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Question: Safari Failure to Delete Cookies

Why has Apple not addressed Safari's failure to delete cookies when deleted in Safari>Preferences>Privacy>Manage Website Data? This isn't ok and is a privacy glitch.

The forum needs to keep the pressure up on this.

iMac, Mac OSX Sierra 10.12.6

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How to delete "database" Cookie?


Using Safari's "Manage Website Data..." followed by "Remove All" does not remove databases created by websites. They are SQLite files and are stored in:


~/Library/Safari/Databases


To delete databases created by websites, navigate to that folder and drag its contents to the Trash. To navigate to that folder, use the Finder's Go menu > Go to Folder... field. I recommend that you copy and paste the above to avoid errors.


Those databases will return upon loading the websites that create them, for whatever purpose that may entail. It can be assumed they are used to save login credentials and browsing history specific for that website, but other uses are certainly possible and are easily implemented.


macOS draws heavily from its iOS counterpart in that it makes extensive use of sqlite databases. That ability is incorporated in Webkit that Safari uses, and its use is not limited to Safari. SQLite can be used to create very compact and efficient database storage for a variety of purposes. Contacts and Mail also uses them. For more information refer to http://www.sqlite.org/.


Cookies and website data will be populated from sources other than the obvious open pages and tabs. They include Top Sites, Quick Website Searches, Search Engine Suggestions, Top Hits and others.


Also, when you click "Remove All" it will take some time to delete all of them. The window will repopulate before it's finished removing everything, so let it take a moment or two to finish.


Safari for Mac: Search preferences in Safari


The forum needs to keep the pressure up on this.


Apple gets zero pressure from this site. They don't participate in it. Besides, Safari is working exactly as it should, so there is nothing to fix.

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Nov 13, 2017 2:00 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

Thanks John,

I appreciate your timely response and will try your solution. (This is an edit and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

It still seems to me that no matter how many times I’ve heard that it is working properly, if Safari won’t let you delete certain cookies by the method normally prescribed, there is a security/privacy problem. We all know why cookies are placed and how but Intuit, CNN, etc are populating my computer with cookies and who knows what that might entail for privacy. They might be benign, but isn’t the ability to deny and remove cookies a big part of privacy and why the “Remove” and “Remove All” are supposed to work?

Hopefully they will fix that in the very near future.

Take care and thanks again.

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Nov 12, 2017 9:41 PM in response to Lightspeeddreaming In response to Lightspeeddreaming

When websites are viewed , cookies are ought to be saved , if you block the cookies some websites won't open or not work properly , regarding your thoughts you can express directly to apple feed back link Product Feedback - Apple

Nov 12, 2017 9:41 PM

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Question marked as Solved

Nov 13, 2017 11:48 AM in response to Lightspeeddreaming In response to Lightspeeddreaming

How to delete "database" Cookie?


Using Safari's "Manage Website Data..." followed by "Remove All" does not remove databases created by websites. They are SQLite files and are stored in:


~/Library/Safari/Databases


To delete databases created by websites, navigate to that folder and drag its contents to the Trash. To navigate to that folder, use the Finder's Go menu > Go to Folder... field. I recommend that you copy and paste the above to avoid errors.


Those databases will return upon loading the websites that create them, for whatever purpose that may entail. It can be assumed they are used to save login credentials and browsing history specific for that website, but other uses are certainly possible and are easily implemented.


macOS draws heavily from its iOS counterpart in that it makes extensive use of sqlite databases. That ability is incorporated in Webkit that Safari uses, and its use is not limited to Safari. SQLite can be used to create very compact and efficient database storage for a variety of purposes. Contacts and Mail also uses them. For more information refer to http://www.sqlite.org/.


Cookies and website data will be populated from sources other than the obvious open pages and tabs. They include Top Sites, Quick Website Searches, Search Engine Suggestions, Top Hits and others.


Also, when you click "Remove All" it will take some time to delete all of them. The window will repopulate before it's finished removing everything, so let it take a moment or two to finish.


Safari for Mac: Search preferences in Safari


The forum needs to keep the pressure up on this.


Apple gets zero pressure from this site. They don't participate in it. Besides, Safari is working exactly as it should, so there is nothing to fix.

Nov 13, 2017 11:48 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 2:00 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

Thanks John,

I appreciate your timely response and will try your solution. (This is an edit and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

It still seems to me that no matter how many times I’ve heard that it is working properly, if Safari won’t let you delete certain cookies by the method normally prescribed, there is a security/privacy problem. We all know why cookies are placed and how but Intuit, CNN, etc are populating my computer with cookies and who knows what that might entail for privacy. They might be benign, but isn’t the ability to deny and remove cookies a big part of privacy and why the “Remove” and “Remove All” are supposed to work?

Hopefully they will fix that in the very near future.

Take care and thanks again.

Nov 13, 2017 2:00 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Nov 13, 2017 3:28 PM in response to Lightspeeddreaming In response to Lightspeeddreaming

They might be benign, but isn’t the ability to deny and remove cookies a big part of privacy and why the “Remove” and “Remove All” are supposed to work?


I think if a Database appears in Privacy > Manage Website Data... and a user chooses to remove it, Safari should have the decency to accede to the user's wishes. The fact it does that with caches and cookies but not Databases seems to run counter to Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines, generally if not specifically.


If a user tells the system to do something, the system should respond appropriately, or explain why it can't. The fact Safari doesn't delete Databases from within that interface tends to confuse and annoy people.


Perhaps Databases should simply not appear in Manage Website Data, but that would be avoiding the problem and not addressing it head on.

Nov 13, 2017 3:28 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 2:13 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Thank you Eric!

I have never heard of Tor, but have heard generally in the news that criminal types have been using something to try to hide on the web.

Without any further comment from you, I assume you are indicating that some of these companies or others are planting Zombie Cookies. It seems interesting that the databases seem to recognize these undeletable cookies but the OS doesn’t allow deletion.

Do you recommend any easily available software to detect and correct nefarious activity? I did not think it was necessary on an iMac.

Thank you for your expertise. 😊👍

Nov 14, 2017 2:13 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 8:02 PM in response to Lightspeeddreaming In response to Lightspeeddreaming

You are welcome. I don't know of any available software to correct this. You might want to read this post by Thomas Reed, who is the community 'expert' on malware/adware.


The myth of the dangerous cookie

Nov 14, 2017 8:02 PM

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Question: Safari Failure to Delete Cookies