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How To: Delete Temporary Internet Files

What exactly are Temporary Internet Files?


The Temporary Internet Files (or cache) folder contains Web page content that is stored on your hard disk for quick viewing. This cache permits Internet Explorer or MSN Explorer to download only the content that has changed since you last viewed a web page, instead of downloading all the content for a page every time it is displayed.

Despite all these positive things about Temporary Internet Files, they have one big drawback: they compromise your privacy. Everyone with access to your computer can look into your Temporary Internet Files folder and see the sites that you have visited in the past. You can manually delete the contents of Temporary Internet Files folder but this will not erase all traces of the pages because a special file called Index.dat is placed in this folder and it will still preserve the names and even the dates of your first visits to many pages.

For steps to delete these files, read more

Generally there might not be any reason to worry about all of these files in your computer, but what if you sell your computer and all that information is left for someone else to see. Maybe friends and relatives visit and use your computer and you don't want everyone to know what files you are running on your computer. Then you are going to want to know how to delete these files.

Even if you are not worried about privacy on your computer, you may be surprised to realize how much hard drive space all of this information takes up. If you are running out of drive space, you may want to delete these files.


To delete temporary files in Internet Explorer 6.x on a PC:

  • Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools
  • Click on the Tools menu and then click Internet Options
  • Select the General Tab
  • Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files
  • To delete temporary files in Mozilla on a PC or MAC:

    • Open Mozilla
    • Select the TOOLS menu and then click Privacy
    • Click the Clear button

    • To delete temporary files in Safari on a MAC:

      • Open Safari
      • Select the Safari menu and then click Preferences
      • Click Autofill from the top Toolbar
      • Click the EDIT button next to Other Forms
      • Click the Remove All button
      • Remove the check from the OTHER FORMS box
      • Source

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