Who moved my cookies?

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As you probably know, Internet Explorer 7 is out in the wild. It’s a big improvement over IE6, but I am a wee bit disappointed that it doesn’t offer a bit more finesse in the cookie management department. There’s a new feature to delete all your cookies (separately from other temporary files), but you can’t delete the cookies from a specific website. I suppose the thinking was that this kind of functionality is more the kind of thing that only developers need (I came across this whilst trying to delete cookies so that I could test something relating to my wife’s e-commerce site, mirror mirror – I wasn’t being a ‘normal’ user), but it would have been nice to have something to compare with Firefox’s functionality in this area.

What this means is that power users will be forced (as they were with IE6) to go to the Temporary Internet Files folder to find the cookies they want to delete. As with IE6, there’s a button on the General tab of the Internet Options dialog to open up the relevant folder. But if you’re running IE7 on Vista, there’s a surprise in store. The folder that IE opens up for you is a variant on the following (depending on who you’re logged in as):

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

Notice that this is a different file path from the normal C:\Document and Settings\… path that things are found in on Win XP. But that’s not the problem – the problems is that your cookies are actually stored in the following folder:


So, you go hunting in the Temporary Internet Files folder (which, at least on my system, still contains some cookie files) and delete the cookies you want, only to discover that IE still has the cookie. In fact, it’s a little more confusing even than that, because if you’re running IE in protected mode (the default) on Vista, the cookie information is written to:


I feel like a bit of a heel criticizing IE 7 – my colleagues on the IE team have done a great job bringing it to the market, and you can really sense the excitement on their blog. But if you want to be able to delete cookies individually (or advise someone else how to), this information may be of use to you. Alternatively, download one of the add-ons for cookie removal from the IE Add-ons site. But be aware that some of these need updating to find the right cookies folder, too.