Web measurement and customization opt-out
Learn about persistent cookies and how to opt out of them.
Many websites use "persistent cookie" technology. A persistent cookie is a small text file that this website places on your web browser so it can gather anonymous summary demographic information, and remember your browser when it is used to visit our site again later—kind of like cookie crumbs! (Hence the name.) These cookies uniquely identify a browser on a computer, but never a person. In other words, if the same person uses Chrome and Internet Explorer, two unique browser cookies will be assigned, one for each browser, so that person will be counted as two different visitors because visits are based on browsers, not computers or persons.
Most Internet browsers automatically accept persistent cookies. Although using persistent cookies creates a much better experience for you while using the site, most sites will also work without them. If you do not want to accept cookies, you can edit your browser's options to stop accepting persistent cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit.
Changing cookie settings in popular desktop browsers
Chrome version 4 or later
Firefox version 3.5 or later
Edge version 90.0.818.51 or later
Safari version 4 or later
Disabling cookies in popular mobile browsers
Opera Mini on a Blackberry device
Disabling Google demographic and interest reports
Many sites also use Google Demographic and Interest reports to gather anonymous summary demographic information about website visitors such as gender, age range, and areas of interest for adults over the age of 18. You can prevent your data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on.
Disabling AddThis targeting cookie
Many sites use AddThis to enable easy content sharing. AddThis collects non-personally identifiable information, and uses the information to deliver targeted advertising and personalized content. You can prevent your data from being collected and used by AddThis, by opting-out of AddThis targeted advertising.
The Office of Management and Budget released guidance in June 2010, updating how Federal agencies can use web measurement and customization technologies (PDF, Download Adobe Reader), such as persistent cookies.
USA.gov is providing a central place for instructions for "opting-out" from one of the most common forms of web measurement and customization technologies, through disabling cookies on your web browser. We also provide instructions on opting out of Google Analytics.
LAST UPDATED: April 17, 2023
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.