Home > Ongoing Research
How to Remove iOS Evercookies
If you've noticed an iOS evercookie or item of website data 0 bytes in size on
your iphone or ipad the method below will clean it away for you.
Our research has found a method to remove iOS Evercookies floating about in
mobile safari. This method doesn't require a jailbreak or third party software
and makes use of the command line and iTunes.
NOTE: We accept no responsibility for any problems resulting from following the procedure below. Ensure you have a full working backup in addition to the one
you use to perform the evercookie removal incase anything goes wrong during
the process described below.
If you have found yourself wondering what should I do if website data will
not delete, but shows 0 bytes you have probably encountered an
Evercookie. These data
bugs are intentionally difficult to remove and require considerable effort to
evict from any browser. Mobile Safari is particularly hard to cleanse. Until
now solutions relied on jail breaking your device which can be time consuming
and void your warranty. The procedure outlines below removes the files
associated with the evercookie from your device by directly manipulating an
iTunes backup. You then restore the backup to remove the pesky files for good.
Follow each of the steps below and you will find your evercookie totally
removed from your iOS device:
- Clean as much website data from your device as possible. To do this go to
the Settings app and select:
Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data
After confirming the clean go to:
Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data
and if you still see anything in there continue with the following steps.
- Having first cleaned out as much information as you can the next step is
to backup your iPhone, iPod or iPad. Plug your device into your computer and
start iTunes. Use iTunes to create an unencrypted Backup of your device from
within iTunes if it does not create one automatically.
- Locate the backup and duplicate it in finder - to do this Open Preferences
in iTunes and go to the Devices tab. Click on the backup you created and right
click on it. Then select show in Finder. Once in finder Copy and paste the
directory in place. This is so if things go wrong you can always restore your
phone to its current state.
- Now open the Terminal application and change
directory to the backup folder identified in the previous step. This requires
that you type the 'cd' command followed by the path of the folder so for
$ cd ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/1233486346...
- You will now use SQLite to modify the backups Manifest.db file to remove
all the data files from mobile safari that could store an evercookie. It is
possible to be very specific in this step to remove only the cookies you want
however the method here will simply remove them all. In the Terminal window
$ sqlite3 Manifest.db
and hit enter. You now simply remove the entries for the safari website data
cache by typing:
sqlite> DELETE FROM Files WHERE relativePath LIKE 'Library/WebKit/WebsiteData/%' AND domain = 'AppDomain-com.apple.mobilesafari';
to leave SQLite. You now have a backup free from cookies of all types.
- The remaining step is to restore the backup you just modified to your
hone. After doing this you may need to setup some of your account details by
reentering passwords, you may have to reconnect to WiFi and you might have to
reactivate cards added to Apple pay. However once done you will find that you
have removed the evercookies from mobile safari and without jailbreaking your