Google Does Not Delete YouTube and Search Data From Chrome

Google Chrome comes with a setting that lets users delete all cookies as soon as the browser is closed. Normally, when one activates this feature, he/she would believe that it would be valid for all sites. However, to our surprise, it is not.

According to a recent blog post by Mac programmer Jeff Johnson, Chrome keeps all the cookies and site data for two specific websites: YouTube and Google itself until you manually block the sites from retaining the data.

The blog reads:

Perhaps this is just a Google Chrome bug, not intentional behavior, but the question is why it only affects Google sites, not non-Google sites. I’ve tested using the latest Google Chrome version 86.0.4240.75 for macOS, but this behavior was also happening in the previous version of Chrome. I don’t know when it started.

To get rid of all site cookies and data every time you quit the browser, go to Chrome’s settings > Privacy and security > Cookies and other site data.

In the last tab, turn on the toggle switch for Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome. Even when it’s turned on, Chrome does not specify that YouTube and Google are exempt from this.

Johnson writes,

Chrome exempts Google’s own sites, such as Search and YouTube, from this setting,” he wrote. “After I quit and relaunch, the [YouTube] cookies are deleted, but the database storage, local storage, and service workers are still there!

There is a workaround for this. In the “Cookies and other site data,” manually add Google and YouTube to the list of sites that can never use cookies at all. However, this means you will have to log into your Gmail every time you launch the browser.

When asked whether this behavior was a bug or something intentional, Google replied,

We are aware of a bug in Chrome that is impacting how cookies are cleared on some first-party Google websites. We are investigating the issue and plan to roll out a fix in the coming days.

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