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What are temporary Internet files?

3 May 2001

The temporary Internet files folders are one of the more obscure parts of Windows. They act as a cache file to store frequently visited web site features and cookies. By storing these files, Internet Explorer can load web sites quicker.

The temporary Internet files can cause trouble in a Windows computers. The default setting in Internet Explorer is huge and can take hundreds of Mb of your hard drive. Sometimes a rogue temporary file can cause problems with your system.

Cleaning and reducing the size of the folder is a good idea. To do this, open Internet Explorer, click on Tools, Option, General. First click the "Delete Files"button to clean up the folders, then click the "Settings" button. In the settings section move the folder size slider as far to the left as possible, in some versions of Internet Explorer you can type in the size of the folder, if you can do this then reduce it to 10Mb.

Never just delete the Temporary Internet Files folder. It is a Windows system folder and you may find your computer becomes unstable. Being a system folder it is unlikely the system will let you anyway.

Cached files are a useful way of speeding up a program, but they can clog up your system and cause problems. If you have any programs that use a cache it is worthwhile to clean them up occasionally. We have added this step to our optimise your computer page.

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