Where to Find Internet Explorer's Temporary Internet Files

Reset the temp files folder location or view temporary files

Computer File Search
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Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses temporary internet files to store copies of web content on a local hard drive. While it's useful for improving network performance, it can quickly fill the hard drive with large amounts of unwanted data. If your computer has random images and other temporary internet files from Internet Explorer, delete them to clean up space and maybe speed up IE.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

IE Temporary Internet Files Location

Internet Explorer has a default location where temporary internet files are stored. Depending on your operating system, temp files should be in one of these locations:

  • C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache: This temp files location is relevant in Windows 10 and Windows 8.
  • C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files: This is where temporary internet files are stored in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files: This is where Windows XP IE temp internet files are stored.
  • C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files: This is where downloaded program files are stored.

Replace [username] in the folder locations with your Windows username.

These locations display temporary internet files and files downloaded from the web. You can sort these lists by file name, address, file extension, size, and various dates.

However, if you don't see these folders, it's possible that they've been changed. You can see which folders your computer is using by accessing the settings described below.

Temporary internet files are different from web browser cookies and are stored in a separate folder. Also, temporary internet files in Internet Explorer are not the same as the temporary files in Windows.

How to Access the Settings for Temp Internet Files

The temporary internet files settings can be accessed through the Internet Explorer Internet Options screen. Use these options to change the temporary internet files folder location, set how often IE checks for cached website pages, and adjust the amount of storage reserved for temp files.

  1. Use one of these methods to open Internet Options:

    • Open Control Panel, then select Network and Internet > Internet Options.
    • In the Run dialog box or from Command Prompt, enter the inetcpl.cpl command.
    • From Internet Explorer, select Tools > Internet options.
    Internet Options in Control Panel
  2. Select the General tab, then go to the Browsing history section and select Settings.

    Settings button in Internet Properties window
  3. Select the Temporary Internet Files tab to access more options to deal with temp files in Internet Explorer.

Other Ways to Deal with Temp Files in Internet Explorer

In the Temporary Internet Files tab, select Check for newer versions of stored pages to choose how often Internet Explorer looks in the temporary internet files folder for cached pages. More frequent checks speed up access to websites. The default option is Automatically but you can change it to Every time I visit the webpage, Every time I start Internet Explorer, or Never.

Another option you can change is how much storage space is allowed for temporary internet files. Choose any size between 8 MB and 1,024 MB (1 GB), but Microsoft recommends setting the disk space usage between 50 MB and 250 MB.

You can change the folder in which IE keeps temporary internet files. Change the folder to store cached pages, images, and other files on a different hard drive that has more space, such as an external hard drive. To do that, select Move folder and then choose which folder to use for temp files.

The other buttons in this screen are for viewing the objects and files that IE has stored. These are the folders mentioned above.