Cookies, Pixels & Similar Technologies

How Cookies Work

Cookies and other similar technologies help provide a better, faster and safer experience.

Technologies like cookies, pixel tags ("pixels"), and local storage are used to deliver, secure, and understand products, services, and ads, on and off Facebook. We want this page to help you understand more about these technologies and how they are used. Your browser or device may allow you to block these technologies, but you may not be able to use some features on Facebook if you block them. For more information about whether these tools are available, what they do and how they work, visit your browser or device's help material. Generally, tools like these in your browser or device affect only that particular browser or device. So if you’re using multiple browsers or devices, you can make different choices for each of them.

Check back here from time to time to get the latest information about these technologies and how they are used.

What are cookies, pixels, local storage and similar technologies?

We and our affiliates, third parties, and other partners (“partners”) use these technologies for security purposes and to deliver products, services and advertisements, as well as to understand how these products, services and advertisements are used. With these technologies, a website or application can store information on your browser or device and later read that information back. We explain more about each of these technologies and how they are used on this page.

Why do we use these technologies?

Show what matters to youImprove your experienceProtection and security
They help us know who you are so we can show content that’s most relevant to you, including features, products, and ads.They work with Facebook features and help us improve our products and services – so you can do things like see which friends are online in chat, use share buttons, and upload photos.They help secure Facebook by letting us know if someone tries to access your account or engages in activity that violates our terms.

Categories of useExamples
AuthenticationThese tools tell us when you’re logged in, so we can show you the appropriate experience and features.

For example, cookies, local storage and similar technologies tell us when you are logged in to Facebook so we can show you relevant and social information when you visit other websites that use our social plugins. We also use this information to understand how people use our Platform and other apps and services.
Security and site integrityWe use these to help keep Facebook safe and secure. They support or enable security features and help us detect activity that violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

For example, they help protect your account from being accessed by anyone other than you. Cookies also let us know when several people have logged in from the same computer.
AdvertisingThings like cookies and pixels are used to understand and deliver ads and make them more relevant to you.

For example, we may read a cookie so we can show you ads that may be interesting to you on Facebook or other websites. We may also use a cookie to learn whether someone who saw an ad on Facebook later visited the advertiser’s site. Similarly, our partners may use a cookie or another similar technology to determine whether we’ve shown an ad and how it performed or provide us with information about how you interact with them. We also may work with a partner to show you an ad on or off Facebook, such as after you’ve visited the partner’s site or app and this may involve the use of cookies, local storage on your device or other similar technologies.
LocalizationThese help Facebook provide a localized experience.

For example, we may store information in a cookie that is placed on your browser or device so you will see the site in your preferred language.
Site features and servicesThese provide functionality that help us deliver products and services.

For example, cookies help you log in by pre-filling the username field and help make chat a better experience by showing which of your friends are online. We may also use cookies and similar technologies to help us provide you and others with social plugins and other customized content and experiences, such as making suggestions to you and others. Learn more.
PerformanceWe use these to provide you with the best experience possible.

For example, we may use a cookie to help us route traffic between servers and understand how quickly Facebook loads for different people. Sometimes we may store information on your browser or device so Facebook features you are using load and respond faster.
Analytics and researchThese are used to understand, improve, and research products and services, including when you access Facebook or other websites and apps from a computer or mobile device.

For example, we may use cookies to understand how you are using social plugins to improve them. We and our partners may use these technologies and the information we receive to improve and understand how you use websites, apps, products, services and ads. We may share information about this analysis with our partners.

The specific names of the cookies, pixels and other similar technologies that we use may change from time to time, but they generally will fall into the above categories. If you’d like to learn more about these tools, review our Data Use Policy. You can also take a look at the cookies section of our publicly available audit that provides a snapshot of the cookies we use, which was performed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office. This will give you a good idea of the cookies we describe on this page.

