Flash cookies aren't normally removed when regular cookies are deleted. But the latest version of Adobe Flash lets users of Internet Explorer get rid of unwanted cookies.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Users of Internet Explorer can now get rid of those persistent "Flash cookies" thanks to the latest version of Adobe Flash and support from within Microsoft's IE.
Cookies are files created on your PC and used by sites to keep track of certain data, such as site settings and usernames. All the major Web browsers let you remove cookies. But one flavor of cookie, known as a Flash cookie, doesn't get thrown out when you delete your traditional Web cookies. That limitation has triggered privacy concerns.
But the latest release candidate of Adobe Flash 10.3 integrates with the "delete browsing history" feature in Internet Explorer 8 and 9. This means that when you delete your browsing history or your cookies specifically in IE, the Flash cookies will now go along for the ride.
As discussed in a Microsoft blog yesterday, the company has outlined a few steps to test this feature. You'll first need to install the Adobe Flash 10.3 Release Candidate and then go to the Flash Cookies demo page. From there, follow the instructions on creating a Flash cookie and then see if the cookie you entered disappears after you clear all cookies and refresh the page.
Beyond Internet Explorer, the latest developers release of Google Chrome also provides a way to remove Flash cookies, promising that this ability should pop up in the next full release of the browser. No word yet on whether Firefox will get the same courtesy, but it seems likely since Mozilla worked with Adobe and Google to implement this new feature.