Does Google Tag Manager Use Cookies?

No, Google Tag Manager doesn’t drop cookies on your website visitors’ devices. But you can use it to drop and read cookies.

Published Categorized as Analytics

If you’re using Google Tag Manager on your website for the first time—and you want to comply with the privacy regulations in your region or country by listing all the cookies stored on the devices of your website’s visitors—you may be wondering if GTM uses cookies or not.

This is an important question. After all, if the cookie list in your website’s cookie policy isn’t thorough and complete, you may get slapped with a hefty fine by a data protection authority (and have to deal with the negative publicity it creates).

So, what’s the long story short? Does Google Tag Manager use cookies?

Google Tag Manager itself doesn’t use cookies, and it won’t store cookies on the devices of your website’s visitors.

Google Tag Manager is a tag management tool, so you will be using it to fire tags for third-party services that do use cookies, such as Google Analytics, Google Optimize, and others.

However, the key takeaway from this article is that Google Tag Manager doesn’t store cookies on the devices of your website’s visitors on its own, and it can function with or without cookies.

Can Google Tag Manager Read the Value of Cookies?

Yes, Google Tag Manager can read and ingest the value of any first-party cookie saved by your website (or domain) on visitors’ devices. However, it cannot read or ingest the value of third-party cookies saved by other websites (or domains).

To ingest the value of a first-party cookie in Google Tag Manager, create a “1st Party Cookie” user-defined variable with that cookie’s name, then reference the variable in your GTM container’s setup as needed.

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

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