How can I disable cookies for visitors?

Sometimes you may not want to create cookies in the visitor browser. It could be because you want to stay compliant with some privacy regulations or for other reasons. In that case, you can disable cookies for visitors in Piwik PRO.

Before we’ll show you how to disable cookies, we’ll explain how it will affect the tracking.

The cookie stores, among other data, information about the visitor ID. This ID helps Piwik PRO recognize returning visitors. So what happens when you don’t set a cookie in the visitor browser? Here are the answers:

  • Piwik PRO will track a visitor based on the browser fingerprint with the IP address as the main differentiator. As long as the IP address remains unchanged, Piwik PRO will be able to recognize the returning visitor. Because the visitor may enter your website from various places with different IP addresses, data about the returning visitors may be less accurate compared to when you use a cookie.
  • Data about goals will be less accurate. If the goal conversion happens during one visit, Piwik PRO will credit the referrer. But, if the visitor completes the goal in a few visits, Piwik PRO will not attribute the referrer. For example, a person searches on Google, comes to your website, leaves your website, comes back directly in a day, and buys a product. In that case, Piwik PRO will not credit Google for the referral.
  • Data for the following reports will be less accurate: Days since last visit, Visits by visit count, Visits to conversion, and Days to conversion. These reports rely on information stored in a cookie. Without a cookie, Piwik PRO can’t count the days and visits for a visitor. Therefore, the reports will show data as if there were only new visitors — for example, it will show one day since last visit instead of five days since last visit.

To disable all cookies for visitors, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Tag Manager.
  2. Navigate to Tags.
  3. On the left, click Piwik PRO.
  4. Toggle Disable cookies.
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