How To Deal With SuperCookies

Posted March 10, 2010 7:00 am by with 11 comments

We’ve been told ever since we started using web browsers that it’s a good idea to clear out your cache and cookies periodically. This used to be a pain in the neck to get done, but with modern flavors of web browsers you can clear this information out easily. In IE8 and Firefox you can use the keystroke CTRL+SHIFT+DEL, then in IE8 choose to clear Temporary Internet Files and Cookies, and in Firefox choose Cache and Cookies.

But then there’s the SuperCookie. They are generated by that browser plugin we all love to hate, Adobe Flash.

The browser on its own cannot delete SuperCookies due to Flash not being a native component of the browser. No matter which browser you use on your PC, Flash will always store its own cookies.

And just where are SuperCookies stored? They’re buried deep.

On a Windows PC, launch an explorer window or Internet Explorer session. In the address bar, type %appdata%. When that window pops up, double-click Macromedia, then Flash Player, then macromedia.com, then support, then flashplayer, then sys and FINALLY.. we get to where the SuperCookies are stored.

Like I said, it’s buried deep. I wasn’t kidding.

You’ll notice a bunch of folders here, each with a setings.sol file in them. That’s the SuperCookie.

Where are SuperCookies stored on a Mac or Linux/UNIX?

I have no idea, but my best guess is that they’re in your user folder somewhere. If any of you Mac or Linux/UNIX users can find the location, please feel free to post a comment explaining where they are, because they are there if you use Flash.

How do you delete SuperCookies?

Adjusting Flash storage settings

This is, strangely, done via the Adobe web site.  Click on each one of these links to adjust the settings:

Manual way

Close all your web browsers, then delete everything in the sys folder. Don’t delete the sys folder itself because that can cause problems. Just delete the content inside sys.

Automatic way

If using Firefox, you’re in luck because you can use the BetterPrivacy add-on. What this will do is delete all SuperCookies every time the browser is closed.

Do you have to delete SuperCookies?

Not usually. However if you use web sites that contain a good amount of Flash content and something “goes weird” periodically, chances are clearing out the SuperCookies will usually fix the problem.

11 responses to How To Deal With SuperCookies

  1. chakkravarthi@blog seo March 10th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I sometimes prefer to have cookies in my browser because I feel it useful sometimes, I save my passwords and other details usually which makes my job a lot quicker so that I don’t have to fill in username and password when logging in to admin panel of my blogs all the time. Cookies has its own benefits sometimes. :)

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  2. Larry March 10th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I have always hated Adobe and now I hate them more

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  3. mary w March 10th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    if i delete this adobe flash super cookie that my apps. on facebook would stop the lag and jerking? i do farmville, and yoville (zenga games) and other games i’ve always done the ” history, tif ” delete ever night. also defrag once a week and have scandisk on desktop i use every night . so, do i go get super cookie for adobe as in instructions? will this keep it from the (not responding) sign too? yesterday i signed up for newsletter after my computer , while playing the games, gave me a not enough virtual memory and wow, i was amazed at the article, no paging file and set it to 3000. love the info!!!

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  4. marc March 12th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I think the Better Privacy add-on for Firefox may do all this with a couple clicks. Not available for IE though.

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  5. halil March 13th, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I have always hated Adobe and now I hate them more

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  6. john March 13th, 2010 at 6:19 am

    if i delete this adobe flash super cookie that my apps. on facebook would stop the lag and jerking? i do farmville, and yoville (zenga games) and other games i’ve always done the ” history, tif ” delete ever night. also defrag once a week and have scandisk on desktop i use every night . so, do i go get super cookie for adobe as in instructions?

        Reply

  7. Gene March 14th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I run Ubuntu 9.10 and found that these cookies are littered all throughout the system under the path home/username/.macromedia/Flash_Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys. In this folder there are many other folders that all contain settitngs.sol file. If you want to manually remove these files you will have to go into multiple files and individually delete them. Or just install BetterPrivacy and let it automate this process. But anyway, that is where they hide the suppercookie in Ubuntu.

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  8. jetole May 18th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Actually on Linux it’s rather easy to delete them. Also, although I use Ubuntu on my desktop, the location is distribution independent since Flash is a third party proprietary (closed source) application. In order to delete all Flash cookies in your home directory (all Flash cookies that belong to you) run the command:

    find ~/.macromedia/ -type f -name settings.sol -exec rm -v {} \;

    If you want to make sure they are removed on a regular basis then you can simply add this command to the crontab (man 5 crontab).

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    • Rich Menga May 18th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Crontab is an amazing thing. Truly. It always works.

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  9. Cooper October 27th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    On mac, one place I found them is:
    Users->username->Library->Preferences->Macromedia->Flash Player->folders
    Check in each folder, and drill down in each one till you find a .sol file (if there is one).

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  10. persephone November 7th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    thank you all so much!!! There were hundreds.

        Reply

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