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How To Clean The Contents of Your Temporary File Folders

Whenever you visit a web site, a running record of visited sites are stored in various directories on your computer. By storing this information, it allows web pages to load faster if you happen to re-visit that particular site. This can be a useful, but these temporary files can cause problems if they accumulate over a long period of time. Also whenever you install programs, residuals of the programs installation files are also stored within a Temporary File Folder and can also accumulate over time. Therefore, this technical brief will show you how to manually clean up all these temporary file folders on your computer system.

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For Windows XP

By default, Windows XP comes with Internet Explorer 6 built into the operating system. Therefore, we can now use a few built in options to perform a decent clean up of Temporary Files in just few simple steps.

  1. For best results, close all your open programs until the Windows Desktop appears.
  2. Open up the Internet Explorer browser in the manner that you usually do.
  3. You can double click on the Internet Explorer icon that Microsoft adds to your Desktop.
  4. Then you click on the word Tools, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  5. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Internet Options.
  6. Then locate the three buttons entitled: Delete Cookies, Delete Files and Clear History.
  7. Now click on each button and select OK each time Windows asks if you want to delete these files.
  8. Then click on the OK button at the bottom of the screen to exit the Internet Properties window.

Note: The above procedure will work for all earlier Windows versions as long Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher is installed on that system. This is because Internet Explorer 6.0 now includes the new Delete Cookies button and a new Delete Files button that does a decent job of really wiping out Temporary Internet Files.

For Windows 98 And Windows Millennium

The following instructions may ask you to open certain folders within the Windows directory such as C:\Windows\Temp and the C:\Windows\Cookies directory etc. Therefore, it is urgent that you double-click into these folders and be certain that you are actually in them. Failure to double-click directly into these folders may result in selecting and deleting essential system files, which we cannot be held liable for. If you have any uncertainty doing this, then please only follow the instructions given above for Windows XP.

  1. For best results, close all your programs until the Windows desktop appears.
  2. Then double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop until it opens for you.
  3. Then double click on your (C:) drive until it opens up for you.
  4. Then double click on your Windows folder until it opens.
  5. Now double click on the folder entitled: Temp until it opens for you.
  6. Note: The exact directory path of this Temp folder is C:Windows\Temp
  7. Now click on the word Edit, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  8. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Select All.
  9. After the folder contents become highlighted, press the delete key on your keyboard.
  10. This will delete all the temporary files and directories that are contained in this folder.
  11. Now click on the Up Arrow button within your top tool bar area just below the word Favorites.
  12. This will take you up one directory level and return you back into the Windows Directory.
  13. Now double click on the folder entitled: Temporary Internet Files until it opens for you.
  14. Note: The exact directory path of this Temp folder is C:Windows\Temporary Internet Files
  15. Now click on the word Edit, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  16. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Select All.
  17. After the temporary files become highlighted, press the delete key on your keyboard.
  18. Windows will ask you if you are sure you want to delete the selected cookies.
  19. Click on the Yes button to allow Windows to delete these temporary internet files for you.
  20. Now click on the Up Arrow button within your top tool bar area just below the word Favorites.
  21. This will take you up one directory level and return you back into the Windows Directory.
  22. Now double click on the folder entitled: Cookies until it opens for you.
  23. Note: The exact directory path of this Cookie folder is C:Windows\Cookies
  24. Now click on the word Edit, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  25. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Select All.
  26. After the Cookie files become highlighted, press the delete key on your keyboard.
  27. This will delete all the Cookie files that are contained in this folder.
  28. Now click on the Up Arrow button within your top tool bar area just below the word Favorites.
  29. This will take you up one directory level and return you back into the Windows Directory.
  30. Now double click on the folder entitled: History until it opens for you.
  31. Note: The exact directory path of this History folder is C:Windows\History
  32. Now click on the word Edit, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  33. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Select All.
  34. After the History files become highlighted, press the delete key on your keyboard.
  35. Windows will ask you if you are sure you want to delete the selected History items.
  36. Click on the Yes button to allow Windows to delete these History files for you.

Note: If you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer, you may receive a warning regarding deleting a folder entitled VBE that is temporarily stored within one of the Temp folders. It is OK to delete this folder as it will simply recreate itself the next time you open a Microsoft Office Application. And lastly, you may also run across two read-only files that will not delete. They are "Index.dat" contained in the C:\Windows\Cookies folder and "Webpoolfilefile" contained in the C:\Windows\Temp folder.

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