See Full Cookie Details in Safari 5.1

| How-To

Safari 5.1, which is available for both Snow Leopard and Lion, changes the amount of cookie detail we can see in its Preferences. Here’s how to see all the details that were formerly available in Safari 5.0.5.

In Safari 5.0.5, if you looked at your (HTTP) cookies with: Safari Preferences -> Security -> Show Cookies, you’d see something like this:

Cookies in Safari 5.0.5

Cookie Detail in Safari 5.0.5

However, Apple has, to put it politely, dumbed-down the display of cookies in Safari 5.1. If you select: Safari Preferences -> Privacy -> (Cookies and other website data:) -> Details, you’ll see a newly modified display.

Cookies in Safari 5.1

Cookie (abbreviated) detail in Safari 5.1

To recover the ability to see the original cookie detail, do the following:

  1. Go to Safari Preferences -> Advanced.
  2. At the bottom, check “Show Developer Menu in Menubar.”
  3. If necessary, visit the site for which you want to view the cookies.
  4. In Safari’s Developer menu, select “Show Web Inspector.”
  5. Select the “Resources” tab at the top and expand the “Cookies” disclosure triangle. Then select the site of interest to see the cookie details.

Safari Web Developer Inspector

Developer Web Inspector

Here’s what the result looks like on my Mac for Apple’s website.

Safari Web Developer Inspector

Recovered Cookie detail

If you select a row and click the “X” at the bottom of the main pane, you can selectively delete individual cookies. This is the same data that was shown in Safari 5.0.5, but the columns have been reordered sligtly.


Thanks and props to TMO’s Webmaster, Adam Christianson, for discovering this technique.

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Lee Dronick

Cookie settings seem to be a problem. If you have Block Cookies set to Always then it seem that cookies are not actually blocked, unless you have Private Browsing turned on. If you are running Private Browsing turned on then you can not post to websites even if you have previously accepted and not deleted the website cookie.


Because of Safari’s poor privacy protections, I’ve given up on it and gone with Firefox with its preferences property configured and with the BetterPrivacy, Noscript, Cookie Monster, and Ghostery extension installed.  While Firefox with these extension installed does require a bit of managing for certain websites, nothing comes close to blocking unwanted tracking, the running of unwanted scripts, and/or the installation on web bugs and flash cookies.


This was very interesting. I have Safari 5.1 but and I saw the new cookies but when I clicked the X as shown in the red area under the recovered cookie detail screen shot, nothing seemed to happen.

Was something supposed to happen? I could not tell if the cookies were deleted!
Also, under the dumb down screen, could some one help me understand what it means under each website where we see words like:

(this is what I see)
Local Storage
Plug-in (and this one was in and   know they don’t “do” a plug in!)

Those were all the types I saw but I have no idea what they mean next to a website.



This works for the website you just opened in your browser.
However, if I wanted to see the full details of ALL cookies that are saved, what do I do then?

John Martellaro

Serena: As you visit more and more sites, the URL for those sites will appear under the “Cookies” heading in the sidebar.  Select the site name/URL to see the cookies for each one.


I have just about had it with Safari.  Unapproved cookies are a violation of privacy much like unsolicited sales telephone calls.  I have my preferences set for private browsing and never accept cookies. I can visit one site, open up preferences and there will be 20-100 cookies, clear them and go back and the same thing.  Absolutely unacceptable!  Must be a very lucrative money stream for Apple/Safari. 

John Martellaro

Rob: You might want to check to see if LSO/Flash cookies are rebuilding your HTTP cookies behind Safari’s back.


I have checked “Never Ask Again” and unchecked the other two boxes.  I have moved the slider all the way to the left.  I have my Safari Preferences/Security set on “NEVER.”  I removed all cookies, went to two websites and then back to Preferences and there were 99 cookies listed. 

I appreciate your input and I am open to any other suggestions.


John Martellaro

Rob: Flash/LSO cookies are not managed by Safari.

Try this.  Go to OS X System Preferences and select the Flash Player pref pane.  The first tab is “Storage”.  Select the radio button: “Block all sites from storing information on this computer.”  There’s also a button for Delete All… Once the Flash/LSO cookies are gone, you shouldn’t see any more HTTP cookies being rebuilt by them and then displayed by Safari.


John….again thank you again for your help.  I have done your steps with hope that it would resolve the problem but it didn’t.  I just performed it again and cleared all cookies, went to CBS News site and then checked the cookies and there were 155.  It’s crazy. 



Safari will load all the cookies to anything that is is your bookmarks, it assumes that because you’ve bookmarked it you are giving tacit acceptance to store the cookies, even if you didn’t know about this.

Also, as most will probably realise, Safari comes with a whole set of default bookmarks… so guess what? Yes, that’s right these sites also set cookies… yahoo, CNN, the lot. Also because Safari uses the Google search box, Google will always set cookies when you start Safari too.

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