How to Delete Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

Free up drive space by deleting cached files

How to Delete Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

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Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses the temporary internet files feature to store copies of web content on your computer. When you access the same webpage again, the browser uses the stored file and only downloads the new content.

This feature improves network performance but can fill the drive with a large quantity of unwanted data. IE users control many aspects of the temporary internet files feature, including the ability to delete temporary files as needed to free up space on the drive.

These instructions apply to Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

Deleting Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer

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

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

  2. Select the Tools icon, which resembles a gear and is located on the right side of the browser.

    Gear icon in Internet Explorer
  3. Select Safety > Delete browsing history.... (If you have the Menu bar enabled, click Tools > Delete browsing history....)

    Delete browsing history menu item
  4. When the Delete Browsing History window opens, uncheck all the options except for the one named Temporary internet files and website files.

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

You can also access the Delete browsing history... menu by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

If you seldom empty the Temporary Internet Files folder, it probably contains a large amount of webpage content. It may take several minutes to delete it all.

Deleting 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 window. Just select it there, unselect everything else, and click Delete.