted on

Reply

Jul 19, 2009 9:31 PM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

I think you're going overboard on the conspiracy theories here. Take a deep breath and relax.

Did you download Google Desktop for Mac? If so, that sets a persistent cookie and that would probably be the source of your problem.

But if you don't want to keep cookies in Safari, there's a much easier way to prevent that. With Safari open, go to Preferences>Security and click on Show Cookies and delete all the cookies. Then go to ~/Library/Cookies, select the Cookies.plist file and use the Get Info panel to Lock the file.

Now, wherever you go on the web, you can set Safari to accept cookies only from the sites you visit (not asking you for permission each time) and when you quit, all cookies will be lost.

Jul 19, 2009 9:31 PM

Reply Helpful

Jul 19, 2009 10:03 PM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

Thanks a lot, sitspotsit, I'll have to try your solution. No, I have never downloaded Google Desktop for Mac. I've been using Safari's preferences to reject all cookies for years now and have never had any trouble with it. Of course, when I encountered a web site where I had to have my cookies on, I used Safari's preferences to turn them on. Then, afterwards, I'd turn them off and erase all cookies that had been placed on my hard drive. This has always worked nicely without any sort of problem. So a month or so ago, when these unwanted Google cookies started showing up, I became concerned! Why did Safari's preference file not reject them? After all I had the preference file reject ALL cookies but this one Google cookie found a way to bypass Safari's preferences. I still do not know. But I'll try your solution to see if it works!

Thanks again!

- Monsieur Hobbit

Jul 19, 2009 10:03 PM

Reply Helpful

Jul 19, 2009 10:44 PM in response to sitspotsit In response to sitspotsit

sitspotsit: So far your solution seems to be working regarding Google cookies. But I'll have to try it out for a longer period of time!

Care to explain how you can get rid of Google's tracking of your search history? Is Google becoming the modern version of George Orwell's "Big Brother" of "1984" fame?

Don't get me wrong. I like Google. I use their Google Searches all the time. Together with Wikipedia (to keep Wikipedia honest!) Just as long as they don't get too big for their britches!

- Monsieur Hobbit

Jul 19, 2009 10:44 PM

Reply Helpful

Jul 20, 2009 7:16 AM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

Care to explain how you can get rid of Google's tracking of your search history?


Google isn't tracking this, Apple is just keeping a record in Safari, in case you want to search for the same thing again. A 1984 moment would have been last week when Amazon.com "rescinded" that book and Animal Farm from people who bought it for their Kindle reader. It just disappeared from their reader; no warning, no explanation.

Anyway, if you want to get rid of the Google recent search strings, you need to use a Plist editor such as PrefSetter ( http://www.nightproductions.net/prefsetter.html) and open the com.apple.Safri.plist file in ~/Library/Preferences. Look for an entry named RecentSearchStrings and it should have a disclosure triangle on the left that will show you all the entries when you click it.

Delete those individual search string fields, leaving only the RecentSearchString entry, save the changes and quit. Then locate the file again in the Finder and use the Get Info panel to Lock the file. That way, nothing can be written to that field in the preferences.

Jul 20, 2009 7:16 AM

Reply Helpful

Jul 20, 2009 7:51 PM in response to sitspotsit In response to sitspotsit

Thanks a bunch, sitspotsit, I'll have to try your instructions when I have time. Unfortunately, I have to report that Google is back, putting cookies on my hard drive against the settings in Safari's preferences not to! Persistent buggers, aren't they? I erase them, they come back, I erase them, they come back. I have better things to do than playing this game with Google! Then I decided to look at my cookies plist file in Library. It was no longer locked! I don't remember unlocking it. Do I have to check this file every time I turn my computer on to see if it is locked? I can remember, back when I was running Mac OS 9 (or was it 8?) that, in order to keep a certain file from being written to, I erased the file and replaced it with a word-processing file WITH THE SAME NAME and locked that file. Problem solved! I wonder if it would work here? Probably would, but every time I ran across a web site that needed my cookies to be on, I would have to reverse the process! Bummer!

