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How To Find and View Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

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These instructions explain how to find the location of Temporary Internet Files. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses the Temporary Internet Files feature to store copies of Web content on the local hard drive. This feature improves network performance but can fill the hard drive with large amounts of unwanted data. IE allows many aspects of the Temporary Internet Files feature to be controlled. This page explains how to find and view the Temporary Internet Files stored on a computer.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: < 1 minute

Here's How:

  1. Open either Microsoft Internet Explorer or the Windows Control Panel.

  2. In Microsoft Internet Explorer, open the Tools menu and choose the Internet Options... menu. In Control Panel. open the Internet Options list item. In either case, a new window titled "Internet Properties" appears.

  3. In the Temporary Internet Files section of the Internet Properties window, click the "Settings..." button. A new "Settings" window appears.

  4. In the "Settings" window, click the "View Files..." button. After a brief delay, a new Windows Explorer window appears. This window displays all of the Temporary Internet Files stored on the computer and their location on the local hard drive. The window also displays the URL where each temporary file came from.

  5. When done viewing Temporary Internet Files, close each of the new windows created during steps 1 through 4 above.

Tips:

  1. The list of Temporary Internet Files can be sorted by file name, URL (Internet Address), file type or size, and various dates.

  2. Temporary Internet Files are different from Web browser cookies and stored separately on the hard drive.

  3. Temporary Internet Files can be deleted. The amount of space reserved for them on the local hard drive can be controlled. Their location on the local hard drive can also be changed.

  4. Choosing the "View Objects..." option in Step 4 instead of the "View Files..." option allows Web application objects installed on the local hard drive to be viewed. Only advanced users should consider deleting any of these objects.

What You Need

  • Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or newer)
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