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Just how generally prevalent is it that users have cookies disabled in their browsers?

I want to set a cookie during a user's session so that all the pages know that the presence of a particular software program (required for certain functions on my site) has been detected. I can't really require cookies in this website, but cookies would be the easiest way to do what I need to do.

So, do many users turn cookies off?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Quora has a good answer for this:

I imagine it's quite difficult to develop a study without significant biases.

But here's one (A study of Internet users' cookie and javascript settings) that found in a sample of 13,500 visitors to their website 10% seemed to have 3rd party cookies turned off with only 3.7% disabling all cookies. They also looked at javascript disabling, but found few did that... even fewer during weekdays, presumably because so many web-based applications require javascript. That study was done in 2009.

This page (Percent of internet users who turn cookies off) from 2005 references a more formal report in 2000 that suggested back then around 10% of users disabled cookies. They were shocked at how low it was.

This page (How many people reject cookies?) references a report in 2001 that put the figure much lower, around 0.7%.

This page (Study: Consumers Delete Cookies at Surprising Rate) mostly talks about the frequency with which people delete cookies, but also mentions a report that put the rejection of 3rd party cookies at 28%.

This page (Cookie & Tracking Technology Pages) breaks it down by browser, saying the stats are from "last week" but it is unclear to me if these are live stats that are updated weekly so "last week" could mean anything. Of their 57,000+ sample size they found negligible rejection of 1st party cookies and a 15% rejection of 3rd party cookies.

This page (As Industry Confronts 'Do Not Track,' Startup Announces Mobile Behavioral Ad Targeting Without Cookies) talks about a study in 2005 which suggested 25% of users in their study block or disable cookies, but I rather suspect they are referring to 3rd party cookies.

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Thanks! I'm glad you knew where to look, because I sure didn't! –  Cyberherbalist Feb 13 at 18:25
    
Google Chrome seems to block 3rd party cookies by default, so I imagine this figure to be quite high, and increasing. –  w3d Feb 13 at 23:20
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