Tips, Tricks
& Treats

How to View (the Content of) Safari Cookies

Safari lets you manage cookies, but there is no way to view their content - or is there?

(2015/07/26) It's one of those long-standing nuisances: Safari lets you view a list of the sites it keeps cookies for, and it lets you delete those cookies. But, against any data privacy considerations, it won't give the "normal" user insight into the content of those cookies. Apple, go figure. But there are some ways around the limitations of Safari's standard.

First, to view which cookies Safari keeps, go to Safari's preferences (cmd+;), choose the Privacy pane, and then "Details...". From there, it's easy to remove any (or all) cookie(s) you don't like.

It's easy to view the cookies Safari keeps...

Now, there are three different ways to view the contents of those cookies:

1. Within Safari, enable Developer Mode. For the corresponding menu to appear, you will need to check the respective option in the preferences' "Advanced" pane. Then go to the web site of which you would like to see the cookie(s). From the "Develop" menu, choose "Show Web Inspector" (alt+cmd+i). In the pane that appears at the bottom of the browser window, select "Storage", and then, on the far left, within the directory structure, choose the cookies directory. The Web Inspector will show you all cookies that are connected to the site you're viewing, including all parameters of any cookie.

...but not so easy to view their contents.

2. View the Cookies.plist in ~/Library/Safari. This seems to change in Safari 9, not sure if it will still work.

3. Use one of those Safari Cookie apps you can find on the App Store.

The Web Inspector is definitely the easiest way to do it. You can always deactivate the Develop Menu if it gets in the way. (MacConfig)