A Quick Look at Temporary Internet Files

Temporary internet files, used by applications that allow you to surf the internet, contain elements of a web page and are stored on a computer for future use. Each time you visit a web site, the temporary internet files folder on your machine is scanned for items that were previously downloaded from the site and, if they exist, are loaded directly from your computer. The idea behind this is that web sites will load much faster if the content is accessed directly from your PC, instead of re-downloaded from a web server each and every time you visit a site.

In addition to faster web browsing, temporary internet files allow you to access previously viewed web sites without an internet connection. Coined offline browsing, you are still able to access these sites even when no internet is available because copies of visited web pages are stored directly on the computer. Keep in mind, however, that you will only be able to access content that is stored within the temporary internet files folder. Any changes made to the site since your last visit will not appear.

Typically, when you are experiencing difficulties browsing the internet or accessing a web site; one of the first troubleshooting steps suggested is to clear your temporary internet files. Despite their value, they have a tendency to be the primary culprit in a number of browsing woes. For example, the more you surf, the larger your collection of temp files can grow and an over-abundance of temporary internet files can lead to sluggish browser performance. In addition, these files can sometimes become outdated or corrupt; leading to issues with how certain web pages load.

Luckily, most if not all browsers provide application settings a user can adjust to help alleviate or prevent these types of issues from occurring. In some cases, you can even set your browser to automatically delete all items in the temporary internet files folder upon closing your browser (which is an ideal option for those users who are concerned about privacy). It’s recommended that, in order to maintain optimal performance, all users clear out their temporary internet files on a regular basis or consider limiting the number of stored files.

For more information on deleting temporary internet files or other cache items (such as history, form data, or cookies), please see below. You can also obtain this and more information on adjusting designated storage limits for temporary internet files and other cache items at Tech Support Online (you will need a valid SJC username and password to access this site).

 

Deleting Cache/Temporary Internet Files

  • Internet Explorer 9
    • Open IE 8
    • Click on the Tools menu
    • Select Internet Options
    • In the Browsing History section, click on Delete
    • Place a check in the box next to each item you wish to delete
    • Click on Delete
  • Firefox
    • Open Firefox
    • Click on the Tools menu
    • Select Clear Recent History
    • Select Everything from the Time range to clear drop down menu
    • Place a check in the box next to each item you wish to delete
    • Click on Clear Now
  • Google Chrome
    • Open Google Chrome
    • Click on the wrench icon in the top right corner of the screen
    • Select Options
    • Click on Under the Hood from the left-hand menu
    • In the Privacy section, click on Clear Browsing Data
    • Place a check in the box next to each item you wish to delete
    • Click on Clear Browsing Data
  • Safari
    • Open Safari
    • Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen
    • Select Reset Safari
    • Place a check in the box next to each item you wish to delete
    • Click Reset.

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