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How To Clean Temporary Internet Files And Adjust History Settings

The following information applies to Internet Explorer 5.0 and 6.0x and Netscape Browser 4.7x through 8.01x. Whenever you access the internet, a running record of visited sites are stored in various directories on your computer. Internet browsers store this information so that when you re-visit a site again, the pages will load faster. For instance, a typical internet page will contain a few graphics images that cause you to wait until the page fully loads. While the page is loading, your internet browser is copying information concerning those images to temporary directories on your hard drive. Now if you were to re-visit a sight the next day, you will notice that the pages do not take as long to load. This is definitely a useful feature, but these temporary files can cause problems if they accumulate over time. Therefore, this technical brief will show you how to perform a basic clean up of these temporary areas of your drive.

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Internet Explorer 5.0 Through Internet Explorer 6.0

Internet Explorer primarily stores its temporary information within the C:\Windows\History folder and the C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files folder. The History folder keeps a running, day by day, record of the sites you visit and is initially programmed by Microsoft to do so for a twenty day period. Both the temporary folder and the History folder settings can be addressed with the Internet Explorer program itself.

For Windows XP With Internet Explorer 6.0

Internet Explorer 6.0 now includes the new Delete Cookies button within its Internet Options window and its Delete Files button does a better job of really wiping out the Temporary Internet Files.

  1. Open up the Internet Explorer browser in the manner that you usually do.
  2. You can double click on the Internet Explorer icon that Microsoft adds to your Desktop.
  3. Then you click on the word Tools, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  4. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Internet Options.
  5. In the center of the screen, click on the button entitled Delete Files.
  6. Windows will ask if you want Delete all files in the Temporary Internet Files folder.
  7. You can place a check mark next to Delete all offline content to remove locally stored content.
  8. When you are satisfied with your selection, click on the OK button to delete these Temp files.
  9. This action will free up a decent amount of the Temporary Internet files on your system.
  10. Now click on the newly added button entitled Delete Cookies.
  11. Windows will ask if you want Delete all cookies in the Temporary Internet Files folder.
  12. Click on the OK button to have Windows delete all of these Cookie files for you.
  13. Now click on the Clear History button to clear out your recently visited page links.
  14. When Windows asks if you want to Delete your history of visited Web sites, click on Yes.
  15. Notice that there is an adjustment next to Days to keep pages in history:.
  16. Adjust this setting to your personal preference. 5 - 7 days is usually sufficient for History links.
  17. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Internet Options Window.

For Windows 98 And Windows Millennium

  1. Open up the Internet Explorer browser in the manner that you usually do.
  2. You can double click on the Internet Explorer icon that Microsoft adds to your Desktop.
  3. Then click on the word Tools, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  4. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Internet Options.
  5. In the center of the screen, click on the button entitled Delete Files.
  6. Windows will ask if you want Delete all files in the Temporary Internet Files folder.
  7. You can place a check mark next to Delete all offline content to remove locally stored content.
  8. When you are satisfied with your selection, click on the OK button to delete these Temp files.
  9. This action will free up a decent amount of the Temporary Internet files on your system.
  10. Now move down to the History section at the bottom area of the screen.
  11. Then click on the Clear History button to clear out your recently visited page links.
  12. When Windows asks if you want to Delete all items in your history Folder, click on OK.
  13. Notice that there is an adjustment next to Days to keep pages in history:.
  14. Adjust this setting to your personal preference. 5 - 7 days is usually sufficient for History links.
  15. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Internet Options Window.

Netscape Browser 6.2 through 8.0

Netscape Browser also uses temporary folders for keeping track of temporary files and history links. These directories are kept separate from the ones mentioned above for Internet Explorer. The procedure for cleaning up Netscape Communicator is as follows.

  1. Open up Netscape in the manner that you usually do.
  2. You can also click on the Start Button, then click on Programs.
  3. Then click on the Netscape folder and then click on your Netscape version icon.
  4. After Netscape loads, click on the word Edit contained in your top tool bar area.
  5. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Preferences.
  6. For Netscape 6 double click on the word Navigator in the Category section to expand it.
  7. For Netscape 7 and above, this Category section will already be expanded by default.
  8. Then click on the word History in the Category section to display its properties settings.
  9. Now click on the Clear History button to clear your recently visited page links.
  10. Within that section, it also states: Remember visited pages for the last X days.
  11. Adjust this setting to your personal preference. 5 - 7 days is usually sufficient for History links.
  12. Now go back to Category section on the left and double click on the word Advanced.
  13. This will expand that section and enable you to click on the word Cache.
  14. Over to the right, you will see two buttons: Clear Memory Cache and Clear Disk Cache.
  15. Click on both buttons to delete all your Temporary Internet files stored by Netscape.
  16. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Preferences properties window.
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