Temporary Internet Files - Cache
Published October 2001
Updated 17 February 2002 to include
Konqueror 2.1 & Konqueror 1.98 Cache Clearing Instructions


In behind your web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Konqueror or Opera) you have a cache. The cache stores Temporary Internet Files. These files are bits and pieces (often images, sometimes whole pages) that are automatically saved on your machine with the intention of speeding up the download the next time you visit that site.

When you get on to the internet and click on a website address, your browser goes off and asks for the content (the pictures, background, text etc) for that particular site from the server (machine) on which they live.

If you have visited that particular site before, and some of the information from the site has been stored in your cache as temporary internet files, then your browser will get the files from your cache, not by zapping across the internet to the server where the site actually lives. This is invariably quicker (and if you are paying for internet access by the minute - cheaper) but has a couple of potential pitfalls.

  • You may not end up viewing the most up-to-date web site content because the site may have been updated since your temporary file was saved.

  • Your cache of Temporary Internet Files can take up a lot of space. The default settings on some browsers allocate 50 megabytes or more of hard drive to the cache which is an awful lot of space.

If you are concerned that you might not be viewing the most up-to-date version of a web site there are a couple of things you can do to rectify this.

  • You can force a refresh. To do this in Internet Explorer hold down the Shift key and click on Refresh. In Netscape hold down the CTRL key and click on Reload.

  • You can empty your cache in I.E., Netscape, Konqueror 2.11 & 1.9.8 by doing the following:

    • In Internet Explorer 5 series go to FILE then INTERNET OPTIONS, then under Temporary Internet Files click on DELETE FILES.

    • In Konqueror 2.11 go to SETTINGS then CONFIGURE KONQUEROR then on the left hand menu click on PROXIES where you'll see a place for setting your cache size and a CLEAR CACHE button - click on the CLEAR CACHE button.

    • In Konqueror 1.9.8 you can set your cache size the same way as in Konqueror 2.11, i.e. go to SETTINGS then CONFIGURE KONQUEROR then on the left hand menu click on PROXIES where you'll see a place for setting your cache size.

      To clear the cache in Konqueror version 1.9.8 you will need to open a text terminal (click on the screen & shell icon on your desktop, or if you don't have that icon click on the large K button on the left hand side of your desktop, go to System, then Terminal). This will bring up a new window with your command prompt which will usually have your user name@your machine name eg john@pc:. Type in the following command kio_http_cache_cleaner --clear-all   .To verify this you can go to the KDE Help files. Click on the menu item Application Manuals, then Internet, then Konqueror Web Browser, then the Questions and Answers button. There you'll see a question "How do I clear out the browser cache?" which explains this.

      NOTE: Ensure that you have closed Konqueror BEFORE you attempt to clear the cache from your text terminal.

    • In Netscape 4 series go to EDIT then PREFERENCES then click on Advanced (on the left hand tree) then CACHE, then click on CLEAR MEMORY CACHE and on CLEAR DISK CACHE.

  • In this area of Netscape you can also set the size of your cache and how often your browser checks to see if the content is the most up-to-date. Don't set your cache any higher than 20MB but for most people 10MB (10,000KB) should be plenty. It can be done in Internet Explorer by following the clear cache instructions above and then clicking on the SETTINGS button.

    If you are a CCS client running a different browser and need help clearing your cache or adjusting your settings just send me an email letting me know what browser and what version you're running and I'll see if I can help.

    This page last updated on 17/02/2002 15:37

    © Glynne MacLean 1999-2003

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