Managing your Internet Explorer Temporary Internet FilesBy Lawrence Abrams on April 26, 2004 | Last Updated: February 27, 2012 | Read 79,008 times.
Table of Contents
Every time you visit a web page Internet Explorer makes a copy of the content of these web pages as files on your computer. These files are called Temporary Internet Files and are used to allow for faster displaying of web sites that you visit. Depending on the setting, when you visit a web site Internet Explorer will compare the content of that web site with the information stored in the Temporary Internet Files and only download the content from the Internet if it has changed. This enables you to browse the web much quicker because you do not have to download these files.
In most cases Temporary Internet Files do not pose a problem, but there some situations that make it important for you to clean out these files. One common reason is that you are worried about your privacy. If you give your computer to someone they would potentially be able to discover information about web pages that you visit because copies of these web sites are stored locally on the computer.
If privacy is not an issue, then you may be concerned with how much space these files take up. Temporary Internet Files, by default, take up 10% of your system partitions disk space. In the past this was not a problem as drives were smaller, but with drives ranging up to 100's of GB of storage this can equate to large amounts of disk space allocated towards these files. You only need 50 MB for the Temporary Internet Files to work efficiently, so there is a lot of wasted disk space that we can reclaim for our personal use.
In this tutorial we will discuss how you can manage Internet Explorer and address these concerns.
In this section of the tutorial we are going to go over the options on how you can configure Internet Explorer to use Temporary Internet Files.
Click on the Start button and then click on Control Panel. Then double-click on the Internet Options icon.
Once you double click on the Internet Options icon you will be presented with a screen similar to Figure 1 below.
To access the settings for the Temp. Internet files you will click on the Settings button designated by the blue box in Figure one above. When you click on the Settings button you will be presented with a screen similar to Figure 2 below.
The settings dialog shown in Figure 2 is broken down into two sections as described below:
Check for newer versions of stored pages - The options in this section tell Internet Explorer what it should do when you visit a web page. Every time you visit a web site Internet Explorer stores a copy of this web page in the Temporary Internet Files folder. When you revisit that same web page, whether or not that information is downloaded again or taken directly from locally stored copy is decided based upon the setting you choose in this section. These settings are described below:
Temporary Internet Files folder - This section gives you information about the actual folder where the Temporary Internet Files are stored as well as the ability to manage the settings associated with these files/folders.
To exit from the Settings dialog, click on the OK button and then click on the OK button again.
A common question is "How do I Delete or clear the Contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder?", and we will give you step by step instructions on how to do this below.
Step 1: Click on the Start button and then click on Control Panel. Then double-click on the Internet Options icon. You will now be presented with an screen similar to Figure 3 below.
Step 2: Click once on the Delete Files button designated by the red box in Figure 3 above. This will bring up a confirmation box similar to Figure 4 below.
Step 3: Click on the checkbox labeled Delete all offline content if you would like to delete content that you marked as viewable when you are not connected to the Internet. If you do not have offline content you can leave this unchecked.
Step 4: You should then click on the OK button which will start the process of deleting all of your Temporary Internet Files. This can take a while so do not be concerned if it looks like the Internet Options screen has become frozen. When it is done deleting the files, the Internet Options screen will go back to normal and you will be able to press the OK button to close the window.
Now your Internet Explorer Temporary Internet Files have been deleted from your computer.
By understanding how to manage your Temporary Internet Files you can optimize how Internet Explores views web pages as well as takes up disk space on your computer.
As always if you have any questions please feel free to post them in our computer help forums.
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