Small files (known as 'cookies') are put onto your computer to collect information about how you browse the site.

Cookies are used to:

  • measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • remember the notifications you've seen so that you're not shown them again

GOV.UK cookies aren't used to identify you personally.

You'll normally see a message on the site before a cookie is stored on your computer.

Find out more about how to manage cookieslink opens in a new window.

How cookies are used

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

Google Analytics software collects information about how you use the site. This is done to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit - how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you're visiting the site

We don't collect or store your personal information (eg your name or address) so this information can't be used to identify who you are.

Google isn't allowed to use or share our analytics data.

The following cookies are used:

Name Purpose Expires
_gat This helps us identify how you use GOV.UK so we can make the site better 10 minutes
GDS_successEvents and GDS_analyticsTokens These help us identify how you use GOV.UK so we can make the site better 4 months
_ga This helps us identify how you use GOV.UK so we can make the site better 2 years
ga_nextpage_params This stores data to be sent to Google on the next page you request When you close your browser

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookieslink opens in a new window.

Comparing different versions of a webpage (Optimizely)

Optimizely software is used to test different versions of a webpage (or webpages) to see which performs better. This is done to help make improvements and ensure the site is meeting the needs of its users.

The following cookies are used:

Name Purpose Expires
optimizelyEndUserId This helps us identify how you use GOV.UK so we can make the site better 6 months
optimizelyRedirectData This helps us identify how you use GOV.UK so we can make the site better 5 seconds

Sessions

A cookie is set to record your session activity.

Name Purpose Expires
mdtp Stores session data When you close your browser
mdtpp Stores session data When you close your browser
mdtpdf Stores session data When you close your browser
PLAY_FLASH Stores session data When you close your browser
remme This is used to uniquely identify a user on a device trying to go through the 2SV challenge 7 days

Our introductory message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit. A cookie is stored so that your computer knows you've seen it and knows not to show it again.

Name Purpose Expires
seen_cookie_message Saves a message to let us know that you have seen our cookie message 1 month

User research banner

You may see a banner about user research when you visit. A cookie is stored so that your computer knows when you have chosen not to see it again.

Name Purpose Expires
mdtpurr Saves a message to let us know that you no longer want to see it again. 1 month

Our satisfaction survey

SurveyMonkeylink opens in a new window is used to collect responses to the survey. If you take part, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.

Name Purpose Expires
mbox This is used to keep your progress through the survey 30 minutes
SSOE This is used for testing different content and features on the survey website to help make it better When you close your browser
TS5159a2 and TSd0b041 These are used to manage survey traffic by sending your computer to a specific server When you close your browser
ep201 This is used to help us identify how you use the survey 30 minutes
ep202 This works with ep201 to help us identify how you use the survey 1 year
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