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How to Clear Temporary Internet Files on Internet Explorer 6

Windows XP originally shipped with Internet Explorer Version 6 as its web browser. IE6 has become fairly dated and if your computer is connected to the internet and the machine is configured to perform Windows updates automatically then it is very unlikely that you will still have Internet Explorer 6. By now the computer would have updated itself to at least Internet Explorer Version 7 or 8. Internet Explorer Version 7 is documented in the Windows Vista section of this website and Internet Explorer Version 8 is examined in the Windows 7 pages.

So what are temporary internet files? When you visit a website with your web browser it will store the web page and any associated content such as images in a special folder on your hard disk. This special folder is referred to as a cache. Should you return to the website in the future Internet Explorer will check its cache to see if it already has a copy of the website and it will also check the website to see if it has been changed. If the website has not changed and the browser already has a copy the page in its cache it will serve the web page to you from the cache rather than downloading it from the internet all over again. Caching web content can increase the speed that the page loads into your browser quite markedly and save traffic on your internet connection.

Almost all web browsers have a cache and they are generally good things particularly if your internet connection is slow. Many web browsers do not replace items in the cache however, if you visit a web page and it has changed the browser will write the new page to the cache often without deleting the old one and over a period of time this cache can grow to be quite large, wasting disk space and causing pages to load more slowly as the browser hunts through the cache looking for the most recent copy. In extreme cases web pages may time out while the browser does this. Periodically clearing cached or Temporary Internet Files is certainly a good thing.

To delete your Temporary Internet Files open up Internet Explorer in whatever fashion you usually would and click on tools and then Internet Options. Click on Tools then internet options

A new box will appear on your screen titled Internet Options. There are seven tabs accross the top of the page and it will open on the first tab, General. This is quite convenient because clearing temporary Internet Files is performed on the General tab. About halfway down you will see Temporary Internet Files and underneath this there will be three buttons. Click on the middle one, Delete Files. Delete Files

The Delete Files dialogue box will appear. Click the OK button to commence clearing your Temporary Internet Files. Click OK

It can take several moments to delete your Temporary Internet Files and you will see a lot of hard disk activity, particularly if the cache is quite large. Click OK on the bottom of Internet Options once you have finished. Close Internet Options