Temporary Internet Files / Cache

Do you know that by installing MS Internet Explorer (MSIE) - or any browser for that matter; some space in your HDD is reserved by the program to keep copies of all the html, gif, jpg and other files you have been through on the Internet?

This space on your HDD is called the Internet Cache. In MSIE, it's called Temporary Internet Files or something like that.

Before you get paranoid, this article is NOT about privacy or snoops going through your Internet Cache to see where you've been on the Internet. (though it can happen, especially if you have an overly-curious brother / sister who knows a little bit more than you do).

Well, this article is about me finding out just how much space of my HDD is assigned as a Cache by MSIE. A whopping 312 MB!

That's half a CDROM man! I had to do something... so this is what I did to control the Internet Cache size:

To get to this dialog box and manage your Cache / Temporary Internet Files size, start up MSIE, click on Tools and then Internet Options....

Choose the General tab if it is not already selected, where you will find options for Temporary Internet Files and click on the button labeled Settings.... You will see the dialog box as shown below. Move the slider to a reasonably smaller size.

Cache Overload Screenshot

I immediately moved this slider to 10MB which is what it is at now (and more than enough for my use) and emptied the Internet Cache while I did that.

You can clear your Cache / Temporary Internet Files by clicking on Delete Files... (just to the left of the Settings... button seen earlier).

By contrast, these are the default settings for some other popular browsers:

  • Netscape : 1 MB (at least this is what I remember)
  • Opera : 2 MB
  • Mozilla : 50 MB

There are days when you find your PC feeling a bit sluggish; perhaps a good place to start is right here and clean up that over-sized Cache in your computer.

Previously, with MSIE 5, you had to click on View Files..., select ALL the files manually and hit the Del key just so that you get rid of everything including cookie files, but with MSIE 6, there's even a button for that - Delete Cookies.... Wow!

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