What are cookies and how do they work?
Cookies are small text files, which contain small amounts of information, that are placed on your device. Your internet browser sends these cookies back to the website every time you visit the site, so the website can recognise your device.
A cookie will not access any information other than the information you provide to us when you visit the website.
There are two main types of cookies:
- First-party cookies – these are set by the website you are visiting.
- Third-party cookies – these are set by other sites or applications.
Cookies are required to provide some of the services and experiences on our website. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.
What types of cookies do we use on our website?
Essential / strictly necessary cookies
Some cookies are essential so that you can move around the website and use its features. Without these cookies, services you have asked for cannot be provided. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remember where you have been on the internet.
Example of essential cookies:
- When you add something to an online shopping basket, cookies make sure it is still there when you get to the checkout.
- Cookies keep you logged in during your visit; without cookies you might have to log in on every page you go to.
- Some are session cookies, which make it possible to navigate through the website smoothly. However, these are automatically deleted after you close your web browser.
Other cookies are non-essential but important to improving your experience on our website.
Examples of functional cookies:
- Remembering a previous search term, so you do not have to type it in again.
- Remembering if you have filled in a survey, so you are not asked to do it again.
- Enabling social media components, like Facebook and Twitter.
Performance cookies (for analytics)
To help us keep our website content relevant and up to date, we like to keep track of which pages and links are not popular and performing well, but also those that are not, so we can make improvements. It is also very useful to be able to identify trends of how people find their way through our site.
Analytics cookies are used to gather this information. The information collected is anonymous and is grouped with the information from everyone else’s cookies. We can then see the overall patterns of usage rather than any one person’s activity. Analytics cookies only record activity on the site you are on and they are only used to improve how a website works.
Other analytics and metrics tools
Our marketing emails make use of a “Clear Image” (gif) to track, in aggregate, the results of an email campaign. If you wish to turn off this tracking, you can do so by turning off the images in the email itself.
We may also use tools to monitor, in aggregate, the effectiveness of our communications with subscribers to our updates, including email tracking, which records when an email update from the Gallery is opened and/or how many links are clicked within the message.
First-party cookies on shop.nationalgallery.org.uk
We set first-party cookies to enable us to run our website and tailor what you see on the screen when you visit the website.
Third-party cookies on shop.nationalgallery.org.uk
We embed content and scripts and make use of applications from a number of third-party websites, such as YouTube. As a result, when you visit a page on our website containing this embedded content you may be presented with cookies from these websites.
We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. However, if you wish to restrict or block them you can do so through the Manage your cookie preferences button at the top of this page or through your browser settings. The help function without your browser should tell you how. If you would like more information about the cookies used by these third-party websites, as well as information on how to restrict or block them, please see their individual privacy policies.
We also work with marketing partners who place cookies on our site to delivery Gallery advertising and content relevant to you when you visit other websites. If you do not want to be shown such targeted advertising messages from the Gallery on these third-party sites, some sites allow you to request not to see such messages.
Third-party websites that send cookies to you as a result of visiting our pages may include: doubleclick.net, facebook.com, google.co.uk, google.com, quantserve.com, trackedweb.net, and youtube.com. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.
How to control and delete cookies
If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our website please select the Manage your cookie preferences button at the top of this page. You can also do this through your browser settings. The help function within your browser should tell you how.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.allaboutcookies.org [external link] or www.knowcookies.com [external link] which provide information on how to do this on a variety of browsers. On these sites you will also find details about how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies.
For information on how to block or delete cookies on the browser of your mobile phone you may need to refer to your handset manual. Please note, however, that it is not possible to restrict or block essential or strictly necessary cookies.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website and your user experience. We recommend you leave them turned on.