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Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7

Don Firth 05 May 13 - 02:03 PM
Don Firth 05 May 13 - 02:14 PM
terrier 05 May 13 - 04:26 PM
bobad 05 May 13 - 04:40 PM
bobad 05 May 13 - 04:42 PM
GUEST 05 May 13 - 06:04 PM
JohnInKansas 06 May 13 - 01:46 AM
Don Firth 06 May 13 - 11:12 PM
JohnInKansas 07 May 13 - 02:46 AM
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Subject: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 May 13 - 02:03 PM


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 May 13 - 02:14 PM

Hmm! Dunno what happened there. The message didnt't take, so I'm trying again.

======

On my last computer I had Windows XP. Among many other things I could do with it, I could get into a list of the programs I had on the computer, including the "Cookies" file.

This allowed me to get into the file, see the list of cookies on my computer, and selectively delete a whole batch of them. During a session on line, I would accumulate thirty, forty, or more cookies. I could go through them and delete great wads of them, keeping the ones I wanted, such as Mudcat, Amazon, and a couple of others that I use regularly so I didn't have to keep logging in. The site recognized me. And it greatly reduced the number of pop-up ads and other crapolla that kept intruding.

That computer rolled over and died, so a couple of years ago I got a powerful Hewlett-Packard laptop with a 17" screen—great for watching movies on DVD. Nice computer, despite the fact that it tends to run a bit hot.

But the operating system is Windows 7.

I generally get along with it fairly well, but I really liked XP better. Among other things, Windows 7 won't let me access the Cookie file. It doesn't even list it anywhere.

Can any of the computer whizzes out there tell me how I can do it?

And any other sage advice will be greatly appreciated.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: terrier
Date: 05 May 13 - 04:26 PM

Not sure if this is what you are loking for, but try in Control panel:

Control panel
internet options
browsing history settings
view files

This gives a list of you temporary internet files.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: bobad
Date: 05 May 13 - 04:40 PM

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser:

1 Open the Internet Explorer 7 browser.

2 Click "Tools" (the gear wheel top right corner) from the Command Bar at the top of the screen and select "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu.

3 Click on the "Settings" icon in the "Browsing History" section of the "General" tab.


If you are using Firefox:

1 Click on "Firefox" top left corner.

2 Click "Options" then "Privacy" tab

3 Click "Show Cookies" box.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: bobad
Date: 05 May 13 - 04:42 PM

Sorry, Missed one step in IE:

4 Click "View Files" box.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: GUEST
Date: 05 May 13 - 06:04 PM

Cookie location and management is a function of the browser not the operating system.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:46 AM

There is some ambiguity about where your cookies might be if you use more than one browser. It is claimed by some that each browser may have its own location, while others claim that they're all in the "Windows Temp" place. While I've poked about some, I haven't found a convincing argument either way, but I generally only use one browser.

In any recent Windows version cookies for each user will generally be in C:\Users\yourusername\... somewhere on down there.

Clearing cookies or temp files from within your browser is usually "good enough," but a file that's open can't be deleted, so if you really want to clean up, closing ALL PROGRAMS except Windows Explorer, right-clicking on your system drive (usually C:\) and clicking "Properties" will get you to Disk Cleanup.

When you click Disk Cleanup, Windows will search for "trash" and will give you a list of things it can remove. By selecting one of the things in the list, and clicking "view files" you can theoretically open a Windows Explorer "window" to where those files are located.

Unfortunately, in Win7, "Temporary Internet Files" which is the item in the list where your cookies are included is a "Hidden Protected System Folder" and you won't see most of what's there unless you "Run As Administrator" AND reset view options to uncheck the "Don't Show Hidden Protected System Files." There are numerous other ways to get to where the cookies are, but most have the same problem that the method gets you there but you can't see what's in there without arcane measures.

It seems to be common among Win7 users to abandon looking at cookies to decide which to clean out, since disk cleanup does a reasonably good job, and cookie blockers and/or AV systems that automatically delete "tracking cookies" make it less necessary to devote a lot of personal attention to cookies as a problem.

Disk cleanup also does a much better job in Win7 than in earlier versions of keeping login cookies when it clears out the trash, and clearing "Temporary Internet Files" via Disk Cleanup almost never removes a wanted login cookie.

Since anything coming from the web has to be stored as a temp file (in RAM or "virtual RAM" on the drive) before it can be displayed on the computer, lots of people had found that they could snatch a copy of "copy protected" files from Temp Internet Files. Some have suggested that the location and contents have been "obscured" in Win7 to prevent such "snatch and grab" methods, but I'm not sure that's really a significant factor. A more likely consideration is that the very much higher "overhead" in Win7, from index files, libraries, and other pachinko features, makes the small space taken by cookies only trivially significant and adequately handled by disk cleanup.

Whatever the reasons, most Win7 users haven't found it necessary to manually clean out cookies as a regular thing, or at least haven't talked about it much in popular meeting places.

This probably won't seem very reassuring if you're accustomed to poking around in the cookie jar, but it does seem less useful than in earlier Win versions. Win7 has lots of other "features" you can more profitably worry over.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 May 13 - 11:12 PM

Thanks, folks!

I'm going to try some of the things you've outlined, John, and see what I can come up with. I may just bite bullet, dump the "browsing history" and go ahead and log back into the web sites I visit.

Lots of experimenting to do. Again, thanks, everybody.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Finding Cookies in Windows 7
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 May 13 - 02:46 AM

Dumping Browsing History from inside a browser doesn't really "erase everywhere you've been" since the computer keeps some other records of processor use and error messages (most of which never get to the monitor) that make a fairly complete reconstruction of most of what you've done possible with the right magic boxes. It does get most of the trash out of the temp space to make the space useful for future browsing. Since it's done while the browser is running, any "live connections" can't be deleted, and it also seems more likely to zap cookies you'd like to keep.

With the browser shut down, Disk Cleanup gets a little more thorough cleanup of the useful temp spaces, since it can clean files that the browser might have had open, and for the most part in Win7 it leaves login cookies from sites you've "trusted" in your browser, or for ones that give you a "certified" (signed) cookie like (some) banks and such.

There's not a lot of difference, so you may find you like the other one instead of whichever one some other fool prefers.

Generally, in order to see cookies in Win7, you'll need to turn on "show everything" in Windows Explorer. Select C:\, Click Tools on the toolbar, go through "Folder Options" and turn on everything you can. (It's unlikely you'll want all that stuff to show all the time, so you might want to make notes so you can turn some of it back off later.)

IFF you're not frightened by command prompt, pretty much all temp files either have a .tmp filetype, or start with a ~ on the front end of the file name.

DIR ~*.* /S or DIR *.tmp /S will show most of them, although there may still be a few "protected ones" that remain hidden. If either of these shows only stuff you want to get rid of, just type DEL and hit F3 to fill in the rest of what you had to get the list, and it should delete everything it listed - except for the "protected" or open ones.

For some reason, a Command Prompt "ATTRIB" listing often shows lots of files that don't appear with a "DIR" listing, which is sometimes handy for poking around if you don't want to go full ADMIN. Kind of like knocking the dust off with a feather duster instead of getting out the pick and shovel to dig down deep.

John


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