Learn more

Cookies are small files that are placed on your browser or device by the website or app you’re using or ad you’re viewing. Like most websites, we use cookies to provide you with a better, faster or safer experience.
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We use cookies to make Facebook better, faster and safer. For example, cookies help us:
  • Enable certain features
  • Provide you with a more personalized experience
  • Protect the security of your account, the accounts of others and Facebook
  • Improve, deliver and understand the ads you see on and off Facebook
  • Research, understand the use of, and improve our and partners' our products and services
As our Data Use Policy indicates, we use cookies to show you ads on and off Facebook. We don't use cookies to create a profile of your browsing behavior on third-party sites to show you ads. However, we may use anonymous or aggregate data to improve ads generally and study, develop or test new and existing products or services.

Learn more about the information we receive when you visit a site with a social plugin.
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Facebook may place cookies when you visit us or a partner using a browser or device that permits the placement of cookies. Your browser or device may allow you to block these technologies, but you may not be able to use some features on Facebook if you block them.

Note that your browser or device may or may not include tools that allow you to manage cookies. For more information about whether tools are available, how they work, and what they do, visit your browser or device's help materials. Generally, tools like these in your browser or device affect only that particular browser or device. So if you’re using multiple browsers or devices, you can make different choices for each of them.

Last edited about 9 months ago
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Web browsers send any cookies for a particular web domain (ex: facebook.com) to the website each time a machine with those cookies accesses content served from that domain. This means that any facebook.com cookies will be sent to Facebook when any page is accessed at facebook.com. It also means that these cookies are sent to Facebook when someone accesses a third party website that has a connection to facebook.com, like through one of our plugins. Sometimes we will work with websites, apps, and their partners so that we can place or read Facebook cookies on your browsers or devices. This allows us to do things like read and reference cookies from more than one device or browser that you use so we can provide you Facebook services across all of your devices and improve and understand the products, ads, and services we offer to you and others. Your browser or device may allow you to block these technologies, but you may not be able to use some features on Facebook if you block them.
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Cookies are set to provide, understand and improve a range of products and services. These cookies also help keep Facebook and the people who use Facebook safe and secure. By understanding visitor habits and patterns, we can better detect unusual behavior and protect people from unauthorized activities.
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We sometimes use service providers to help us provide certain products and services. For example, we use service providers to help you buy things using Facebook on your mobile phone. As part of those services, a provider may use a pixel to collect information about your phone so that, if you choose, it can help us conveniently bill you through your regular phone bill.

When you view, click or otherwise interact with an ad or app on or off Facebook, our partners use cookies or similar technologies like local storage to help provide you with relevant services and ads. For example, a platform partner may use cookies to customize your experience while you’re using their app. Or, an advertising partner may use a cookie to determine whether we’ve shown an ad and how it performed. Our partners also may use these technologies to help share information with Facebook, like how you use their website or app.

We or others (like your friends in their posts or the Pages or Apps you visit or use) may integrate third party features like maps or videos to provide you with better services. The providers of those integrations may collect information when you view or use them, including information about you and your device or browser. They may do this using cookies, pixels, or other similar technologies. To learn more about the information they collect or receive, review their privacy policies.

To learn more about how advertisers generally use cookies and the choices they offer, you can review the following resources:

Here is more information about some of the companies advertisers use and the choices they offer:

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We use tools like cookies to help keep Facebook safe, secure and easy to use. Cookies support or enable security features. For example, with login approvals if someone logs into your account from a browser you’ve never used before, we’ll block them and ask for more information. They also help us implement login notifications, so you can be alerted when your account is accessed and disable any active Facebook sessions.

Besides helping to keep unauthorized people from logging into your account, we also use cookies to help make sure the people or machines that access Facebook don’t violate our policies. For example, certain information on Facebook is public and therefore can be accessed by anyone on the internet. These cookies help us understanding the volume and frequency of requests so we can detect and stop people or machines from “scraping” information from our site.

We also use these tools to make Facebook easier to use, like when you mistype one character of your username or password. If you’ve already logged into Facebook from the same browser, we’ll give you easier options to correct your typo since we know you’ve successfully logged into Facebook before.

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Many mobile devices act just like computers, such as smart phones that support full-featured browsers. For those devices, Facebook and our partners use cookies and similar technologies in a way that is similar to when you are accessing the web from a computer.

