Have you ever wondered why Safari retains data from websites even if you instruct it to remove all website data? If yes, you are not alone with your question. If you have ever removed cookies manually from your preferred web browsers, you must have noticed that sometimes it may take a few “Remove All” clicks for the cookies to disappear from your Mac, and yet still some ‘stubborn’ database files remain. In this article we will show you how to erase those stubborn files that keep coming back.
Clearing Cookies With Mac Optimization Apps
Privacy-conscious Mac users regularly clean their web browsers of cookies using third party Mac optimization software such as CleanMyMac or OnyX. As you may already know, websites often store cookies and other data locally on your own machine that contains information you have at some point provided: name, email address, preferences, and the like. Cookies are helpful for identifying you on a return visit to those sites.
Mac optimization apps are very helpful for doing the cookie cleaning (alongside any browsing history) but they fail to wipe away all the data left behind on your computer, such as database files from websites stored on your Mac.
What Are Those Database Files
In a support document published in the spring of 2017, Apple explains:
You can use some websites to create and edit documents that are saved on your computer – for example, a travel log about your latest vacation. When you save the document, the website uses space on your computer to store your document as a database.
How to Remove Database Files From Your Computer
Interestingly, neither Firefox nor Chrome lists the database files when you search for them in Preferences and “cookies”. Apple’s strategy, on the other hand, is to inform users about the existence of such databases. These can be checked for yourself to find out if any website has stored data on your Mac by launching Safari and selecting Preferences, then the Privacy tab. Here, you’ll find all the cookies that websites have stored on your computer. Either go through them one by one or click “Remove all” to delete them. What will remain are only the websites with the “Databases” information below them.
To erase these files, follow the steps below:
- Launch Finder.
- Press Command-Shift-G (or “Go to Folder” from the “Go” menu).
- Type this command: ~/Library/Safari/Databases.
- Finder will launch the Safari databases folder.
- Select all the entries you see there, and move them to Trash.
- Empty Trash.