How can I clear the temporary Internet files in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)?

A. When you visit a Web page, IE caches the page contents to disk so that the next time you visit the page, IE can read certain elements (e.g., images) from the local disk instead of having to download them again. This functionality also lets you view pages you've looked at before, even if you're not connected to the Web.

IE stores the files in the \%userprofile%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files folder (e.g., C:\Documents and Settings\john\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files). Although you can delete the content directly, which also removes all your cookies, the Microsoft-supported method is as follows:

  1. Go to Control Panel, then open the Internet Options applet (or open IE, then select Internet Options from the Tools menu).
  2. Under the "Temporary Internet files" section on the General tab, click Delete Files. You can also select the "Delete all offline content" check box on the Delete Files dialog box to delete offline files.
  3. Click OK to return to the main dialog box.

If you haven't previously deleted the temporary files, the delete process might be time consuming because it might need to delete thousands of small files.

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