When you install our app or when Facebook partners with other apps you use, we may obtain or receive information about your use of our app, your device or other apps. We use that information to understand and improve products, services, suggestions and ads for you and others. As on the web, we may use these technologies to store an identifier or other information on your device. This helps us, for example, understand, optimize and deliver services or advertising from Facebook or our partners. We may also work with our partners to receive information about the websites and apps you’re using so we can understand, customize and improve our products and services and those of our partners. For example, if we learn that you’re already using an app, when you click on a link in News Feed from that app, we can send you directly to that app. If you don’t have the app, we would instead send you to the app store so you could download the app.

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Facebook does use cookies if you don’t have an account or have logged out of your account. For example, we use cookies to help:
  • Identify and disable the accounts of spammers
  • Recover your account if you ever lose access to it
  • Provide extra security features like login notifications and login approvals
  • Prevent people who are underage from signing up with a false birth date
  • Enable us to deliver, evaluate and understand the ads we serve
  • Identify public computers so that we can discourage people from using Keep me logged in

We may also use anonymized or aggregated information to improve our products.

We also set cookies if you don’t have a Facebook account but have visited facebook.com to help us protect Facebook and the people who use it from malicious activity. For example, these cookies help us detect and prevent denial-of-service attacks and the mass creation of fake accounts.

If you have cookies on your browser or device, we read that cookie when you visit a site with a social plugin. Learn more.

As our Data Use Policy indicates, we use cookies to show you ads on and off Facebook. We don't use cookies to create a profile of your browsing behavior on third-party sites to show you ads. However, we may use anonymous or aggregate data to improve ads generally and study, develop or test new and existing products or services.

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Pixel tags (also called clear GIFs, web beacons, or pixels) are small blocks of code on a webpage that allow websites to do things like read and place cookies. The resulting connection can include information such as the person’s IP address, the time the person viewed the pixel and the type of browser being used.

We use pixels on and off Facebook, like when you visit our site or one of our partners. Pixels allow us to read any existing Facebook cookies or also place a new cookie on your browser or device. We use pixel tags to customize your experience and learn about how people use products and services. For example, we can use pixel tags to see that a person using a certain browser saw an ad on Facebook and also bought a product from that advertiser. This helps us show advertisers that the ads they run on Facebook are effective. We also may use pixels to help show you an ad on or off Facebook. For example, a partner may use a pixel to tell us when you’ve visited its site so that we can later show you an ad on Facebook. We also use pixels to know when you’ve seen or interacted with Facebook content, like when you’ve read an email notification we’ve sent you so that we can avoid showing the same notification when you visit the Facebook website or app, or to otherwise measure, understand, and improve our services.

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Local storage is an industry-standard technology that allows a website or app to store and retrieve data on a person’s computer, mobile phone or other device. Some examples include device or HTML5 local storage and caching. Most web browsers offer settings for you to control whether or not to allow local storage.

We use local storage to understand and improve how our products and services perform and to enable certain features. For example, we may store certain parts of the Facebook website on your device so that those pages load faster the next time you visit them. Local storage also allows us to provide certain services to someone who doesn’t have access to the internet. For example, you can read and compose messages in the Facebook Messenger app when you’re offline because we store those messages locally on your device. We may also use local storage to help us understand how you use websites, apps and computers or mobile devices. For example, we may use local storage on your device in connection with things like apps, where we cannot use cookies.

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We may work with others to combine information we have collected from you with info provided by an advertiser, to enable the advertiser to send you relevant advertising on Facebook. In such instances, Facebook does not give the advertiser direct access to any information that identifies you.

Besides the third party data you share with us on Facebook or the data we receive when you use Facebook, a third party may use that data to help make ads more relevant for you.

Learn more about these providers and the choices they offer by reviewing the following links:

Keep in mind that in addition to allowing advertisers to measure the impact of their ads, Facebook authorizes certain companies that provide service to advertisers to measure the impact of ads on Facebook if they agree to restrictions on how they can use the information they collect.

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