How to Delete Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

Free up drive space by deleting cached files

What to Know

  • Quickest method: Ctrl+Shift+Delete > select Temporary Internet files and website files > clear other boxes > Delete.
  • Or, select Tools (gear icon) > Safety > Delete browsing history > Temporary Internet files and website files > clear boxes > Delete.
  • Delete cookies: In Delete Browsing History box, select Cookies and website data > clear other check boxes > Delete.

Microsoft Internet Explorer uses the temporary internet files feature to store copies of web content on your computer. This feature can fill your drive with unwanted data but it's easy to delete these files to free up space again.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

Delete Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

When you access the same web page again, the browser uses the stored file and only downloads the new content. This feature improves network performance but fills the drive with potentially unwanted data. Control temporary internet files by deleting these files as needed to free up space on the drive.

Deleting these files is a quick fix for a drive that is nearing capacity.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

  2. Select Tools (the gear icon).

    Gear icon in Internet Explorer
  3. Select Safety > Delete browsing history. If the Menu bar is enabled, select Tools > Delete browsing history instead.

    Delete browsing history menu item
  4. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, clear all the check boxes except for the Temporary internet files and website files check box.

    Browsing History options in Internet Explorer
  5. Select Delete to remove the temporary internet files from your computer.

To access the Delete Browsing History dialog box using a keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl+Shift+Delete.

If the Temporary Internet Files folder hasn't been emptied in a while, it may contain a large amount of web page content. It may take several minutes to delete it all.

Delete Cookies

Temporary internet files are different from cookies and are stored separately. Internet Explorer provides a separate feature to delete cookies. It is also located in the Delete Browsing History dialog box. Select the Cookies and website data check box, clear the other check boxes, and select Delete.

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