Internet Explorer - Delete Temporary Files

Published 07/04/2005 12:48   |    Updated 15/02/2008 17:36
How do I delete temporary files downloaded by Internet Explorer?

Every time you use Internet Explorer to navigate the World Wide Web it downloads temporary Internet files onto your computer's hard disk. These may be images, web pages, Internet addresses and usually this speeds up the process of moving between web pages that you have visited before (because the browser retrieves them from your local hard disk rather than downloading them again).


However, Internet Explorer can become very sluggish and unresponsive if it has downloaded an extremely large number of temporary items. Alternatively, you may want to make sure that you are seeing the latest version of a web page, not one that has been stored locally on your hard disk. In either case you should delete these temporary files. This simple process is easy to complete if you follow the instructions below.


Note: this will only delete temporary files used by Internet Explorer. It will not affect any programs or files (such as MP3s or images) that you have saved to your computer yourself.


Open Internet Explorer

Click on the Start menu in the bottom left corner of the screen. Then click on Programs and click once again on Internet Explorer.



Open the Internet Options panel

Click on the Tools menu at the top of the Internet Explorer window. Then select Internet Options from the list that appears. A new window will open - this is your Internet Options Control Panel.


Select the Delete Files option

In the middle of the panel, beneath the heading 'Temporary Internet Files' is a button marked Delete Files... Click on this once using the left mouse button.



Delete Internet Explorer's temporary Internet files

A 'Delete Files' alert box will appear. Click once in the white box alongside 'Delete all offline content' so a small tick appears inside. Then click once on OK.


There may now be a short delay as your computer deletes all the temporary files that Internet Explorer has stored locally on your PC. Don't worry - this is a completely safe process that does not affect any games, images, MP3s or any other useful files you may have downloaded from the Internet to your hard disk.


When the process has finished the Windows hourglass will turn back into the standard cursor (or 'mouse pointer'). Click on OK to close the Internet Options panel and return to Internet Explorer.



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