What Does The pref_ Cookie Do? (Full Answer)

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When we go through and edit settings in our YouTube browser, it typically saves these choices for us for next time. But how? To explain this convenient feature, we can look to the pref_ cookie for all the answers. So what does the pref_ cookie do?

Even though some don’t consider this feature of YouTube, it would undoubtedly downgrade our experience if we didn’t have it. When it comes down to it, we owe cookies like pref_ a big favor for the convenience and customized YouTube browser we get to use because of it.

To learn more, we’ll cover the pref_ cookie’s function in detail and how long it works to ensure a tailored experience on your browser.

The pref_ cookie is used by YouTube and regularly saves data from users’ visits and actions on the site. This cookie’s purpose is to save user preferences from your YouTube settings onto your browser so the page will automatically load just as you like every time.

Some examples of the kind of information that the pref_ cookie stores include autoplay, shuffle options, video player size, caption settings, and volume.

While these settings may seem basic, imagine setting them the way you like every time you open YouTube. Instead, the pref_ cookie saves these preferences for us so they are configured automatically, saving us time and bother.

Sadly, although the pref_ cookie does huge favours for our user experience, it does not last forever. This cookie expires eight months after the user’s last use.

The good news is if you continue to use YouTube regularly, this cookie’s timer will be reset, and your customized settings will remain safe.

If you want to remove this cookie from your browser, you may do so in your browser settings. However, this cookie does not collect any PII from you.


YouTube uses the pref_ cookie to save users’ preferences and optimize our experience using YouTube. We may not notice the small settings it has saved for us, but in our regular use, it saves us a lot of extra time and effort.

Cookies like pref_ are created to ensure we can watch or listen to YouTube just as we like. Many other sites employ cookies with similar functions, seeking to provide us with the most personalized experience available.

Imagine a world without this automatic process and take a moment to thank the pref_ cookie for the usefulness it provides us every day.

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