Basic housekeeping for Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 is a great improvement over its predecessors, as well as boasting a sleek look that really makes it stand out.

Its new look has also changed the location of important settings and features. If privacy is important to you, you’ll want to know how to do things like view or delete temporary internet files and manage cookies.

These are easy to do – if you know where to look. With a few simple steps, we’ll show you how to get your browser cleaned to your liking and keep it that way!

Viewing temporary internet files

In order to speed up the loading of websites you’ve already viewed, Internet Explorer stores temporary internet files on your PC. You have access to these files, and you’re free to view or delete them whenever you like. Here’s how:

Locate the little Tools cog icon on the upper right of Internet Explorer. Click on it and choose Internet options.


Under the General tab, find the Browsing history section and click Settings.

A box called Temporary Internet Files and History Settings will open. Click on View files.


From here, you can see all of the temporary internet files Internet Explorer is storing on your PC.

Deleting temporary internet files

If your temporary internet files folder is overloaded with files, you might want to consider deleting some of them to free up drive space. You can do this by picking and choosing the files directly from the folder or by having Internet Explorer do it for you via the settings folder.

Again, click on the Tools cog on the upper right corner of your browser screen and choose Internet options.

Under the General tab, find the Browsing history section and click Delete.

In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, check Temporary Internet Files, click Delete at the bottom and then OK.

This action will delete every file saved in the folder where your temporary internet files are stored. If you like, you can also opt to delete other aspects of your browsing experience, like your browsing history, which is the list of sites you’ve visited. This will mostly affect whether Internet Explorer remembers the site to finish the URL for you while you’re typing it into the address bar. If you don’t want people knowing the sites you’ve visited, perhaps on a shared computer, for example, this is a great way of ensuring they don’t.

Note that you can also arrive at this option by clicking the Tools cog, choosing Safety instead of Internet options and clicking on the Delete browsing history option.


Managing cookies

Cookies are small text files that store information about you as an internet user, including your preferences. Websites put them on your computer to improve your experience while browsing. For example, sites that require you to sign in each time you visit might use cookies so your login credentials are remembered and you don’t have to enter them every single time.

Some people might view cookies as an invasion of their browsing privacy, since they also sometimes track specific sites you visit. Fortunately, there are easy ways to manage your cookies.

Deleting cookies
Just like when you want to delete your temporary internet files, you have two ways to delete your cookies. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to use the one described in the final sentence of the last section.

Click the Tools cog, choose Safety and then Delete browsing history. Within the new box that appears, check Cookies option and click Delete at the bottom of the box, then OK.

Blocking or allowing cookies based on type and the website they come from

You can customize which cookies to block or allow instead of simply deleting them. To do so, click the Tools cog and choose Internet options. From there, click on the Privacy tab. You’ll see a vertical slider at the top of this dialog box with a description to the right of what will be blocked or allowed with differing levels of privacy.

If you just want to block or allow a specific website’s cookies, choose the Sites option directly beneath the slider. Type the website URL into the Address of website area and then pick Block or Allow, per your preference.

Bonus tip: Uninstalling Internet Explorer 9

Had enough of IE9 or want to go back to using IE8? You’re in luck. Elena’s already written an in-depth explanation right here: how uninstall IE9 quickly and painlessly!

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