Clearing temporary internet files and cookies


Every time you visit a website, part of the website like html, images etc are downloaded and stored in your hard disk. These downloaded files are called temporary internet files. Temporary internet files are stored to speed up your browsing experience. When you visit a website that you have visited already, parts of the website that have been stored as temporary internet files are loaded from your hard disk directly instead of being downloaded one more time, thus this saves time and increases your browsing performance.
But temporary internet files have a major drawback. They are not secure, and anybody who has access to your computer can browse through your temporary internet files directory and learn about the websites you visited and your browsing habits. So, it’s important that temporary internet files must be cleared periodically to maintain privacy of your browsing habits and browsing history.

Cookies even though always deemed evil are harmless bits of information stored by websites on your computer. Cookies are similar in some ways to temporary internet files. Cookies usually have information like site preferences, automatic login details etc and are saved by the sites you visit into your computer. Cookies also are a big privacy concern because anybody having access to your computer can browse your cookies folder and learn about the sites you visit. Therefore clearing the cookies folder is as important as clearing the temporary internet files.  Clearing both the temporary internet files and cookies is a simple task.

Open up internet explorer, On the tools menu choose internet options Under temporary internet files section, click on the “Delete Files” button, confirm your delete action (check  “delete offline files” box also) and the internet options screen is shown again. Now click on “Delete Cookies”, on the confirmation pop up click “ok”. You will be taken back to the internet options screen, click Ok to close the screen.

Please be advised that it may take a while for the temporary internet files to get deleted especially if you haven’t done it before recently and there are lots of files to delete. The computer may go un-responsive for a few seconds, don’t panic, its normal. You have now successfully deleted both cookies and temporary internet files from your computer and thus compromise of privacy due to these files is no longer possible.

Step 1: Open internet options window and click on Delete Files

Internet options window

Step 2: Confirm deletion

Delete Files Confirm

Step 3: Click on Delete Cookies button

Delete Cookies

Step 4: Confirm cookie delete

Confirm Delete Cookies


P.S Tired of clearing temporary internet files every time you complete browsing? There is a way of deleting internet files automatically, read the next post.

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