Internet, Networking, & Security Browsers Delete Temporary Internet Files and Cookies Clear them often to improve your web browser's performance by Mary Landesman Writer Mary Landesman is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a security expert. She was named as one of the women to watch in IT security. our editorial process LinkedIn Mary Landesman Updated on May 20, 2020 Browsers Chrome Safari Firefox Microsoft Tweet Share Email Internet Explorer caches web pages you visit and cookies coming from those pages. While designed to speed up browsing, if left unchecked, the burgeoning folders can sometimes slow IE to a crawl or cause other unexpected behaviors. In general, the less is more principle works well here—keep the Internet Explorer cache small and clear it often. Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer 11 and higher. How to Delete Temporary Files and Cookies If you want to delete your temporary files or cookies, follow these steps. Open the Tools menu (the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen). The keyboard shortcut for the Tools menu is Alt+X. Select Internet Options. In the Browsing history section, select Delete. Select the check boxes next to the files you want to delete. Temporary internet files and cookies should be selected by default, but if you wish to preserve your saved passwords, for example, clear that check box. Now that the files and cookies are gone, take steps to minimize their impact going forward. In the Internet Options menu, go to the Browsing history section and select Settings. Next to Disk space to use, lower the amount of memory IE uses to store temporary internet files. Microsoft recommends you set this number between 50 and 250 MB. Select OK to save your changes. Select OK again to exit the Internet Options menu. You may need to restart the browser before the changes take effect.