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How to deal with cookie notices on websites automatically

Cookie use notifications on websites is a very annoying thing on the Internet for a number of reasons. These notifications are displayed on many websites to citizens from the European Union and state, basically, that the site they are visiting is using cookies.

Designed to inform citizens about cookie use on sites they visit, these messages become annoying quickly.

You may experience that they are displayed over and over again to you when you visit the same site. Why? Because the system uses cookies to determine if the notification should be shown to you or not.

If you delete cookies regularly, you get the same notification afterwards again.

These notifications take up valuable screen estate which you can reclaim only when you click on the ok button or the x to remove the message from the screen.

Depending on how the notification is designed, it may even display as a popup to you so that you cannot use the underlying site until you interact with it.

Here are two examples of sites that display the message to you when you visit them from a location within the EU.

cookie notification

mediamarkt cookies

So what can you do about it to automate the process?

I assume that all sites that I visit use cookies. This is without doubt the better approach than determining whether a site uses cookies on a per-site basis.

According to W3Techs, about 46% of all sites use cookies. I find that a bit low based on my own use though.

Tip: Find out how many cookies sites save to your system

You have two main options to deal with cookie notifications on websites:

  1. Use a browser extension that deals with a good chunk of them.
  2. Use a filter list that you integrate in your ad blocker of choice.

1. Browser extensions

Google Chrome users can install CookiesOK or I don't care about cookies. The second extension is also available for the Firefox web browser.

CookiesOK has been designed to deal with "accept cookies" notifications automatically. It detects several widely used cookie notification scripts automatically and handles them for you.

In addition to that, it is also tapping into a user maintained database that contains domain specific instructions on how to deal with cookies.

I don't care about cookies works in similar fashion both in Firefox and Google Chrome.

Now You: How do you deal with these cookie messages?

2. Filter lists

Prebake is a filter list for Adblock Plus that you can subscribe to. It blocks many cookie notices on websites automatically and since it is a subscription list, gets regularly updated with new information.

While designed for Adblock Plus, it can be used in other adblocking extensions if they support Adblock filter lists as well.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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