How to Delete Temporary Internet Files

Learning how to delete temporary internet files or to learning how to clear internet history is a bit geeky! The average computer user would probably never go near the temporary Internet files and would not even know that they exist. This is probably a good idea but like the word says, these are “temporary Internet files” and they are pretty safe to delete. In fact I am quite vicious with my temporary Internet files and I delete them often as part of my computer maintenance schedule.

Not all computer users know that these temporary files and junk files accumulate to eventually slow your computer down. This is when you need to take charge and speed up your computer by getting rid of some of the junk.

These folders I am going to show you not only stored temporary Internet files, they also store other temporary files. For example when you open a Microsoft word document it is placed into the temporary folder and when you close the document it is taken out again. Unfortunately sometimes the file is not taken out again and the files that buildup. Same with looking at pages on the Internet. Most of the Internet files are stored temporarily and are kept. It is even worse when you open a document that is stored on the Internet because you will have the full file stored in your temporary files. Basically just using your computer creates extra files that you do not know about. This does not matter if you are just working on the computer or browsing the Internet, it’s still creates files.

How to Delete Temporary Internet Files?

I’m not going to tell you how to delete temporary Internet files yet. I am actually going to show you where the temporary files are stored as many people ask me so I know this is a burning question.

First – Where are Temporary Internet Files Stored

There are three different places that you can find temporary files on your computer. They are located in different place in Windows Vista and Windows Xp. In Windows Vista there are three file paths below to follow to view the temporary files. If you would like to see someone deleting these files then please see my computer maintenance video.

C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalTemp (%temp)

C:WindowsTemp (temp)

C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet Files

To view these files you can type the exact path into the run box and you will be taken there. Make sure you replace the part where it says “username” with your own username. For the top two there is a shortcut to type in. This is shown at the end of the path. Therefore to see the first temp folder we would follow these steps:

  1. Press WINKEY and R to open a run box.
  2. Then type in %temp% and press ok. See the screenshot below.

how to delete temporary internet files

The window below will appear showing all the temporary files in this folder…This is all junk and although I clean this temporary folder out often, it still has over 26MB of files in it. That might not seem like much but that is only for one week. Image if you left it there to build up over 52 weeks or more. You should simply select these files and right click on them and delete them. There is nothing there that is needed. The only thing is you might not be able to delete a file if it is being used by another program. You can come back later and delete it.

These files are from your computer use and from opening and viewing items from the internet.

where are temporary internet files stored

If you want to view the second Windows temp folder then simply type temp into the run box. You can find both of these temp folders the same way in Windows XP.

The last place to find temporary files is the temporary internet files. In Windows Vista they are located at C:Documents and SettingsusernameLocal SettingsTemporary Internet Files. These files include cookies, browsing history, and more..

To find your temporary internet files simply type this path into the run box. Make sure you replace the word username with your username (mine is mitz) for your computer. See the screen shot below. All these files have been collected when you browse the internet.

remove temporary internet files

How to delete temporary internet files Windows XP

  1. Go to the start menu and choose control panel from the menu.
  2. Double click on the internet options icon. The Windows below will appear.
  3. Click on the Settings button, just below the heading, browsing history.
  4. The Temporary Internet Files and History Settings window will open.
  5. Click on View files to see the temporary internet files.

This will give the chance to clear internet history,and clear internet browser cache, including cookies and temp files.

How to delete temporary internet files in Windows Vista and Windows Seven

If you are using Internet Explorer You just need to find the Internet options. The screen shot below shows how to find the Internet options in Internet Explorer number nine.

how to delete temporary internet files

This screen shot is for Firefox.

Now you are welcome to delete any of these files manually if you like. This is how to delete temporary internet files.

How to delete temporary internet files using Windows Tools?

You can use The system tools that are included with the Windows operating system to clean up your computer, however it is widely thought that 3rd party programs can do a more thorough job. To find Windows system tools simply go to the start menu, choose all programs, then accessories, then system tools. This applies to both Windows XP and Windows Vista. You will see a list of system tool programs that you can use to cleanup your computer. You can use disk cleanup to safely delete temporary internet files and you can also Delete your visited website history and other temporary internet files via Internet Explorer.

Deleting temporary internet files is not just about deleting cookies as there are so many files to get rid of.
Free PC Matic Scan

Install a program to do it all for you! Speed up your computer!

Many people are still not sure if it is safe to remove temporary internet files from their computer. I understand this so for those people I would recommend software to do the job for them.

A software program will not upgrade your memory but it will clean out all the junk files, detect Malware, delete unused registry keys, Automatic Driver updates, and more. At the moment I am using PC Matic to maintain everything for me. This software is amazing and has won a number of top awards. You can get a free scan for your computer to see how it works before you buy.

Now you know how to delete temporary internet files!


  1. gagan says

    my lappy is too slow i formatted C drive and restored it but no use and every click it shows not responding for some time then process

  2. gagan says

    my sony vaio laptop is too slow and i restored it to factory setting and also formatted C drive but no use and every click it will show not responding messsage for 5 seconds then it will process

  3. Mohsin says

    Aslamo Alakam Dear
    You can Remove all Enter or Line Breaks in MS Word
    1- First Press CTRL + H
    2- Write “^p^p” (Do not Write “” Just ^p^P and Write in small case) in Find What Box
    3- Write “===” in replace with (Do not write “”)
    Note you can also use ^p .
    try it

  4. ELAINA says


  5. Arlen says

    Hey there,
    When doing this, HOW on earth do you clear cache’s and temp
    files WITHOUT deleting the logon details for sites, like banking and such.
    Not saved passwords, but the login ID’s.
    Not sure about you, but I need a fullscap to remember them all!

  6. Walt says

    Thanks for the help, Mitz. Folks like you are so generous to assist those of us still learning.


  7. Jay Wayne says

    Hi (I’m using Vista) I was following your instructions on deleting the temp file in the %temp% window.

    And I have the same folder as you the “_avast4_” I tried to delete it but it said “if you delete this folder it will no longer be shared” Is it still safe to delete it?

    Thanks for any help and the very useful article!