Oh, well!

Again, thanks! - Monsieur Hobbit

Jul 20, 2009 7:51 PM

Reply Helpful

Jul 20, 2009 7:59 PM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

If you Lock the Cookies.plist file, any cookies you acquire while surfing or searching disappear as soon as you quit Safari. You cannot write to a locked file, regardless of what is trying to write to it.

The same is true for preferences; if they are locked, nothing can change them, including you. So if you change some preference while you're surfing the web, it will revert back to what it was before you changed it when you quit Safari.

If you only see the Google cookie while Safari is running, that's not a problem. Seeing it after you restart Safari without doing any searching would be a problem.

Jul 20, 2009 7:59 PM

Reply Helpful

Jul 20, 2009 9:04 PM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

Try taking a close look to see if any other apps such a dashboard. There are many applications that make use Safari's cookie pool including the Safari's and Mail's RSS feeds and dashboard. Even some third party apps hook into Safari's cookie database. Any websites that visit dashboard web clippings will also pick up cookies from those sites for example. Also I believe that the phishing filter makes use of google's services though I don't think that would require the use of cookies.

By the way any cookies that start with "_utm…" are linked to google analytics. If you look you'll probably see see a lot of those. It's pretty hard to get away from google but you can if you try hard enough…

Jul 20, 2009 9:04 PM

Reply Helpful

Aug 10, 2009 8:35 AM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

I've the same problem. It affects OSX 10.5.7 with Safari 4.0.1 and OSX 10.5.8 with Safari 4.0.2.
Apple support called it a "feature". Looks like Apple is emulating MS where every security hole and bug is a feature. I expected the latest 10.5.8 Combo update would have this problem fixed. I'm using OSX 10.5 and Safari 3.0.4 which doesn't have this problem. If I recall well, there was also no problem with OSX 10.5.6, although I currently have no access to this update and can't verify it.
Using older Safari with OSX 10.5.7/8 is not working. So the bug is probably in OSX.
If you want to use any of the latest two OSX upgrades without cookies the Firefox may be the answer. I'll not upgrade till this security hole is plugged.

Aug 10, 2009 8:35 AM

Reply Helpful

Aug 14, 2009 10:39 AM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

I had this problem for over a year and i found where that google pref cookie comes from at last..lol
If you go into safari preferences and then security and then uncheck the warn when visiting fraudulent websites you will be free of that cookie..It drove me crazy for over year lol i hope it helped and all you have to do is recheck if you feel unsafe without it being set..
Good luck

Aug 14, 2009 10:39 AM

Reply Helpful

Oct 12, 2009 8:16 PM in response to polo909 In response to polo909

I'm gonna give this a whirl... that google PREF cookie is like the cookie from <oops BAD word here> tracking you all over every google property or service or affiliate you visit. It's disappointing that it's placement is required in order to protect yourself - although there is much debate on how protected one really is as google is the maintainer of the listing of fraud/forged/dangerous sites and also runs advertising programs for anyone under the sun willing to pay a few cents... conflict of interest? hmmm, you be the judge.

and it's the same with Firefox - the default homepage on a standard install of FF is for a Firefox-branded Google Search. The moment the page loads is when the cookie drops - so those new to the internet not familiar with cookies and such and the different implications... well... oh well... 😉

Thanks for the tip polo909.

Message was edited by: Thomas Burns1 - I removed LLEH spelled backwards.

Oct 12, 2009 8:16 PM

Reply Helpful

Dec 8, 2009 9:43 PM in response to monsieurhobbit In response to monsieurhobbit

Beyond google cookies, Apple is storing loads of cookies as well. They have an interesting interpretation of "never" accept. I guess the only solution is to not use Safari. It's really sad Apple has done this. Like the original poster, I did the same for years, only activating cookies when needed.

Dec 8, 2009 9:43 PM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: monsieurhobbit

Question: Unwanted Google Cookies being set on Safari web browser.